What is Yoga?

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke or to unite. It is a practice of uniting the body, mind, and spirit. There are 8 limbs or branches of yoga practice. In a beginner yoga class, we mainly focus on 2 of those limbs- postures (asana) and breath control (pranayama).

Any yoga practice involving postures is a Hatha yoga practice.  There are many different styles of Hatha yoga, (Vinyasa, Bikram, Kripalu, Sivananda) but all posture practice, is Hatha yoga.

Although yoga is rooted in the Hindu religion, yoga itself is not a religion. People of all religions, ages, shapes, and sizes can benefit from yoga practice. There is no need to be a pretzel, or to be in great physical shape. That is a common misconception. It’s just a matter of finding the practice that is “right for you.” Especially if you’re a beginner. There are many different types of yoga practice, ranging from gentle to intense physical practice. Some classes also have more of a spiritual tone, whereas some are more focused on the exercise aspect. There is something out there for everyone!

The practice of yoga postures helps to relieve physical, emotional, and mental stress and tension that gets stored in the body, thereby allowing the. mind to relax as well. It helps keep all of the body’s major systems healthy and helps with various ailments including: arthritis, sciatica, depression, digestion problems, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, poor circulation, chronic fatigue, and the list goes on and on. It also improves mobility, strength.flexibility, and balance. With consistent practice, you can learn to consciously deeply relax the mind and body and watch them grow and change in positive ways.

Practicing yoga is about cultivating body awareness and attuning your mind with your body. Therefore, it is essential that you honor and listen to your body while practicing. it is not about achieving or pushing too hard. You want to work hard, but not struggle through it. Leave your ego at the door, and modify postures to your own personal needs.Every body is different, and every day is different in your own body. Worry not about looking the same as everyone else, since no two bodies are the same. Make this your own personal healing routine. It’s not important how you look in a pose- what matters is how you feel. Respect your body’s limitations, bring your sense of humor, have patience with yourself, and most importantly, ENJOY! HAVE FUN!

Yoga Etiquette

Practice On An Empty Stomach

Try to wait 3 to 4 hours after a larger meal and 2 hours after a snack or small meal.  If you really need something to eat prior to class, keep it light (i.e. a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit).

Arrive Early

Arrive to class a little early to get situated. If you are a few minutes late, do not enter the room until after opening meditation and centering, and be very QUIET as you set up your space.

Personal Hygiene

As the body heats up and perspires, smells intensify.  Therefore, take care of personal hygiene, and avoid smoking or putting on perfume/cologne before class out of respect for others in the room.

Clean Up

You are welcome to use community mats, but please clean them when you are through.

Breath Steady

If you find that you cannot get a smooth breath while practicing, rest in a comfortable pose until your breath flows with ease, and only come back to the pose if and when ready.  Do not force a pose or muscle through. You may find you are working hard, but it should not be a painful struggle.

Check With Your Physician

It is always good to check with your physician before beginning any new exercise program, especially if you have conditions that may be of concern.

Turn off Your phone

Leave it outside the yoga room unless it is a necessity to keep it near you.  If you are looking at a phone, you are not practicing being present, nor are you going within.

No Shoes

Take off your shoes before entering the yoga space. If you need to wear shoes into the space, please make sure they are for indoor use only.

Watch Your Step

Out of courtesy, please do not step on other students’ yoga mats.

Quiet Please

Do not hold side conversations while the instructor is addressing the class, and keep comments to a minimum.  Socializing before and after practice is fine, but not during.  It distracts you, and potentially others as well.  Also, if students are resting or meditating, take your pre or post class conversations to another room.

Stay Hydrated

Drink water before and after class, as the body will be detoxifying.

Inform Your Instructor

Of any sensitivities, injuries, or conditions that you have, and make them aware of your goals and intentions as well.

Be Open

Bring a sense of humor, and breathe, relax, feel, witness, and allow!