Beginning yoga practitioners usually have questions. Answers to some of the most common questions follow. Feel free to ask your teacher any additional questions.
What Is Yoga?
The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit language and means "union" or "yoke". Yoga seeks to unite your body and your mind. When your physical being is not well, your mental state is imbalanced too. The practice of yoga helps to overcome both physical and mental imbalance. Yoga asanas or postures can help the physical being by toning the whole body, strengthening bones and muscles, correcting posture, improve breathing and increasing energy. When your physical aspect is well, the mental is improved as well. The asanas along with breath work cleanse the body so the practice of yoga has a positive impact on the effects of stress and disease.
At What Age Can You Begin Yoga?
You can begin yoga at any age. There are infant yoga classes (usually done jointly with a parent) and there are senior yoga classes, even chair yoga classes. Bed ridden patients can practice yoga. You are encouraged to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program or physical practice if you suffer from a medical condition or have any doubts.
How Do I Choose a Teacher?
Your teacher is important. The teacher will be your guide, show you postures, alignment and breath work so you learn yoga correctly. Teachers at Yoga4All are Yoga Alliance® registered. They have to meet special requirements and continue to study. Ask the teacher about their background, how long they have taught, if they still take classes and do they do their own personal practice. Choose a class that fits your schedule, try it at least 3 times and then you will know whether that is the right class for you. Yoga4All offers a variety of classes and teachers.
What Do I Need?
You just need to bring yourself to class. Props are used to ease or support certain postures. At Yoga4All, we have sticky mats and other props for your use. It is recommended however you have your own mat for hygienic purposes. These can be purchased at stores like Target, Wal-mart, TJ Maxx, or online. Mats and other props are occasionally available for sale at the Studio.
What Do I Wear?
Loose comfortable stretch-type clothes without zippers–workout clothes or lightweight sweats work well. Shorts shouldn’t be too short or too loose–you may do spread legs postures or inversions; some modesty is appropriate. Women: sports bras or camis that aren’t too tight seem to work for most with a T-shirt. You need support, but not binding. Clothes need to move with you.
How Often Should I Practice?
A daily practice is ultimate; at least three times a week is recommended. A personal practice can be an hour, but if you have only 15 minutes, that is better than no practice.
Listen to Your Body
Breathe into your postures and move carefully. If you feel any discomfort, ease up and try again. If the discomfort continues, get your teacher’s attention. Yoga should never cause pain. Stay tuned to your body’s capabilities. Never force your body into a posture or try to go beyond your limit. Remember, yoga is not a competitive sport. Progress may be slow, but with time your body will become stronger and more flexible–balanced. Take your time, there is no graduation, no need to rush, slow down and enjoy the journey.