Do I have to be flexible?
Flexibility is not a requirement to participate in yoga. If you apply yourself fully you can receive full benefits regardless of your degree of flexibility. Your flexibility will increase as you continue to practice.
How often should I practice?
It is recommended to practice at least twice a week. This helps to establish the correct form and alignment and develops discipline. It is possible to see benefits with only once a week but it will take longer to see results and to retain the benefits.
What about my limitations?
All types of people can benefit from practicing Yoga. Postures can be modified so that you can participate in a safe way. Coming to class with a chronic condition, an illness or injury can still be beneficial if you practice with awareness and focus. Respect your body and do only what you can do without forcing. Bringing the body, mind, and spirit back into realignment can heal, restore and repair where and how you need it most.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
There are literally hundreds of reasons to practice Yoga. Some of the benefits most commonly reported are reduction of emotional and mental stress, relieving muscle tension, improving muscle tone and flexibility, improved circulation, reducing back pain, improving digestion, increasing stamina, increased ability to relax and mental clarity. Most practitioners notice an increase in vitality and an overall sense of well-being. The benefits of yoga do not occur overnight but the results are lasting. Yoga can bring re-balancing and harmony to an area of your life where you may be currently experiencing an imbalance. Harmonizing and rebalancing occur in unique ways for each individual.
What equipment do I need?
The main requirement to practice is a “sticky” mat for safety. This will keep you from slipping as you hold postures and reduce the amount of tension in the body. A meditation cushion is a nice additional tool to help bring the spine into alignment and open the hips.
Is Yoga safe?
In most cases yes. By following the directions given by the instructor in class and staying attentive to your body you reduce the likelihood that you will be injured. You should also be sure not to try a level of difficulty that is beyond your current ability. Be sure to inform your instructor of any potential problems you may have. Also, ask about your instructor’s qualifications. Learning from someone who has been properly trained is important.
How long is a Yoga class?
Beginning level classes last about an hour. Some classes are designed with a different purpose so they may go as long as an hour and a half.
What should I wear?
It’s important to be comfortable. Wear loose clothing without zippers, buttons or belts. Exercise clothes are fine as long as you do not feel bound or constricted by the clothing.