1. I’M NOT FLEXIBLECAN I DO YOGA?

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin 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 yoga practice will help you become more flexible. This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

2. DOES YOGA PROVIDE HEALTH OR THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS?

Yoga can benefit your health in countless ways – from lowering your blood pressure to increasing muscle strength and stamina. Typical benefits cited by yoga practitioners include:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced heart and blood pressure
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved posture and breathing
  • Increased range of movement and flexibility

Studies show that up to 80% of human illness is caused by stress. Stress affects your body by attacking your immune system causing the body to begin breaking down. You may see this in symptoms such as fatigue, skin problems, appetite loss, hair loss, etc. Yoga utilizes physical and mental discipline to help achieve a sense of calm and peacefulness that you will be able to carry beyond the yoga mat into your life.

3. WHAT DO I NEED TO BEGIN?

All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind, and a bit of curiosity. But it is also helpful to have a pair of sweat pants, leggings, or shorts, and a t-shirt that’s not too baggy. No special footgear is required because you will be barefoot. As your practice develops you might want to buy your own yoga mat, but most studios will have mats and other props available for you.

4. HOW DOES A YOGA CLASS WORK? WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

A typical yoga class lasts anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, with 75 minutes as the average. There is a period of warming up (this varies by type of yoga and instructor) followed by the asanas and then relaxation (savasana) at the end. Music or other sounds are generally played lowly, and aromas and special lighting may also be used. The teacher will either name, describe or demonstrate the flow of poses, or asanas, and provide instruction, both verbal and physical, throughout as to form, gaze, alignment, number of breaths to hold each pose, etc.

5. WHY ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO REFRAIN FROM EATING TWO TO THREE HOURS BEFORE CLASS?

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, experiment with a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.