What is Yoga?
The word yoga is Sanskrit and means "to yoke" or "to bind" and is often interpreted as "union". Yoga is a method of discipline and is composed of 8 limbs, or parts:
Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the Senses)
Samadhi ( Liberation)
As we explore these 8 limbs, we begin refining our behavior and our relation to the outer world. The goal is to focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment). Today most of the population practices the third limb, "asana" (Postures), which is designed to purify the body and provide strength and endurance required for long periods of meditation.
There is controversy when and how yoga come to. Some say yoga has been around for thousands of years, some say as early as the 1800's. Either way, yoga has been proven to not only to help balance mind & body by synchronizing our external sense with the internal sensations, but to heighten our sense of well-being and our relation to our part in the world.
What Should I Wear?
Wear something that allows you to move around and that you will be comfortable in. Please don't feel as if you need to wear any trendy yoga clothes to class. In some parts of the world, some people wear their jeans or even saris! At any rate, it is advised to not wear anything too loose, though- downward dog can be a little trickier when yours shirt falls over your head! Youa also don't want to wear anything to tight as this may limit you from movement & focus on the practice.
The temperature of the room is anywhere between 68-78 degrees Fahrenheit, and although hot yoga isn't currently offered, you may build internal heat in the more dynamic classes, so dress accordingly.
What Should I Bring?
Yoga mats and supplies are available, however, if you have your own feel free to bring it. You could bring a blanket and/or towel to use for modifications, extra cushion, and for Savasana (the very best part!). You can also bring blocks if you have them, and would like to use them during class. You may also want to bring some water.
Can I Bring My Cell Phone?
PLEASE silence or turn off cell phones/electronic devices when entering the practice space. Double check your phone to be sure the vibration is off, as well.
When Do I Arrive?
Please arrive anywhere between 5-15 minutes early, especially if you are a first timer to Yonah Yoga, so you have time to meet your teacher & sign a waiver. The doors open 15 minutes before class, and the doors lock right as class begins, no exceptions. To respect everyone's time and to provide everyone with the best possible class experience. Yonah Yoga doesn't allow late arrivals. This is also a safety precaution. If you are late, you have most likely missed the warm-up, which is essential in the yoga asana (posture) practice.
Are Your Classes for Beginners?
Currently, most classes are suitable for ALL levels (Don't worry advanced yogis, that doesn't mean that you can't get in on these!) Please check the schedule & class descriptions so that you are able to better understand what class you are coming to. The verbal cues that are used throughout the practice will allow the individual to modify to whatever level/intensity the body calls for that day. We offer supplies/props that may help to deepen your practice.
We do not practice advanced inversions in group classes (i.e. headstands, handstands, etc), however, if you'd like to explore these more advanced postures, you can schedule a individual/group private session.
Can I Bring My Child to Class?
We’re glad to hear your child is interested in joining us for yoga! Yoga has profound effects for not only adults but children, as well! Yonah Yoga does have a young student policy in effect because of the safety and positive experience of everyone attending the yoga class(es).
Children 14 & over can be admitted into most classes and must be accompanied by the parent/guardian. Not every class that is offered is suitable for younger students because their bodies and minds are at a different developmental stage than adults. Most of the classes are designed for students 16 years of age and older. The yoga practice of a child is different from the practice of an adult, and we currently do not offer regular classes for children of 12 years or less, although we do offer Youth Yoga series at different times of the year. Please email email@example.com for more information.
When bringing your child under the age of 18, you must sign a separate consent form for your child. Also, you must place your mat next to your child’s and it is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to watch over their child to ensure that they do not injure themselves or disrupt the class. If your child becomes a distraction to the class or teacher, the instructor reserves the right to ask you to quietly leave, expecting your full understanding and willingness to comply.
Can I do yoga while pregnant?
Yoga is can be a wonderful way to keep the body healthy, flexible, and strong throughout your pregnancy and to prepare you for birth and beyond, but please, safety first! Always consult your healthcare practitioner before attempting any exercise and particularly yoga, to ensure that it is safe for you and the baby. If you have never done yoga before, the general recommendation is not to start during the first three months of pregnancy, since your body isn’t used to it, and to take specially designed pre-natal classes after that. If you have an established yoga practice it is usually safe to continue your regular practice, following special precautions and avoiding certain poses at different stages of your pregnancy. During pregnancy the body produces hormones, like relaxin, which will make you more flexible especially in the hips and pelvis, so you’ll also need to be careful not to over do it and be mindful of maintaining stability in the joints more so that you do not overstretch.
You can keep an eye out for any workshops that we offer that are specifically designed for pre/post natal.
What style of yoga are we doing?
