Frequently Asked Yoga Questions
What are the potential benefits of Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that enhances physical, mental & spiritual well-being. Through connecting with body & breath, we can find greater calm & mental clarity. Yoga is an antidote to the stress & anxiety of the modern world. Much more than just physical exercise, Yoga is a practical approach to self-awareness & an enduring state of happiness. Yoga postures, breathing exercises & meditation techniques connect body & mind, enabling us to remain alert while accessing a deep sense of peace. We are able to enjoy the present moment more fully, without preoccupation with future worries or past regrets. A dedicated Yoga practice can help us to enjoy better health & enhanced quality of life.
The physical benefits of Yoga include increased strength & flexibility, improved energy levels, better posture & improved circulation. Every posture, directly or indirectly, helps to quieten the mind & bring you to the present moment. The benefits are diverse but include an increasing sense of calm, a more positive outlook, better intuition & increased compassion. Decreased tension can result in better sleep patterns.
What style of yoga do you teach?
I teach mindful hatha yoga with an emphasis on cultivating present moment awareness of body & breath. Classes flow gently & are ideal for stress-relief. We connect with the breath to release tension in mind & body so we can re-awaken our natural sense of calm. Cultivating mindful awareness & acceptance is key to the effective teaching & practice of yoga. As a qualified mindfulness teacher, I focus particularly on guiding you to develop a mindful attitude that will benefit your practice and will also enrich your life outside class! My teaching is influenced by the classical tradition of T.Krishnamacharya, often known in the West as 'viniyoga'. I also incorporate elements from other yoga traditions & draw on my mindfulness training to create classes that calm & re-balance body and mind. I am an experienced teacher with well-respected qualifications that enable me to teach safely & adapt classes according to your individual needs.
Are your classes suitable for everyone?
Classes are suitable for all ages & body types although you will need to check with your doctor if you have any injuries or medical issues. We work gently & you will be given modifications to suit your body. Classes are suitable for beginners as long as you have a basic level of fitness. If you want a strong physical work-out, you may find that you prefer stronger Yoga styles, but if your priority is to release tension while gently working with body & mind, then these classes should be good for you. Please contact me prior to attending if you have any health concerns. People with serious medical conditions can benefit greatly from Yoga, but this would initially need to be on an individual basis with a qualified yoga therapist.
Will I feel the benefits immediately?
As we begin to improve awareness of body & mind, we gradually start to see improvements in our daily life. Some may feel the benefits more quickly than others but it should be emphasised that Yoga is not a quick fix. Most people who come to class will notice physical, mental or emotional improvements. For those who are open to exploring it fully, Yoga is a lifelong journey of reflection & awareness. Through dedicated Yoga practice, we can move towards a deep sense of calm, freedom & inner happiness.
What happens in a class?
Classes gently enhance strength & flexibility and are ideal for stress-relief. You can expect to combine fairly gentle flowing sequences & static postures, with an emphasis on cultivating mindful awareness of breath & body. Classes are practised at a moderate pace & we finish with a calming guided relaxation.
What should I wear and bring with me?
Please bring a mat if you have one (I have some spares.) It is best to wear loose, comfortable clothing (sports gear not necessary) & we practise in bare feet. Please bring socks and a blanket to keep you warm during relaxation.
What about pregnant and post-natal women?
If you are pregnant, please contact me to discuss whether these classes are suitable for you. This will depend on your Yoga experience & where you are in your pregnancy. The earlier Wednesday class is better for post-natal women (after your 6 week check) as it is slightly more gentle. Classes are small enough for some individual attention to be given.
Is Yoga religious?
No, Yoga is a practice of self-discovery. People of any religion & none can benefit from Yoga. You can choose to practice Yoga simply for physical fitness & relaxation. However you may find your spiritual awareness & sense of connection grows as your practice deepens. As Yoga has ancient Indian roots, you may find some Sanskrit terms being used but I will explain these.
What does Namaste mean?
We say Namaste to open & close the class. It has various translations but a simple interpretation is that we acknowlege the light (or goodness) in ourselves & each other. In class, we say Namaste as a symbol of gratitude & respect between students & teachers.