Living Yoga & Health

About Yoga

On this page you will find information about:

What is yoga?

Yoga is a philosophy and practice that began in India some 5,000 years ago.  The term yoga comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “union”.  The practice of yoga includes physical, mental, and spiritual exercises meant to unite our body, mind and spirit.  Yoga can be the path to any goal, be it a healthy body, clear mind or a spiritual journey, it is however not a religion.  We respect that everyone has their own interpretation of what yoga is to them.

Is yoga a relligion?

Yoga is practiced by people of all faiths. It is not a religion.

Is yoga just for hippies/vegetarians/spiritual-seekers?

When yoga was first introduced to North America it was often associated with vegetarians on communes seeking spiritual enlightenment.  Although yoga comes by this reputation honestly, these days everyone from doctors to CEOs are trying yoga.  Yoga will not turn you into a hippy. Anyone can begin a yoga practice.  If the idea of a noncompetitive, challenging form of exercise that you can do anywhere and progress at you own pace is appealing to you, then give it a try.

 

What is a typical class like?

You will find that the classes are varied and will always challenge and inspire.  Though each teacher has their own style, the classes are well-rounded and provide more challenging or less challenging options for everyone’s comfort within the class.  Students are always encouraged to go at their own pace.  Our “Teachers” page provides information on the individual teachers and their style and focus.  Also visit the “Classes” page for a more detailed description of each style of class offered.  When new to yoga, or trying a new style of yoga for the first time, it is always best to start at a beginner level.

WHO PRACTICES YOGA?

I am not flexible, can I still do yoga?

Of course!  In fact, those who have less flexibility often experience more benefit from the yoga poses that those who are extremely flexible. Whether you can touch your toes or not, we adapt the postures using props so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of yoga.  One of the many benefits of practicing yoga on a regular basis is that your flexibility will increase and be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health.

Can men do yoga?

Yes!  Until very recently, in fact, yoga was practiced exclusively by men.  But many men are concerned that they will not be welcome in a yoga class or that they are not flexible enough to be able to do yoga.  This is a basic misconception – yoga will improve your flexibility, but you do not need to be flexible to do it.  Since yoga has been practiced by men for so long, many of the poses actually make more sense for a man’s body and some require a lot of upper body strength, which women often lack at first.

I have an injury, mobility problems and other health problems.

Yoga postures can be adapted for most conditions.  We would be happy to discuss the appropriate class for you.  Inform the teacher if you have any injuries or health problems before the class begins. If you have a particular injury or health problem, doing a few private sessions before joining regular classes can help.  Contact the studio for more information.  Please note that our studio is on the second floor and we do not have an elevator.

 

What do I need to begin?

All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind, and a bit of curiosity.  Wear comfortable clothes that you can move freely in, but avoid excessively baggy clothing as it can get in the way, or be too revealing.  No special footgear is required as you will be barefoot.  (If you prefer to keep your socks on – wear a pair with grips on the bottom for safety.) tPlease refrain from wearing perfumes or strong fragrances as people may have allergies or sensitivities.  You may want to bring your own yoga mat, but we do provide mats (at no cost) and other props are available for you.

 

How many times per week should I practice?

If you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of yoga.  If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits.  Do not let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle – do what you can and don’t worry about the rest.

 

What to avoid.

Pleae refrain from wearing perfumes or body products with strong fragrances as many people have allergies and strong sensitivities.

Why are you supposed to refrain from eating two hours before class?

In yoga 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.