What is Yoga?
- The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is ofter interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a femal practitioner, a yogini.
- The Indian sage, Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga sutra an estimated 2000 years ago. It outlines the 8 limbs of yoga. Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
Is yoga a religion?
- Yoga is not a religion, it is a discipline, not unlike martial arts in a way. Yoga is essentially a form of active meditation (or exercise) and many people find that it helps them to relax and quiet their minds. Which in turn, actually deepens their understanding of whatever religious philosophy they espouse;because a quiet mind is ready to receive knowledge. It is up to you to set your own intention before each class.
Why does yoga emphasis breathing?
- The yogic breathing exercises known as pranayama revitalize the body and help to control the mind, leaving you feeling calm and refreshed, while the practice of positive thinking and meditations gives increased clarit, mental power and concentration.
How is yoga different from stretching or other kinds of fitness?
- Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, jedging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awaremenss that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.
What are some of the benefits of yoga?
- The yoga postures or asanas exercise every party of the body, stretching and toning the muscles and joints, the spine and the entire skeletal system. Some of the benefits cited by yoga practitioners include:
- Weight loss
- reduced heart & blood pressure
- improved breathing
- improved sleep
- improved posture & balance
- increased range of movement & flexibility
Is yoga for everyone?
- Anyone can practice yoga. Your practice may look different than your neighbor but we believe, there is something for everyone. There is no such thing as a perfect pose or perfect practice. Just what works for you. We are here to help you decide what that is.
I am not flexible, can I do yoga?
- YES! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to bein yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that a yoga practice will help you become more flexible. This new found agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.
What do I wear and bring to class?
- Bring a yoga mat, a towel, and water (you can rent a mat for $1 or buy one at the studio). Wear comfortable clothing that breathes well. Take the clothing test: reach over your head, are you comfortable with how your shirt moves? Your answer will help you decide if you have the right clothes on. Also, bend over and ask yourself the same question about your pants. This will help you decide on your clothing. You will be barefoot during class.
Why am I suppose to refrain from eating 2 or 3 hours before class begins?
- In yoga practice we twist from side to side, turn upside down, and bend forward and backward. If you have not fully digested your last meal, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable. If you are a person with a fast-acting digestive system and are afraid you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiement with a light snack such as yogurt, juicy fruits, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.
How many times a week should I practice?
- Yoga is amazing–even if you only practice for 1 hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. I suggest starting with 2 or 3 times a week, for 1 hour or 1.5 hours each time. If you can only do 20 minutes per session, that’s fine too. Don’t let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle-do what you can and don’t worry about it. you will likely find that after a while your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself doing more and more.