Frequently Asked Questions about the yoga classes I teach
1. Do I need to bring my own mat?
No, mats are provided. However, if you prefer to use your own you are very welcome to bring your own. Other equipment such as blocks or straps is provided.
2. Can I eat before the class?
It’s best not to eat for at least two hours before the class. Some of the postures involve twists, and if you have a full tummy you’ll soon feel it! Do bring some water for after the class though. If you are pregnant you are advised to have a little something before coming, such as a banana or piece of toast.
3. Do I need to wear special clothing?
You should wear loose comfortable clothing, with a warm layer and socks for the cooler relaxation part of the class. Some people like to bring a blanket or rug for the final relaxation.
4. Can anyone do yoga?
Yes. Yoga is suitable for anyone, of any age. For adults and the elderly yoga can help keep the body fit, supple and relieve stress. In fact, the stiffer you are the better for you yoga will be. Yoga is also possible during pregnancy, although certain postures are not advisable, and you should always inform me if you are pregnant, or have recently had a baby. There is no competition element in yoga so it doesn’t matter whether you can reach your toes or not, it’s the getting there that’s important.
5. Is yoga good for me?
Yes! Yoga is an excellent way of relieving stress, improving your flexibility and strength, toning muscles, relaxing, learning how to breath deeply and calmly, keeping joints supple, improving your focus or concentration, improving circulation and improving posture.
6. Isn’t it all just lying down or putting your legs behind your head?
No! There are some postures that develop impressive skills such as putting your feet behind your head, but these are advanced postures. A typical class will include some standing postures, some seated postures, some twists, forward bends and back stretches, time spent breathing, and of course, some relaxation, often lying down.
7. Why do I need to learn about breathing?
Breathing is something which we tend to take for granted. Often we breathe very shallowly and do not utilise all the lung space. Being able to breathe more deeply and slowly is beneficial for relieving stress and calming the nervous system. Ancient yogis also believed that everybody had a finite number of breathes in their body – the longer and slower you can breathe, the longer you’ll live.
8. What if I have a medical condition or an injury?
Depending upon the nature of the injury or medical condition, yoga is an ideal form of exercise. It is low impact, gentle, yet keeps the body moving in subtle ways. Yoga can be beneficial for those suffering from back pain, arthritis or high blood pressure. It is important to inform me of any injury or medical condition you have as some postures may be inadvisable.
9. I want to practise some yoga at home but never know what to do. Can you help?
Yes, you can take a look at my handouts which you can download for free from Google Drive or watch and follow some of my short yoga videos. See also my blog post on establishing a home practice.