Most people have so many questions when they first come to yoga that they don’t know where to begin. We hope that this will give you the guidance to get started. If you have any additional questions, e-mail or call us at 941.505.YOGA (9642).
new to yoga
I’ve never practiced yoga before. How do I start?
The Yoga Sanctuary is committed to sharing our passion of yoga with the greater community, which is why we have so many options for the beginner student. To learn about these options, click here to visit our new to yoga page or call us at 941.505.YOGA (9642) and we will be happy to guide you.
I’m not flexible. Can I do yoga? What if I can’t even touch my toes?
Yes you can do Yoga! In fact, you are the perfect candidate. Many people think that they need to be flexible before they begin yoga. Come as you are and you will find that a yoga practice will help you become stronger and more flexible.
What do I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement. Shorts, sweatpants, and tank tops are fine. Since you may be doing forward bends we recommend that shirts are not too loose! No footwear is required since yoga is practiced barefoot. We ask that you refrain from wearing scented lotions or perfumes in respect for those who have sensitivities to fragrances.
Do I need to bring anything?
We have everything at the studio for you to use including yoga mats and props. We sell eco-yoga mats at the studio that have great traction, are free of toxins, and completely biodegradable if you would like to have your own mat. The most important thing to bring is an open mind and an open heart.
What if I can’t do all of the poses in the class?
One of the reasons that we recommend beginning with the intro series or a new to yoga package is to learn the basic postures and modifications to suit the specific needs of your body. If you encounter a pose that does not feel right for you, you can modify or even rest so that you get the maximum benefit without strain from your practice.
Can I take a mixed level class if I’ve never done yoga before?
As a beginner, we recommend our gentle and level I classes. Our gentle class is practiced on the floor using basic breathing, with connection of breath to movement. Our level I class is for beginning students to learn the correct alignment of the fundamental standing poses. All of our classes work on strength, flexibility, balance, and relaxation. The mixed level class is geared toward those with a working knowledge of Yoga.
How many times per week should I practice?
We recommend beginning with one to two times per week. It is most important to be consistent in your practice. You’ll find that after a while, the more you practice the better you will feel, and the more you will want to practice!
What should I expect when I show up for my first yoga class?
Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of class. Upon entering you will be greeted by someone at the reception desk, and asked to complete a new student form. The instructor will then show you where to leave your belongings, remind you to turn your cell phone off (or better yet, leave it in the car!), and help you get set up. Arriving early will also give you the time to speak with the instructor and other students before class begins. Please be sure to inform the instructor of any injuries that you may have, and especially if you are pregnant.
Can I eat before class?
It is recommended that you practice on an empty stomach. If you need a snack, eat a piece of fruit or something light before class. A full stomach may cause discomfort and distract you from your practice. One of the many benefits of yoga is the detoxification of the body. Drinking lots of water will help flush the toxins out of your system, so be sure to hydrate before and after class.
What does yoga mean?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to unite.” It is both a philosophy and a science whose goal is the attainment of self awareness. Yoga is a means to unite the body, mind, and spirit. Hatha yoga offers us the opportunity to deepen our self understanding through physical movement, breathing, and meditation.
What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
There are many benefits to the practice of yoga. Some of the physical benefits of a regular yoga practice include: increased flexibility, strength, and balance; lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons; and the massage of ALL organs of the body. A more subtle benefit to the practice is the development of self-awareness. This results in reduced stress levels and improved sleeping patterns.
What is the language of Yoga that I hear the teacher using?
The language of Yoga is Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. The Sanskrit language is a language of sound or rhythm. Some instructors use the names of the postures in Sanskrit. Although you may never use the Sanskrit word, you will learn to recognize them over time. The joy of Sanskrit comes from directly experiencing the vibrations and resonance of the language.
What is that word that we say at the end of class and what does it mean?
Namasté is a Sanskrit greeting. It is translated as “the light in me honors the light in you.”
Is Yoga a religion?
Yoga is a philosophy, not a religion. Yoga is also a spiritual journey that allows us to tap into the truth of who we are. We have students of many religions and backgrounds that practice at The Yoga Sanctuary. The practice of yoga will enhance any religious journey.
What kind of yoga is offered at The Yoga Sanctuary?
We teach many styles of Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga combines posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama) as a means to stilling the mind. Our classes usually begin by centering the mind, followed by yoga postures (asanas), and end with a guided relaxation.
Can Yoga help me lose weight?
The answer is YES! The focus in yoga is self awareness. Practicing Yoga will make you more conscious and mindful of your eating habits. Yoga also improves your posture, flexibility, and muscle tone, helping you look longer and leaner. As you move into an improved state of overall well-being, you will make choices “off the mat” that will continue to improve your health.
My doctor recommended I take Yoga to help me manage stress. Which class would be best and does Yoga really help?
Yoga is a proven and effective form of stress relief. Yoga is a complete mind/body practice that promotes mental clarity, enhanced self-awareness, physical and mental calm, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Any of our classes will provide excellent stress relief, but we especially recommend our gentle yoga class for immediate help with managing stress.
Is it safe to do yoga if I have an injury or medical condition?
In most cases the answer to that question is yes. In fact, yoga is an excellent way to support the body in its healing process. However, you will want to inform your doctor before you begin your practice. Be sure to let your instructor know so they can address your specific needs. A private session is also a great way to customize your practice to accommodate your condition.
I have a disability. Can I take yoga?
The Yoga Sanctuary is committed to providing the many benefits of yoga to individuals with a wide variety of disabilities. To discuss your specific needs, please contact us at 941.505.YOGA (9642).
Do I have to sign up in advance?
We do not ask for pre-registration for classes. Arriving early will allow you to get settled into your space. Our classes start promptly and the door is locked when we begin, so it is important to arrive on time. For workshops, we do require pre-registration as spaces are limited and fill up quickly.
How early do I need to show up before class starts?
Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your class or workshop, especially if it’s your first time at The Yoga Sanctuary.
Are private sessions a good idea?
Absolutely! Private instruction is a perfect complement to group classes. As a beginner, it is important to develop correct habits right from the start. In private sessions you deepen your understanding of the fundamentals, address any limitations or injuries you may have, learn how to modify postures to accommodate your body, and receive the attention you deserve! Follow this link to learn more about private sessions.
We are excited for you to become a part of The Yoga Sanctuary community. If you have any additional questions, please call us at 941.505.YOGA (9642).