Hatha: Hatha translates into "effort", "force", or "exertion". It is a general term for an active style of yoga. Here, we are targeting building core strength, mobility, and balance.
Vinyasa: Vinyasa essentially translates into "to place in a special way". In this style of yoga, we will be moving in a flow, synchronizing our breath with each flowing movement.
Hatha Vinyasa: A blend between core strength building, and specific movements to promote a state of flow physically & mentally.
Yin: Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time (2-10 Minutes). All poses are either supine (lying on back), prone (lying on front of body), or sitting, with the exception of 2 standing poses.
Beginners: Beginners yoga will be a tour of all the above mentioned yoga styles. It is a great intro to those who have very little to no practice in yoga.
Vin Yin: A blend between yin and yang styles of yoga. In other words, we will be focusing on the deep fascial network of the body along with building heat, energy & strength. This practice will leave you feeling balanced and rejuvenated.
Kundalini : The practice of Kundalini Yoga works to enhance our experience of living as human beings through applying some foundational elements of the practice: kriya (movement), breath, sound, and meditation. The combination of these elements serves to bring us into a balanced and harmonious state of being.
How many times per week do I practice yoga?
If you are just beginning the yoga journey, then 2-3 times per week for an 45-60 minutes will certainly have you experiencing the great benefits of yoga. However, even if you can practice once/week, you will still notice the profound benefits that yoga can have on your body & mind. Do what you can, and don't worry about time constraints or unrealistic goals being an obstacle. Over time, your practice will expand naturally, and you may find yourself wanting to do more naturally.
Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?
Unlike stretching and similar yoga fitness programs, yoga is about connecting the mind, body and breath, which helps us to direct our attention inward opposed to a basic task or goal to be completed. Through the process of directing our attention inward, we learn and recognize our habitual thought patterns.
Although we are mostly practicing the physical aspects of yoga, we are able to connect the movement with the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath.This awareness is what cultivates the yoga practice and sets it apart from others. We become more in tune with our bodies, minds, and surroundings. A healthy yoga regimen will definitely have you more flexible/mobile, balanced, and feeling good.
Is Yoga a religion?
No, yoga is a philosophy and way of living and not a religion. As mentioned in a previous questions, the roots and history of yoga are a controversial issue. If you are interested in learning more of the philosophy and roots of yoga, reading the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, & The Upanishads is a good start. These scriptures provide instruction for personal and spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body.
It is not necessary to study any yoga scriptures to practice yoga, nor do you have to surrender any of your own religious beliefs.
What if I'm not flexible?
Then, you are the most perfect candidate for yoga! Yoga is more about having a body to work with and isn't competitive in any way. Come as you are and you will finds that yoga will not only help to improve your flexibility, but to improve endurance, strength, coordination, balance upon other great benefits from improved lung function to a better sense of physical confidence.
When someone tells me that they are not flexible enough to "do" yoga, I like to rebuttal by saying "that's like saying you are too dirty to take a shower". In order to get flexible, one must do the things that will make them flexible.
I'm Recovering from an Injury, or Have a Health Concern, Can I Practice Yoga?
Many people practice yoga as a way to manage their health conditions. There are many different types of classes which suit different health needs and can also be adapted and modified for injuries. Yonah Yoga is happy to advise you about the classes offered so you can decide which ones might suit your needs, but always check with your healthcare provider or a physical therapist with knowledge of yoga before beginning any new program.
We take your safety seriously and we are not medical professionals, so we are not qualified to offer medical advice. We do offer precautions in class to follow the signals from your body, to move within your range of motion, and to avoid any movements that you have been advised not to do or that cause pain. It is beyond any teacher’s scope of practice to offer individual recommendations during a group class. We’re happy to chat and offer suggestions for different versions of poses or alternatives for a few minutes before and after class.
If you would like more time and individual attention, we offer private yoga sessions.
Can I eat before class?
It is advised to wait at least 2 hours after eating to jump into your yoga practice, however, everyone's body is different. Obviously, you may not want to be eating a big cheeseburger as you're walking into class, but it's your body and no one knows it better than you.
It may be a good idea to keep in mind that we twist, bend and fold during classes, and if you haven't fully digested your meal, it may make itself known to you in ways that aren't comfortable. If you have a fast-acting digestive system and are afraid that you might get hungry or feel weak during class, experiment with a light snack (yogurt, nuts, juice) about 30-60 minutes before class.
My instructor says Namaste, what does that mean?
Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you." Namaste is a salutation commonly used in India as a greeting and/or parting.
Typically, when saying Namaste, it is performed with the hands together at the heart, closing the eyes and bowing the head. The gesture is a general form of a greeting and parting. It is not necessary nor required to say at any point.