What is yoga by definition?
The word actually means “union” in Sanskrit, referring to the confluence of mind, body and spirit. Originating in India, this 5,000+ year old discipline uses physical postures, poses and deep breathing to aid in mental and spiritual well being, as practitioners strive to bring harmony to all aspects of their lives and become more mindful of their intentions. It is not a religion; it is a practice.
While I guide my yoga students through Vinyasa Flow yoga, a popular form of yoga in which movements form a flowing sequence in coordination with breath, Yin yoga is a specialty of mine as well. In this form of yoga, passive poses are held for longer periods of time to release as well as strengthen the connective tissues of the body.
How can yoga help me?
Whether or not you use yoga as a path to higher awareness, the benefits of the physical practice of yoga can run off the page. Here are just a few: improves muscle tone and strength, aids in improving energy, endurance, stamina, focus, flexibility, balance, mental clarity (your brain is getting oxygen!), helps to relieve neck pain and back pain, and even can improve circulation.
I’ve tried a few yoga poses with friends and find that I am not very flexible. Is it worth it to even try?
You are an ideal yoga practitioner – because yoga can help you acheive greater flexibility, balance and agility. We make sure no one is compared to anyone else in our yoga classes. Your body will tell you what it is willing to do, while your spirit may challenge its message as you get deeper and deeper into your practice. Everyone’s practice of yoga is a personal journey, and no one will judge you along the way.
What kind of time commitment are we talking about? And can I still work out at the gym?
The benefits of yoga, even when done only an hour a week, are worth your time. The more attention you give your practice, however, the more it will benefit you. And yes! Many of my students use yoga as a complement to their regular workouts. In fact, they often find that their yoga sessions help ease the sore muscles and connective tissues their workouts can cause.
What do I need to purchase and how should I prepare to start my yoga practice?
We have yoga mats and blocks for your use during class, but many students prefer to purchase their own. Before doing so, please ask us for some tips in how to select your mat as well as how to care for it.
Wear clothing that isn’t so loose that it will flop around during your poses and stretching. Yoga “fashion” tends to be close fitting, but doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Yoga pants, shorts, cotton leggings, T-shirts, and tank tops are good. Tie your hair back if it’s long, and don’t worry about shoes. Yoga is a barefoot experience.