What should I wear and bring to the session?
Wear comfortable, stretchable clothing. T-shirts and track suit bottoms are fine, but you might want something under your T-shirt that fits close to the body for the inverted postures. Yoga is practised with bare feet (unless you have medical restrictions, in which case there are suitable footwear solutions). If you have a yoga mat, please bring it. ‘Community’ yoga mats, blocks and belts are available at the YYC, although ideally if you intend to practice regularly, you should purchase your own. Mat prices range from £10 to more than £50. But you get what you pay for so it’s worth investing. For reasonable practicality and lifespan aim to spend a minimum of £20. I am happy to advise you on this. Bring a water bottle and towel to hot yoga classes.
Can I eat before practicing yoga?
It is best to wait for 1½ - 2 hours after a normal sized meal. However, a light snack (i.e., a piece of fruit) is ok up to 30 mins before practice.
Are there any restrictions for taking up yoga?
No. Yoga is for all ages, all ability levels, both male and female. In recent years more and more men have shown an interest in yoga, whether to enhance their regular sports activity, reduce stress levels, or manage an injury or medical condition.
What do we do in a class?
Most scheduled classes begin with a short relaxation period to focus attention and promote deeper concentration during the yoga session. A series of warm-up exercises and easy stretches then limber and prepare the body for working with sun salutations (ashtanga or Sun Power yoga) or more intense asana (posture) practice. Asana may be preceded or followed by a short pranayama (breathing) practice, depending on the class and time available. All classes conclude with a minimum of 5 minutes relaxation. Traditionally, ashtanga practice starts with five repetitions of two sun salutations, moves on to standing postures, followed by a sequence of sitting postures, then back bends, finishing postures, breathing sequence and relaxation. One to one classes vary depending on individual circumstances and ability.
Is there a difference between yoga & keep fit classes?
Yoga is non-competitive. One works within the limits of one’s own body. You should not compare your ability to do a posture with someone else, nor should you be in competition with what you used to be able to do. Your teacher will offer modifications of a pose that are suitable for you at the time. Traditional exercise is goal orientated: how many press-ups can I do? Can I touch my toes? I'm going to do 10 more sit-ups 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 perform the postures. In exercise, you fail if you miss your goal. In yoga, you succeed by trying. The concentration and focus, along with breath synchronization, are the most important aspects of yoga practice.
Can I ask questions about my personal practice?
I will always try to answer questions before or after the class. I am also happy to answer queries by email or phone.
Is it okay to practise yoga whilst pregnant?
For those already practising, yoga is a great way to keep fit during pregnancy. In particular it can help strengthen the pelvic area, normalise thyroid functioning and blood pressure, and help keep you calm and relaxed - all of which is good for the baby, too. Sun salutations and postures can be modified to suit. There are certain postures and breathing exercises that should be not be practised during pregnancy - strain, compressing the belly or abdomen and inverted postures, especially in the later stages, should be avoided. Practice should be extremely gentle. It is not recommended that you start yoga for the first time during pregnancy, and Hot Yoga, which can considerably increase core temperature, should be avoided. The YYC holds yoga classes specifically for those who are pregnant.
Should I practise Yoga during my period?
Mostly it is a matter of personal preference. Some women don't want to do yoga during this time, many don't mind and continue to practise. For women who do choose to practise, it is suggested that they avoid inverted poses, abdominal strengtheners, extended holding of any pose, or energizing breathing exercises (such as kapalabhati). Some say that these practices might interfere with the downward flow or cause discomfort.