How many yoga poses are there?
If you consider all the variations, thousands! However, there are six fundamental types of postures: standing poses, forward bends, back bends, twists, balances, and inversions.
How often should I practice?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Repetition is the mother of skill?” It’s true. Changes and benefits will come more quickly and easily if you practice yoga regularly—preferably twice a week—although occasional yoga is better than no yoga.
Are women more flexible than men?
Women have an easier time than men as beginning students because they are less apt to have practiced years of heavy body-building sports that shorten tendons and promote unilateral flexion, leaving a person muscle-bound. In addition, women’s hip joints are set further apart than men’s and can rotate in such a way that women can assume some yoga positions with relative ease compared to men.
What kind of yoga am I practicing?
You are practicing a form of hatha yoga referred to as alignment-based yoga. The distinctive features of this style of yoga are (1) emphasis on standing poses to develop stamina, strength, stability, concentration and structural and subtle body alignment; (2) proper use of props to facilitate learning and adjust for stiffness; and (3) how to use yoga to ease various ailments and stress. Working hard or fast is not what alignment-based yoga is about—working intelligently is.
Can I do yoga if I’m pregnant?
The experiences of pregnancy and childbirth are enhanced by yoga. However, please check with your doctor before beginning any new physical program.
Why do I need props?
By helping secure your footing or altering a position for more comfort, props can make your yoga practice easier—literally—and more enjoyable.
Are private sessions a good idea?
Absolutely! Private instruction is a perfect complement to group classes. As a beginner, it is important to develop correct habits right from the start. In private sessions you deepen your understanding of the fundamentals, address any limitations or injuries you may have, learn how to modify postures to accommodate your body, and receive the attention you deserve!
I’m new to yoga and find that many of the poses hurt.
Yoga is not a quick fix, but a lifelong process of transformation. Almost everyone who is starting feels just the way you do. As with any practice, our consistency and dedication are a large part of the journey. Some of the soreness you may feel has to do with using muscles which you don’t use on a regular basis. This is one of those cases where working consistently will result in greater ease, comfort and benefit from your practice. One of the things that makes yoga so different from “gym exercises” is that it’s about doing what is right for you. There really is no “perfect” execution of a pose, so as long as you’re doing what works and feels good for your body right now, then you are doing the pose correctly. That said, we do not want you to injure yourself. Try backing out of the pose somewhat until the hurt goes away, or inform your instructor who can then suggest a modification to the pose.
I have questions but am not comfortable asking them in class. What should I do?
There are several ways to get your questions answered: ask the teacher before or after class; call the office; send an e-mail. Everyone – from our office manager to studio owner – is available to answer questions and make your experience of yoga wonderful. We’re here for you! Should a question arise for you during a class, our teachers are more than happy to spend a few moments after the class to clarify or even demonstrate for you. Please accept our open invitation to talk to anyone on our staff at any time if you need support.
What is the difference between yoga and traditional stretching?
Traditional exercise is goal oriented: How many crunches can I do? I’m going to run faster today than I did yesterday. Yoga, by contrast, is a process. The idea is to focus your awareness on what you are doing and how you feel as you do the postures. In exercise, you fail if you miss your goal. In yoga, you succeed by trying. There’s also a difference on the physical level. Weight training, for example, makes you stronger by breaking down and rebuilding muscle tissue. It’s this breaking down and rebuilding that result in the bulky muscle look. Yoga increases strength by toning the muscles.