People often have questions before trying Yoga for the first time – below we have listed some of the more common questions. The important message is this – everyone is welcome – all shapes, and abilities – Be Well Yoga Studio’s welcomes you with open arms and promises to provide a nurturing – non judgmental environment.
What is yoga?
The word yoga translates to mean, to yoke or bind and is often thought of as a union of body and mind or a method of discipline. There are many aspects to yoga but the one that most people recognize is the practice of asana. Asana is a program of postures designed to purify the body and build strength and stamina. Traditionally asana is practiced to prepare the body and mind for long periods of meditation.
Can I do yoga if I am not flexible?
YES!! In fact, you are the perfect person to begin to practice yoga. We take lessons in order to learn how to do something. Everything in life requires practice and we all have to begin somewhere. All you need to do is show up, come as you are, and yoga will help you become more flexible. The teachers are trained to offer help to all levels of students, especially beginners.
What do I need to begin?
All you need is you and a little bit of curiosity. Everything else is provided. It is always good to have comfortable clothes. Sweatpants, leggings or shorts and a shirt that is not too baggy. You want to be able to move without your clothes shifting around too much. Also, a water bottle and a small towel can be handy to have. There are no special shoes or gear that is necessary. It is not necessary to buy a yoga mat in order to try a class. The studio is happy to provide this.
Should I eat before class?
It is a good idea to try not to eat 2 to 3 hours before class. In yoga we practice twisting, bending and turning upside down. If your last meal is not fully digested one could experience indigestion and discomfort. In turn, if you are feeling famished, it is ok to have a light snack 30 minutes before class. A banana, a little yogurt, a handful of nuts or some juice can be helpful. It is also a good idea to be well hydrated before class.
Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India roughly 5,000 years ago. The philosophy is based on scriptures that provide a framework for spiritual growth, and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga often interweaves other philosophies, but it is not necessary to study these paths in order to practice or study yoga. It is also not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs in order to practice or study yoga.
How is yoga different from stretching?
Within the physical practice of yoga we use postures to connect the movement of the body with the fluctuations of the mind with the rhythm of the breath. Through this process of inward attention we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling, judging or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. Unlike fitness or stretching, this awareness we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a goal to be completed. Not only does your body become more flexible, but so does your mind.
Can I still do yoga if I am overweight?
Yes! Yoga is a great place to stretch and move the body. Nobody is judged in a yoga class. Yoga classes are a safe and nurturing place for all body types and all levels. Poses can be modified and teachers are trained to help with this. In turn, Yoga can help with weight loss by bringing you closer in tune with your body. Yoga postures can tone your muscles and improve your posture. To minimize the risk of injury, it is always important to begin with a beginner yoga class or book a private lesson. Most importantly, be patient and give yourself time to adapt and ease into the practice. Listen to your body and do what you can. The hardest part is getting to the mat.
How often do I need to practice yoga to feel its benefits?
Yoga has benefits even if practiced one time per week. A typical yoga class is an hour and fifteen minutes, there are many different times to choose from to fit into your schedule. Yoga’s health benefits increase the longer and more often you practice, practicing 2-3 times per week over longer periods of time with offer the most beneficial results.
Can I still practice if I have an injury?
All yoga practices can be modified to adapt to injuries. However, it is important to give the body ample time to rest and relax after the onset of an injury. So it is ok to take time off from practice to heal. It is also important to listen to your body and to be gentle to yourself when practicing so as not to exacerbate the injury. Please be sure to share with the teacher any and all injuries previous to class.
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Be Well Studios:
Located at The Local Grocer 3358 White Mountain Highway North Conway, NH 03860