Frequently Asked Questions
- What benefits can I get out of yoga?
- I’m not flexible at all. I don’t think I should do yoga. Should I?
- I’ve never done yoga before. What should I bring?
Yoga provides a whole host of benefits, mentally and physically. Our physical pratice increases the movement of fluid in the synovial joints, and increases our ability to know where the body is in space – and use that wisely. Flexibility and strength are bonuses from this practice. Additional benefits from work with the breath allow us to lower stress levels and decrease blood pressure.
You do not need to be flexible to do yoga. The physical practice of yoga asana looks for a balance of strength and flexibility. Too much strength can limit flexibility; too much flexibility can limit strength. We work to balance the two. Even if you find sitting up straight difficult, we can use props and modifications to make anything safely possible.
Come wearing clothes that are not too lose, but that you can move freely in. I need to be able to see how you are moving, and you need to be unrestricted in your movement. If you have a yoga mat, please bring it. We have blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters for you to use. If you’d like to bring water, please do, but make sure it is in a tightly closed container.
- I have an injury or am ill. Should I not come to class?
- I’m pregnant. Should I still come to class?
- I have osteoporosis, scoliosis, or another structural condition and have been warned about doing bends and a number of other things. Can I do yoga?
It depends on the injury. Acute injuries should generally be given a chance to heal. Older or chronic injuries can be helped by an appropriate yoga class, but always listen to your body’s needs. And do check with a doctor if you have any uncertainty. If you’ve recently been sick with a cold or flu, please try to be mindful of the other students and minimize sharing of germs and consider staying home until you are no longer contagious.
Always discuss your particular situation with your doctor first, but pregnancy is no reason to not practice yoga. There are some poses that are contraindicated, and some poses that are increasingly modified as pregnancy goes on. Let me know how you’re feeling, and we’ll work together to make the yoga practice during pregnancy the beneficial and wonderful experience it can be.
It’s ideal if you can attend prenatal classes in particular – we’ll already be doing the best selection of things for your body in particular. But if you can’t, we can always adjust a regular class. (Do know that a vinyasa class is going to be the hardest to accommodate around, however.)
Yes. In the vast majority of cases, yoga can greatly benefit chronic conditions. There are special considerations to be made with conditions such as osteoporosis, scoliosis, and arthritis, but an asana practice can help improve the strength of deep muscles that provide support and stability for the joints that need more support than the bones, cartilage, and tendons can provide. It is all the more important to listen to your body, and not push into pain, but to improve awareness, range of motion, and strength slowly and steadily.
- I have fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, or another similar condition. I’ve heard that yoga might be able to help. Any truth to that?
It depends. For some people, it can make a distinct difference. A mindful practice can help calm the mind and teach the brain the habit of how to be calm, even while moving and putting the body in a stressful or difficult position. The mindfulness and repetitious movement can be very calming to the body as well, so that improved circulation and range of motion helps the body feel better as well. Finally, the small classes, if you attend regularly, can be a motivator as well, which may help mental outlook.