The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit, meaning to yoke or discipline, to unite, to make whole. Yoga incorporates physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to unify all aspects of a human being. What are the benefits of yoga? Whatever your age or physical condition, whatever your religious belief or cultural heritage, yoga can help you vastly improve the quality of your life and health.
- Yoga is over 3,000 years old
- Yoga builds strength, flexibility and coordination
- Yoga creates cardiovascular health
- Yoga relieves stress and helps keep you healthy
- Yoga creates mental clarity, focus and emotional balance
- Yoga is safe for all ages and body types
- Yoga facilitates healing from injuries
- Yoga is not a religion
Yoga isn’t a religion?
No, Yoga is not a religion. It is a nonsectarian science which promotes harmony. Anyone of any faith can find his or her religion enhanced as a result.
Where should I start?
If you are new to yoga, out-of-shape, very stiff or injured, you should start out with either the Yoga 101 Workshop, the Basics, Beginners or Bliss classes. On the other hand, if you’re very fit and flexible, you may enjoy starting out with the Yoga Fundamentals class or any of the Multi-level classes. Vinyasa classes are not appropriate for those with less than 1 year of a consistent yoga practice on the mat.
Do I need a mat?
Yes, you do need a yoga mat to begin. We rent yoga mats for use for $2.00. We DO provide all the props needed to make your practice more easily accessible. It is highly recommended that you eventually buy your own yoga mat. Although we do clean all of the props including the mats, it is more hygenic to have your own. It also makes your practice more personal, more meaningful and feel more consistent when you have your own mat.
How often should I take class?
We recommend taking classes 2-3 times a week (less if you’re supplementing with an at-home practice.) Many of our students make a commitment to attending the same classes per week, others just come when it’s convenient and some really enjoy the variety of perspectives and teachings offered from our wonderfully eclectic teaching staff.
What do I need to wear? What should I avoid wearing?
No special clothing is required to do yoga. Just wear comfortable clothing that isn’t too baggy and doesn’t restrict movement. In general, a T-shirt or tank-top is appropriate, with sweats, stretch-pants, or shorts on bottom. Yoga is done with bare feet, so please come with clean feet, and plan to remove your shoes and socks when you arrive. Please do NOT wear perfume, and we recommend not wearing makeup or jewelry.
What should I bring?
Bring water, a towel and a yoga sticky mat if you have one. You can rent a mat from the studio for $2.00, or ideally, everyone should – for hygienic reasons – own their own mat. For Restorative Workshops, you may want to bring your own blanket. DO NOT bring a cell phone, or at least turn it off when you enter.
Should I eat before class?
Eat at least two hours before class and wait at least a half hour after class to eat. It is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. Drink plenty of water before, during and after class. Please bring a water bottle or purchase one of ours to help us conserve paper cups and save the trees!
What if I am injured, have a medical condition or physical limitation?
We encourage you to contact us by phone or email to figure out which classes would be most appropriate for you. When you arrive for class, inform the instructor of any medical conditions or injuries that you may have. Examples include high blood pressure, herniated disk, joint/muscle injuries, etc. This information will assist the instructor in modifying postures for you.
I am nervous about looking silly or hurting myself.
Take advantage of this time to practice Santosha or Contentment~accepting the truth as it is. We are here to help you and make your yoga practice pleasant and comfortable. Pay attention to what your instructor says about not pushing yourself too hard, this is for your own safety and the safety of others in class. Use the props that the teacher asks you to. Only do the movements that the teacher suggests for class. We teach our students to leave their egos at the door with their shoes. Our practice room isn’t big enough for egos!
What guidelines should I follow when I practice yoga?
Respect pain. Pay close attention to your body’s innate feedback system. Distinguish between the discomfort of moving a stiff body and pain caused by overdoing or excessive demand on a joint. Sudden or severe pain is a warning. Most postures can be modified; JUST ASK! Breathe properly. Without fully expanding your lungs, the muscles you are exercising cannot be adequately supplied with oxygen.
Can I talk during class and ask questions?
We at The Space Above love questions and love interacting with our students. However, please keep banter to a minimum to maintain a quiet atmosphere. Please do not yell out. Just ask us questions before or after class.
I am really fit. Will Yoga challenge me?
No matter what condition you are in, Yoga is a great way to enhance a healthy lifestyle. Not only will it create more balance in your body physically, but mentally and emotionally too.