What is yoga?
Yoga is a total system of health and fitness that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Yoga means “union” and was designed to bring a person’s mind, body, and spirit into balance for complete health. This is accomplished through a series of yoga poses or postures, and special breathing and relaxation techniques. Yoga is a wonderful experience that can be adapted to work for nearly everyone, regardless of age, body type or fitness level.
What are some of the benefits of yoga?
The first benefit you may notice reduced stress and anxiety. Yoga as many physical benefits including increased flexibility, strength, and circulation, As the body and mind come more into harmony, students also notice improved concentration, energy and an overall sense of well-being, Studies have also shown that yoga can help reduce high blood pressure and chronic pain.
Is yoga for everyone? What if I’m stiff or overweight or a senior citizen?
The only prerequisite is being able to breathe. You don’t have to be flexible or strong to do yoga. Your teacher will show you how each yoga posture can be modified to fit your limitations yet still provide a satisfying workout. Yoga is not competitive. Each student is encouraged to go at his or her own pace. Remember, every yoga student started out as a beginner!
Can yoga help alleviate back pain?
Yes, in many ways. Yoga strengthens abdominal and back muscles to better support the torso. Regular practice develops body awareness throughout the day to inspire better postures and breathing patterns that relieve many stresses that contribute to back pain.
How is yoga different from stretching and normal exercise?
Traditional exercise is goal oriented: How many sit ups can I do? Yoga, by contrast, is a process. You focus your awareness on what you are doing and how you feel as you do the proses. Yoga breathing will calm your mind and aid stretching. In exercise, you fail if you miss your goal. In yoga, you succeed by trying. You cannot win or lose… you just advance at your own pace.
Will yoga help me lose weight?
Yoga can make you look and feel better regardless of your weight. That said, yoga helps you slim down in many ways. Practicing yoga will tone and firm your body, reduce body fat and create lean, long muscles. The relaxation techniques help you curb “stress eating.” As you advance to more challenging classes, you can burn calories at a vigorous rate. Yoga is also about healthy living and a healthy diet. That doesn’t mean you have to be a vegetarian, just that you should be conscious of your diet.
What if I’ve had an injury or recent surgery?
Depending on how serious it is, you may want to consult with your physician before starting yoga or any exercise program. Tell your yoga teacher about your condition so he/she can suggest ways you can adapt the yoga poses to your abilities.
Can yoga help women through pregnancy and delivery?
Yoga is a great way to keep fit during pregnancy. Pregnant women find that practicing the simplest poses and relaxation and breathing techniques improves their fitness and well-being, eases back pain and contributes to an easier delivery.
How often should I go to a yoga class?
Ideally, at least two or three times per week. Some people make progress by coming once a week, and many people get so motivated by yoga they come nearly everyday. It depends on the individual and his or her needs.
What should I wear or bring to class?
Wear anything that is comfortable that allows you to move and stretch. Many find that shorts or loose-fitting pants and a T-shirt work fine. Some wear leotards or tights. Yoga classes are done in bare feet or with socks on, so you’ll be removing your shoes prior to class. Try not to eat for at least 1 hour priot to class as it is much easier to do the poses on an empty stomach.
Must I pre-register before coming to class?
No. Just come to our studio about 10 minutes before class starts and write your name on the class sign-in sheet. If it’s your first time, you’ll have to complete a waiver form before attending class.