NEW TO YOGA
What is yoga?
'Yoga' can be defined as the experience of unity or oneness of the whole of the human being - the physical body, the mind, the feelings or emotions, and the energy which makes the whole being function. As all parts begin to function together more cohesively, then inner peace, harmony, contentment and greater overall health and wellbeing can be experienced more easily.
How to choose a class…
If this is your first experience of yoga, you might like to come and try a few different classes on a casual basis (just let the teacher know you are new to yoga practice and they will be sure to offer guidance accordingly). All of our classes are 'beginner friendly'
What to expect in a yoga class…
In a yoga class, different practices are used to nourish the different layers or aspects of ourselves. For example, a class may include:
Initial relaxation - to help you unwind from, and let go of, the stresses from your day. To gently encourage you to bring your awareness to the present moment and to connect with your breath.
Asanas - a large part of a regular yoga class, involves working with a variety of asanas or yoga postures. These affect us in different ways. Some are dynamic and invigorating, while others are calming and restorative.
Pranayama – specific breathing practices that involve controlling, expanding and channeling the life force (prana) through all levels of our being, physical, psychological, and spiritual. In yoga, the key to understanding prana is the breath. Prana is contained within breath, but it is more subtle than breath. In this way, the breath can be understood as a vehicle to work with prana.
The state of the breath and the state of the mind are closely connected. When the mind is clear and balanced, the breath is even and rhythmic. When the mind is nervous and tense, the breath is strained and erratic. One who has strong lungs and great breathing capacity usually has abundant energy.
Meditation - once the physical body has become relaxed and relatively still, then it is time to begin quietening and calming the mind so that we may look more deeply within and get to know ourselves better. According to the ancient sage Patanjali, the aim of yoga is actually achieved with meditation - yogah citta vritti nirodhah - yoga is the effort to still the mind…
Shavasana - every yoga class concludes with relaxation and this is a vital component of the practice. During relaxation, the physical body and mind relax and let go of the stress of everyday living. When you come out of the relaxation, you generally find that you feel much more refreshed, balanced and peaceful.
Namaste - most classes conclude with the teacher and students bowing their heads and repeating 'namaste' to each other. Namaste simply means 'my spirit greets your spirit,' 'I honour the divine within you,' or 'I love, honour and respect the light and life that shines from within you.'
What do I need to consider when attending a class?
Arrive 5-10 minutes before class. Entering class constantly late is disruptive and disrespectful to others. If you do arrive a few minutes late, take a couple of deep breaths, and enter as quietly as you can.
Remove shoes as you come in, we practice in bare feet.
Refrain from eating at least two-three hours prior to class (unless a specific condition prevents this).
Speak quietly at all times whilst inside the yoga studio.
If you have a health issue (illness, injury, or medical condition), please notify your teacher before class. Not every pose is appropriate for everyone.
Please try not to bring mobiles phone into the yoga studio. If you do, please ensure it is on silent or switched off .
Bring your own mat if you’d like to (it’s definitely more hygienic).
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Avoid wearing watches, tight belts, strong perfume or cologne.
Ask questions about anything that is not clear to you. You may ask during class when appropriate or after class.
Stay for the entire class. If you need to leave early, tell the teacher beforehand and exit quietly when you need to.
In truth, it matters less what we do in practice than how we do it and why we do it... When we realize that what we are advancing toward is not some physical form but an inward recognition of the truth of who we are, then we will not feel ourselves to be failing if we cannot attain difficult postures. Advanced’ practice is any movement that brings us closer to this recognition of our true self.
~ Donna Farhi