What Is Yoga?
The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as "union" or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini.
The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama(breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).
Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
What Does Om Mean?
Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean?
Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us—that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.
Chanting Om allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves—the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Om, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.
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. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. I suggest starting with two or three times a week, for an hour or an hour and a half each time. 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.
How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?
Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Patanjali's eight-fold path illustrates how the physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.
Is Yoga a Religion?
Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. The father of classical ashtanga yoga (the eight-limbed path, not to be confused with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois' Ashtanga yoga) is said to be Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutra. These scriptures provide a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga sometimes interweaves other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, but it is not necessary to study those paths in order to practice or study yoga.
It is also not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga.
I'm Not Flexible—Can I Do Yoga?
Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that's a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible.
This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.
Why Are You Supposed to Refrain From Eating 2–3 Hours Before Class?
In yoga practice we twist from side to side, turn upside down, and bend 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 yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.
Do I have to book online?
Online registration and bookings are essential to ensure availability for your preferred class, class availability cannot be guaranteed without an online booking.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to your first class and 10 minutes early to all other classes.
Check out our timetable to book your class online.
Can I trial a Class?
Yes, we offer a first class free trial. You can trial any of our selected yoga classes for FREE!
I'm a Beginner - What Class Should I Join?
If you're new to yoga (never before stepped on a yoga mat) or haven’t stepped on the yoga mat for a while, our Yoga (all levels) classes are the class for you. Our classes are suitable for all levels of experience, especially beginners.
What can I expect from my first class?
Please arrive 15 minutes before your first class and 10 min before all subsequent classes.
- Our teacher will greet you at reception and ask about any injuries, movement restrictions or medical conditions
- You will be asked to switch off your mobile phone and leave your shoes in reception
- You be invited to enter the yoga room quietly and relax before class
- Props are provided (free of charge)
- Classes commence with a brief relaxation and breathing exercise and conclude with a longer relaxation exercise. Relaxation practices are an important part of yoga and are referred to as 'savasana' (sha-VAH-suh-nuh).
- Our teachers will demonstrate yoga poses and use both English and Sanskrit terms throughout the class.
- Our teachers will observe your yoga practice and offer individual assistance and corrections throughout the class; please know we do not practise 'hands on' adjustments.
- Classes are conducted at room temperature (we like to sweat naturally). It's normal to work up a light perspiration or to sweat during class and it's normal to experience muscle stiffness the next day and for your first few classes
- Listen to Your Body: An important part of yogic practice is to always listen to your body and work within your limits, rest when required and listen to the teacher’s instructions for a safe and enjoyable practice.
- Class conclude with a simple Sanskrit chant (Aum or Om) and by saying ‘Namaste’ which literally means 'I bow to you'
- Your yoga teacher will catch-up with after class and answer any questions you may have.
I have an injury or medical condition - Can I still do yoga?
Yes you can still practice yoga. In fact, yoga may even be recommend by a medical professional, physiotherapist or chiropractor to make yoga part of your lifestyle to assist with recovery of an injury or to help reduce stress and muscle tension.
If you have an injury, medical condition or any restricted movement, it's best to contact us and have a chat with us before attending class to make sure our style of yoga is suitable for your injury or condition and you will have an enjoyable experience.
What are the benefits of yoga?
The physical, mental and emotional benefits of yoga and meditation have been widely reported in medical journals and in the media over recent years. A regular yoga practice helps to reduce the negative effects of stress, disease and lifestyle pressures helping us to feel, move and breathe better.
A regular yoga practice of 2 or more classes each week can help with the following;
- Reduced stress and feelings of anxiety
- Ability to relax and ‘switch off’ with much greater ease
- Increased flexibility, strength and stamina
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved mood and increased feelings of calm
- Improved posture
- Strengthen immune system
- Increased energy levels
- Improved sleep patterns
- Improved balance, focus and concentration
- Improved digestion and circulation
- Reduced frequency of visits to chiropractor, physiotherapist and doctor
- Relief from the following conditions;
- Neck, Shoulder and Back pain
- Disc injuries
- Migraine / Headache
- Body aches and muscle stiffness
What Should I Wear?
Choose loose comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movement and bring layers. Socks, jackets, etc that you can leave on at the start of class and take off as you begin to warm-up (yoga is practiced barefoot.
How long are classes?
All classes are currently 60min in duration.
What style of yoga do you practice?
"Vinyasa Krama" Vinyasa Krama means a step by step progression into something, or to a certain goal. A goal in this case being a complex or advanced asana (posture).To give a little more explanation of the words we have:
Vinyasa – which is the principle of synchronizing movement with the breath and
Krama – which literally means steps or stages
Current Classes - Vinyasa Power Flow & Vinyasa Slow Flow
Refer to "Classes" page.
Are there any age restrictions?
Young: Our Yoga classes are designed for adults. Children must be aged 14 years and over to attend classes. Children below the age of 16 must have a parent or guardian in attendance at the studio and in classes at all times.
Mature: Age is a number, not a limit! You can be any age to attend classes If you're not currently exercising or have any injuries (aches and pains), health conditions or movement restrictions. Please give us a call before attending our studio to discuss if our classes are suitable for you.
Yoga Journal. 2017. 10 Beginner Yoga FAQs Answered | Yoga Frequently Asked Questions - Yoga Journal. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.yogajournal.com/meditation/yoga-questions-answered. [Accessed 27 July 2017].