Is yoga for me?
Yoga is for everybody! Young and old, male and female, healthy or sick. Yoga is not a religion nor does it prescribe to a particular set of beliefs. Yoga embraces life and helps us to live with renewed positivity and enthusiasm. Millions of Americans from all different backgrounds currently practice yoga and the numbers are continuously rising.
How do I choose a yoga class?
First, read the descriptions of the various classes and styles of yoga. Then it is important to clarify your goals for beginning a yoga practice. Questions such as: "What am I trying to accomplish with yoga?" and "Do I want a vigorous yoga class or something more calming?" will help you determine what would be more suitable for you. Generally Iyengar yoga provides a slower, more gentle yoga class where students focus on details of the poses. If you want something faster paced, more vigorous and movement based - you might try any of the flow based classes: i.e. Ashtanga, Jivamukti or Vinyasa.
The more styles of yoga you try, the more you learn, and your chances of finding the perfect classes increase. Plus, you may need different styles at different times, depending on what happening in your body and your life. You are always more than welcome to call or visit the studio where our friendly staff can share their recommendations and expert advice.
What do I wear to a yoga class?
Comfortable clothing that allows for movement, such as t-shirts, shorts, leggings or footless tights are recommended for yoga. It can be either loose or form-fitting, depending on the needs of the class. Tight clothing can restrict breathing, digestion, and circulation. We offer a variety of clothing in our boutique specifically designed for yoga that includes the latest fabrics and technology.
How often should I practice?
Ideally, you should practice every day, but beginning with a class once a week is better than nothing at all. Like with everything else, the more you practice yoga and meditation, the more progress you can expect. Through consistent practice your yoga becomes refined and over time the body releases stress and old protective patterns of holding. Immediately you will experience freedom from aches and pains, an ease of movement and an overall lightness of being. The body opens and relaxes and so does the mind.
These effects of yoga become more deeply embedded within your body memory with the more practice you do
Yoga increases your energy and helps you to use it efficiently and effectively. The more you practice the less you waste your energy on tension, stress and negativity. Still, always set attainable practice goals that work for your schedule. Even if you can devote very little time to yoga, make sure to make it a regular practice that you enjoy and look forward to. Yoga is FUN!.
How do I prepare for my yoga class?
Preparation for yoga practice is a two-fold physical and mental process:
Physical preparation: A fundamental aspect of a healthy yoga practice is cleanliness. Yoga purifies your system of toxins, so it is of utmost importance that you come to class with a clean body and clean clothes. It is best to practice on an empty stomach, so allow two hours after a heavy meal and one hour after a light one. Make sure you are well hydrated before class, as it is not advisable to drink water during your practice.
Mental preparation: Quiet down from the pace of your day and begin to focus on the present moment. Remember, yoga is not competitive. Cultivate the ability to discern when to challenge yourself in your practice and when to rest. Do not force your body beyond its capacity; exhaustion and persistent pain can lead to serious injury.
I have knee trouble, can I still practice?
Yoga can actually strengthen the knee joints, but there are certain precautions one has to take. In Tadasana (mountain pose), keep the kneecaps lifted and you will build the muscle around the knee. In other standing poses put most of your weight on the back leg, keeping it strong and straight. Be extremely careful when attempting lotus pose. If there is any pain in the knee come out of the pose immediately. Practice virasana (hero's pose) often. If your knees hurt a lot in this pose, prop your hips up on block or a few blankets. In general, knee pain is directly related to tight hips. Spend time practicing poses that open the hips and you will have happier knees.
Will yoga help me lose weight?
Weight loss depends on the type of yoga you practice and how frequently you do it. Very vigorous types of yoga practice, such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa, are cardiovascular exercise and may help you lose weight if done regularly, along with proper diet changes. Practicing any type of yoga will build strength and flexibility, but some types may not raise your heart rate enough to constitute the only form of exercise necessary for significant weight loss.
What are the benefits of private instruction?
Your private yoga instructor can help you tailor a personal practice to suit your individual needs. Whether you are interested in the refining certain poses, exploring meditation and breathing techniques, or diving into yoga philosophy, your teacher can aid you in deepening your relationship to yoga.
Do I have to be a vegetarian to practice yoga?
Though not necessary for the practice of yoga, a vegetarian diet does makes the body lighter and more supple. One of the primary tenets of yoga is ahimsa (non-harming). Yogis try to experience unity with the world, without harming it. You can try to be a vegetarian for a week or two and see how it is affecting your yoga practice and your life. You may love it!
Will Yoga Give Me Energy?
Yoga increases your energy and helps you to use it efficiently and effectively. The more you practice the less you waste your energy on tension, stress and negativity. Still, always set attainable practice goals that work for your schedule. Even if you can devote very little time to yoga, make sure to make it a regular practice that you enjoy and look forward to. Yoga is FUN!
What Do I Bring?
Yoga requires no special equipment but there are a few basic props that will enhance your yoga practice. Indigo Yoga is fully equipped with all the yoga props you will need. You are more than welcome to borrow our props, however, if you have your own mat we do recommend that you bring it to class. Also, our retail boutique carries a wide variety of the highest quality yoga mats and props that are available. We would be happy to assist you in finding the mat that is right for your body and your practice.
Yoga vs. Other Forms of Exercise?
Though yoga is considered a complete form of physical and mental conditioning, one can partake in other forms of exercise while doing yoga. Yoga builds long lean strong muscles that are flexible. Yoga also provides terrific cardio development. And, not only can it be practiced in conjunction with other forms of exercise and athletic activities, but it actually can improves one's performance in such things.
Many professional sports teams and athletes practice yoga regularly to enhance their game. Yoga is great for runners that want to run longer and faster. Yoga is terrific for golfers who want to hit the ball further. And though many exercises put strain on the muscles, ligaments and organs, a properly guided yoga practice is safe and harmless. Yoga not only reduces the amount of strain placed on the body from impact sports but also yoga helps heal the body.
Yoga and Sleep
It is incredible how often we hear that yoga has cured someone's insomnia. Yoga poses reduce the tension within the nervous system. The yogic breathing tones the respiratory system and helps you to breathe more fully, deeply and easily. Together they improve your physical and mental well being which in turn improves the quality of your sleep. When you practice yoga generally you wake-up in the mornings feeling refreshed and full of vitality.