Yoga FAQs

Where do I start?
The best place to start is in a group class. Why? Well because a group class offers you the support, the guidance, and the control that you need to establish a healthy basic approach to yoga. Home practices are the goal, but not the starting point. Classes will allow you to develop correct alignment and appreciation for asana so eventually you can form a home practice.

And what style do you suggest I do?
Class descriptions that include the words ‘gentle’, ‘hatha’, and “beginner” would all be excellent options. Once you’ve had the appropriate level of exposure to basics you’ll be able to expand your horizons and settle on a type of yoga that is a balance for you and your goals.

But, I’m not flexible.
Then yoga is for you! Contrary to popular believe yoga isn’t actually for the bendy-bends and it’s not really for the hulks either. Yoga is an art of balance, so if you are one and not the other, neither, or both it simply doesn’t matter.

What equipment do you need to practice?
The only thing you need is yourself. Most people like to practice on mats, and others swear by non-slip mat towels. Other props include blocks, bolsters, straps, and guide books. 

What should I wear?
For traditional classes wear comfy, form fitted clothing that allows you to move freely. Some people swear by cotton, others love wicking material, and you will figure out your preference in no time. As for hot yoga, the less the better, trust me!

Can yoga help me lose weight?
Yes and no. Yoga will allow for you to burn calories, build strength, and lengthen your muscles – ultimately it will allow you to live more comfortably in your body. But, if you have a significant amount of weight to lose then an aerobic type of yoga withed a predominately cardio based workout schedule is probably the best route for you.

Can I do yoga at home?
Absolutely! One of the main purposes of a group class is to eventually lead you to a home practice. There is no deeper practice than the one you discover at home on your mat. And there is no better teacher than yourself.

Is yoga a religion?
No. Yoga is a spiritual discipline that connects the body and mind with breath.

I’m thinking of getting certified, where should I go?
The best studios hire instructors that have 200 or 500 hour certifications through a Yoga Alliance certified yoga school. The Yoga Alliance seal of approval means that your instructor has experience, dedication, and has made a huge commitment to becoming an instructor; plus the school he or she went to met or surpassed the minimum requirements put in place by YA.

I’m pregnant!
Yoga is a great way to keep mentally and physically fit while you are pregnant. But if you were not a practitioner before you conceived it’s probably not the best time to take up the discipline.

What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
Oh, the benefits. The benefits to yoga are virtually endless, but some of the most popular ones include stress relief, improved strength and flexibility, and weight loss. Of course people stick with yoga because it creates limitless self-awareness, a sense of balance, a spiritual discipline, and some seriously toned muscles.

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I have more posts lined up that answer some additional commonly asked yoga questions, but what else am I missing? What things do you wish you knew about yoga?

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Yoga FAQs

  1. You’re really inspiring me to try yoga again. Now I just need to find the time!

  2. thebettylife

    Love this post! Totally agree, the benefits of yoga are endless. 🙂 I try and do a 30 minute routine everyday, and an hour when I get more time at the weekends. How much do you do?

    Betty xxx

    • I shoot for 4-6 times a week and practice a full series of 1 1/2 hours. I also do a morning stretch (childs, cat/cows, dog, sun a’s) a few times a week which I find incredibly balancing. Is your sequence similiar?

  3. I did yoga for twenty minutes yesterday after a lonnnng period of not doing it– I always forget how GOOD it makes me feel!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog! You know, it’s the funniest thing that you have an FAQ about yoga today, because my husband was just telling me the other night that I *really* need it..lol! I’ve tried a couple of classes a year or so ago and liked it, but I’m not a member of the gym anymore. Are there any good yoga dvd’s you recommend I could follow at home? Look forward to reading more . 🙂

    • I enjoy Yoga Today. They have free weekly videos of all levels that are great. Otherwise Id look into doing a few community classes so you can get the proper positions down, and then take it back to your mat at home. Do let me know how it goes, or if you have any other questions email me!

  5. runyogarepeat

    This is an awesome post. People always believe that you have to be flexible to do yoga, but it’s also strength, balance, and so much more. I just love the idea of being able to focus and breathe in each pose. Such a great feeling!

  6. I’m totally not flexible, but enjoy yoga (okay, I enjoy it occasionally). But, I always feel great when I leave!

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  9. Nora

    Love this post! (but I would argue that if you’ve never done yoga and are pregnant a class that is titled “prenatal” is just fine. I restarted my practice in a pregnancy and it changed my life) I’m SO excited for you to be certified!!

  10. I enjoy yoga, but am not flexible at all. 🙂 Funny to me though how many people have the idea that it’s a religion or that it will somehow interfere with their religious beliefs. So strange.

  11. This post came at the perfect time. I am starting a yoga dvd today for my first time! This post was helpful! Will one time a week be enough…or would you suggest twice or more?

    • Thats a hard question. Once a week is a great start and I dont ever want to suggest than something is better nothing, BUT (this is a big but!) to get the full benefits of all yoga has to offer you should practice regularly. The goal with the DVDs and once a week classes is that you become so hooked that you end up turning yoga into a regular practice and then see mind, body, and soul transformations. If you want to chat more about it, Id be happy to! Email me!

  12. Thanks for clearing some of the basic questions about yoga. We had regular yoga classes in school, also at home i used to practice yoga and with regular practice i had achieved quite a lot of flexibility. However, it is the mental peace which is i guess the best thing about doing yoga.

    I didn’t knew about the yoga alliance, will check that out now,

  13. Pingback: The month of yoga | What Kate Ate

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