I have never been to a yoga class before and I do not know what to expect. Are all the other really good at it? Will I feel out of place?
Yoga is non-competitive, so there is no need to feel concerned about being in a new class. There is usually a mixture of ages and abilities in a class, unless it is clearly indicated as advanced, intermediate or special interest. Small groups mean more attention to individual needs and the opportunity to cater for all ability levels.
What should I wear? Do I need to bring equipment?
Wear comfortable clothes, such as a tracksuit bottom and a T-shirt. For safety reasons, yoga is generally done in bare feet; but bring socks to wear during pranayama (breathing practice) and relaxation.
You can bring a light blanket for the relaxation part of the session. I have a few spare mats. Blocks and belts will be provided. If you wanted to buy any of those later on, I can order them in bulk, at a reduced price.
Can you give me an idea of how the class work?
A class will last between 1.15 hour and 1.30 hour. It begins with basic breathing that allows everybody some time to centre themselves, encouraging mindfulness. A warm up session follows using yoga based movements geared towards the main content of the class, the yoga asanas (postures). This class includes Pranayama (breathing exercises)and ends with yoga relaxation.
I am not that fit or flexible. Will I be able to do it?
You may find that some of the postures need to be modified in order to make sure that they are safe for your individual body. You will find that, with time and practice, you improve your general fitness and become more flexible as your body understands the moves better. Modifications and adjustements with props are part of the process and are offered especially to beginners and people with health issues, such as back/knee problems or high and low blood pressure for example.
I have health issues. Can I still come and is it safe for me to take part?
If you have a health condition you should seek advice from your GP before coming to the class. In the majority of instances you can still attend and practise safely. Again props and modifications will help you to do these modified postures safely with the same benefits.
Is yoga for women only? Can men practise too?
Yoga is for everyone. Actually yoga used to be for men only. In addition to the benefits of the breathing and meditation practice, yoga is a full-body workout that creates both strength and flexibility. It strengthens some muscles generally tight in men that get less attention during ordinary workouts, which could lead to injury or weakness.
What is pranayama for?
To control your breath helps to be in control of your body and eases your moves. Your entire body is brought to optimum health.
Do you use sanskrit names for postures?
Yoga asanas all have sanskrit names, which makes them easier to identify across yoga disciplines, as well as across different languages and cultures. I always offer an english translation from the sanskrit version.
Do you use chanting and sounds?
I do not use them systematically. I find that it can help to focus the mind, or to deepen a posture,as it helps to control and expand the exhalation.