On a daily basis, I usually have at least one person saying to me 'I'd love to try yoga, but ... '. There is a lot of uncertainty around yoga, and understandably. It's widely available, but everyone does it a little bit differently. I've tried to include the most common questions I am asked below, but feel free to add some of your own here.
I've never done yoga before. Can I attend your class?
Absolutely! I cater to a range of yoga students, whether this is your first time on the mat or you've been practising for thirty years. You have to start somewhere, right?
I can't touch my toes. Am I flexible enough for yoga?
Yes. Oh yes.
Am I too old/young/fat/thin/tired/busy/stiff/sore for yoga?
No. Whatever you are, you are enough to practise yoga.
Is yoga religious?
No. For many people, yoga can be a spiritual practice, but that doesn't mean it has to be for you. If you are religious, that's ok too – practising yoga shouldn't interrupt your own faith.
I have a respiratory condition. Do you burn incense in your classes?
No. However, I teach at a studio with several other teachers, who may decide to burn incense in their classes. If you are planning on attending another teacher's class, it's worth contacting the studio directly to voice any of your concerns.
Do I have to do all the poses?
Absolutely not. Every single pose can be modified, or an alternative provided to suit your needs. If you are unsure about what poses may or may not be appropriate, it's a good idea to arrive to class 10 minutes early to discuss any concerns with your teacher.
Can I eat before class?
Most professionals recommend that you don't eat for at least 2 hours before class. There's no hard and fast rule, but from personal experience, it's just really uncomfortable and tiring to work through physical poses straight after eating a packet of maltesers. If you know that you need to eat more regularly, a light snack about 30 minutes before a class can be a good idea.
Should I bring water?
You can bring water, though try to resist gulping it down during your practice. Rather take small sips as you need to.
How big are your classes?
Public class sizes can vary between a few students and up to around twenty. I teach in a small town with a small community, so you can usually expect a handful of friendly faces who will share the space with you.
I'm nervous about trying yoga with other people. Can I do a private class?
You certainly can. Many people like to book a single one-on-one session just to get their head around the concept of yoga and their own body awareness. This can be a really helpful way to establish what's going on with your body, whether you need to work with any modifications, and build the confidence to attend a general public class. You can book private yoga sessions at the studio or at your own home. Get in touch here.
What should I wear?
Wear clothes that you feel comfortable moving and (maybe) sweating in. For most people this is a simple shorts and t-shirt scenario, but whatever floats your boat. Yoga is practised with no shoes on, so please leave your shoes and socks at the door when you arrive.
Isn't yoga just for chicks?
Definitely not. Asana, which refers to the physical practice of yoga, was initially developed by men, for men, in order to allow them to still the mind in preparation for long sessions of meditation. Having said that, over the years traditional postures have been adjusted and modified to suit men and women of all shapes and sizes.
I am worried I might fart in class.
Not strictly a question, but a valid concern. I welcome you to embrace all your bodily functions, and if that includes a fart or two, go for it. You certainly won't be the first or last.