Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hatha Yoga? “HA” translates to the sun and “THA” means moon. It is a delicate balance of masculine characteristics such as active, hot and sun; coupled with the feminine attributes like receptive, cool, and the moon that we all possess. Hatha yoga is about creating balance and uniting the opposites, such as the sun and moon. The umbrella term “Hatha yoga” encompasses all physical styles of yoga that include poses, breath work, and meditation. Most styles (hot yoga, restorative yoga, ashtanga yoga, yin yoga, etc.) taught in the Western World are Hatha Yoga.
What to bring? When ready to commit to a yoga style you’ll definitely want to buy your own mat. But until then most studios/teachers usually have all the equipment you’ll need to begin your practice. Straps, blocks, blankets and bolsters should be readily available for your use while you are practicing. It’s nice to bring a towel and water to class with you.
Should I eat before yoga class? You shouldn’t eat at least 2 hours prior to your yoga workout. If you’re absolutely starving and need to stop your stomach from growling, nosh on a few grapes or a banana, just don’t overdo it. It’s better to practice on an empty stomach.
Do I wear shoes during practice? No, yoga is done without shoes. Also, wearing socks will make your feet slip on the mat, so it’s best to be barefoot.
Is there an age limit attached to practicing yoga? Definitely not! You are never too old to start Yoga. We are all different in our abilities and flexibility and there are modifications and options available for everyone. How old you are should NEVER be a factor in beginning a yoga practice.
I am overweight, should I lose weight before starting a yoga practice? No, start wherever you are right now, all that is required is determination. Yoga is for all shapes and sizes and the psychological benefits are so helpful. Practicing yoga is an enjoyable, rewarding, confidence building rush that has the advantage of bringing about some healthy advances to your life. Think lower blood pressure and blood sugar, strength, increased flexibility, bone health, improves your sleep, and it’s a self-esteem builder to name just a few great points.
I’m pregnant, can I start a yoga practice? As with any exercise program you begin, ALWAYS consult your physician beforehand. This is to ensure that you do not injure yourself and the peace of mind going forward will help further your success. Also, make sure that your yoga instructor knows that you are pregnant and speak to any concerns you may have before you begin the class. If you’ve never practiced yoga before it is recommended for safety reasons to start in the second trimester, after approximately the 14 week mark. The benefits of yoga during pregnancy can aid in your balance, strength, and breathe control which can only serve you going forward through your nine month process.
Is yoga a religion? No yoga is “NOT” a religion. It’s been hotly debated in the courts because of yoga being offered in the public schools systems and the answer is a resounding “NO”. According to the courts, yoga as it’s widely practiced by millions of people of varied faiths is no instrument of religious indoctrination. The courts view yoga as an exercise which for some can become a spiritual experience, thus leading to the overall confusion.
What does “Namaste” mean? Namaste is pronounced ‘na-ma-stay’. At the end of EVERY yoga session your instructor will bow his or her head, bring her hands to heart center (located at the center of your chest), and form them in a prayer position. The gesture is one of pure honor which translates to “I bow to you”. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you.
Is there an optimum time to practice yoga? The morning is a good time to practice but anytime you can work it into your schedule is good. I like mornings because after a night’s rest the body tends to be a tad stiff, so getting your body moving is like a comforting cream for the day ahead.
How long will it take before I notice a change? As with most things, the more you work at it the quicker you will see results. Although everyone is different, after a few weeks most students begin to feel a positive change in their bodies.
What can yoga do for me? Wow, the benefits of a regular yoga practice are immeasurable. Toning the body, flexibility, promoting relaxation, strength training, aids in balance, improves digestion, supports better brain function, boosts your overall immunity, fights food cravings, and boosts pain prevention through increased flexibility, better alignment, and strength; these are just a few of the bonuses of a regular yoga practice.
I am not quite sure how to interact in a yoga environment, how should I act? Everything you need to know to begin your yoga journey can be found here: Yoga Etiquette
“DO YOGA, YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU”
“IT’S THE PILL YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE”