Intro To Yoga
Yoga is not merely an exercise system nor is it a religion. Like many body-centered practices that originated in Asia, such as tai chi or aikido, hatha yoga is an ancient holistic system of health and self-development that begins with the body as a tangible way to affect all aspects of our being – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. From this perspective, the body is viewed as a living temple, as the “container” for the life-force or divine intelligence that animates all living things.
Hatha Yoga is a system of physical postures designed to purify and strengthen the body, giving one awareness and creating a mind/body union. It invites us to be a little better than we were before.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’m not flexible; can I still practice?
Yoga is not about flexibility. All poses can be modified to provide opening and benefits to anyone. You may use straps or blocks (often called props) in class to help complete many postures.
Q: Is yoga an aerobic exercise?
Yes and no. It does not have your heart rate consistently in the training zone for twenty minutes or greater but it does help the body increase its ability to carry oxygen. So with regular practice your body will increase its capacity to consume oxygen.
Q: Will yoga help me lose weight?
Yoga can help you slim down. First, this practice will help you burn calories. In addition, it will help tone your muscles, increase your metabolism and improve your posture.
Q: How many times a week should I do yoga and for how long?
Most schools teach a practice session that lasts 60-90 minutes. If you can do that everyday - that’s amazing, but if not, try for a few days a week, including a class or two, and fill in with shorter home session on days when you don't have as much time. Any yoga is better than no yoga, and 20 to 30 minutes a day is better than 90 minutes once a week. If you are interested in developing a home practice, our senior staff would be happy to help you sequence one that fits your needs.
Q: What's the difference between yoga and just plain stretching and normal exercise?
Traditional exercise is goal oriented: How many pushups can I do? Can I touch my toes? I'm going to do 10 more crunches today than I did yesterday. Yoga, by contrast, is a process. The idea is to focus your awareness on what you are doing and how you feel as you perform the postures. In exercise, you fail if you miss your goal. In yoga, you succeed by trying. There's also a difference on the physical level. Weight training, for example, makes you stronger by breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue. It's this breaking down and rebuilding that results in the bulky muscle look. Yoga increases strength by toning the muscles.
Q: What do I need to do to prepare for a class?
- Arrive early so you’ll have plenty of time to sign in and get settled before class begins.
- Please wear comfortable workout attire. Layers are best, as your body temperature changes throughout your practice. Be prepared to work in bare feet
- Please refrain from wearing any colognes or perfumes.
- We provide mats for $1 rental, but we encourage you to purchase your own. Your mat is an important tool and a symbol of commitment to your practice.
- Avoid practicing with a full stomach, and drink plenty of water before class to remain hydrated through your practice.
- Yoga is a process. Be consistent in your practice. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.