We welcome all levels at Beyond Yoga, from beginner to experienced. Starting something new can be a little intimidating sometimes, and a little guidance can be helpful. Here are a few things to consider as you begin practicing yoga.
Here are 10 Things to Keep in Mind as You Practice Yoga:
1. In yoga class or on your own, only do the asanas (poses) you feel safe doing.
2. Yoga never hurts. There should be no pain during the practice.
3. All poses can be modified. Ask the instructor to modify poses for you or rest as needed.
4. If you have a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by a certain movement, please let the instructor know right away.
5. Check with your doctor for any concerns from prior conditions or injuries if you are not sure what you are able to do.
6. Yoga is not competitive. Go at your own pace. There is no comparison in yoga and the ego is left behind.
7. Each person is unique - do what is comfortable for your body.
8. Yoga is practiced to ease tension in the body, not to create more. Be gentle.
9. Ask the instructor for modifications if pregnant, injured, ill, or needing a different way to do a pose than is suggested.
10. Enjoy the practice! This is not about right or wrong, winning or losing, but to feel better in the body and gain more peace in the mind.
Beginning something new can sometimes generate questions and initiate butterflies, and it is nice to have some guidance as we begin. Below are some FAQs to help soothe any uneasiness and answer questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m not flexible—can I practice yoga?
Yes! All levels are welcome at Beyond Yoga. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Yoga is not about flexibility, but about knowing your limits and working within those limits. It's about listening to your own body. Come as you are and you will find that practicing yoga will help you become more mobile and flexible.
What should I keep in mind when practicing yoga?
How many times per week should I practice?
Yoga is amazing—even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. The more you practice yoga, the easier it gets, so if you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. We suggest starting with two or three times a week, for an hour or an hour and a half each time, either on your own or in classes. If you can only do 20 minutes per session, that’s fine too. Don’t let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle—do what you can and don’t worry about it. You will likely find that after a while your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself doing more and more.
May I eat before coming to class?
A good rule of thumb is to refrain from eating at least two hours before class. It’s generally recommended that you practice yoga on an empty stomach.
Yoga consists of twists from side to side, inversions, and bends forward and backward. If you have not fully digested your last meal, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable. If you are a person with a fast-acting digestive system and are afraid you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiment with a light snack such as fruit, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.
What is basic studio etiquette at Beyond Yoga?
- Be courteous to others
- Silence cell phones
- No shoes in the studio or office; remove shoes in the hallway
- Leave coats, shoes, and personal items in the hallway in the space provided; valuables may be put on shelves in the studio space
- Let the instructor know if you have conditions or injuries
- Let the instructor know if it is your first time practicing yoga
- Put props in front of your mat to remove clutter and make more room for others
- Pay it forward and put mats and props away neatly
- Have fun and laugh!
When should I arrive for class?
For your first time at Beyond Yoga, it is recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to class, so you can check-in and get oriented. If you are a regular practitioner at the studio, it’s always nice to arrive a few minutes early to set-up, socialize with fellow students, warm-up, or relax a bit.
What if I have to leave early?
No problem. Just let the instructor know ahead of time. Prior to leaving, take at least five minutes to rest on your back in the final resting pose (savasana) and please leave as inconspicuously as possible.
May I leave my mat at the studio?
Yes. There is storage space in the closet or in the office.
May I bring my things into the studio space with me?
Coats and shoes should be left in the hallway. Feel free to bring valuables into the studio space and place them on the shelves provided.
Do you accept credit cards?
Not at this time.
If I have a current/past injury or condition, can I practice yoga?
To be on the safe side, you should consult with your physician prior to practicing. Please make certain to inform your instructor of your condition prior to class. This way she or he can guide your practice in the safest and most beneficial manner.
Can I practice yoga when I’m menstruating?
Absolutely. However, you might want to consider avoiding inverted postures. Please ask your instructor to suggest alternative poses. And as always, please listen to your body – don’t hesitate to take breaks and use less effort if need be.
Can I practice yoga while pregnant?
This depends on the person. Please consult with your physician prior to initiating yoga classes. If your doctor clears you, please inform your instructor of your condition prior to the start of class. This way she or he can guide your practice in the safest and most beneficial manner.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing. However, nothing too baggy for a couple reasons. Trying to keep your t-shirt from falling over your head in some positions can be challenging. And your instructor needs to be able to see your body alignment during poses to ensure safety. Yoga is practiced barefoot, but feel free to wear socks during savasana (resting pose).
What should I bring?
All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind, and a bit of curiosity. No special footgear is required because yoga is practiced barefoot. Mats and props are supplied at Beyond Yoga. Feel free to bring water to drink.
Is Beyond Yoga accessible by elevator?
Yes. There is an elevator accessible from ground level for anyone who wishes to use it. Let me know ahead of time and I will guide you to the elevator entrance.
Is Yoga a Religion?
Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. Sometimes other philosophies interweave themselves into Yoga, but it is not necessary to study those philosophies in order to practice or study yoga.
It is also not necessary to surrender your faith or religious beliefs to practice yoga. You might find that it enhances your faith as you care for yourself and begin to feel better.
What Does Hatha Mean?
The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), and sequences of asanas, designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.
Hatha is also translated as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. Hatha yoga is a practice toward creating balance and uniting opposites. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.
Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.