Path of Yoga

Well - maybe....

 

             Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why Mission Yoga?

Small class sizes

Community atmosphere

Lots of personal attention

Emphasis on safe alignment

Highly trained and dedicated teachers

Exploration of a great variety of poses

 

Why do we do Yoga?

Why do we do Yoga?  To develop a strong body, a radiant heart and a clear mind.  – John Seelye

What are the benefits of practicing Yoga?

Yoga assists you to improve your psychological, emotional and physical wellness through breath, posture and movement. 

What are the benefits of practicing Yoga consistently?

You come to the mat occasionally, you benefit a little.  You come to the mat consistently, you benefit a lot.  This is not rocket science.  - Stephanie Studler

What do I need to begin?

All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind and a bit of curiosity.

What won't I need?

You won’t need your personal electronics, heavy perfume, gum, shoes or socks.  

What do I wear?

Wear clothes that are comfortable enough to sit cross-legged and bend forward in and allow for a full range of motion.  You may want to wear a top that fits close enough so that it doesn’t drop over your head when you are bending forward.  Clothes that are form-fitting allow the teacher to see the student's alignment.  As hinted above, keep your feet bare.

What equipment do I need?

The studio supplies the yoga mats and other “props”.  Feel free to bring your own mat if you have one. 

Should I eat and drink before class?

Try to avoid eating in the two-four hours before practice so that your stomach and intestines will enjoy the yoga class as much as you do.    It is best to come to class on an empty stomach.  If your body is digesting food during your yoga practice, it can be uncomfortable and leave you feeling less energetic for your practice.  If you find it necessary to eat in the 2-3 hours before class, try to choose a light snack rather than a large meal.  Fruit or something easily digestible would be a good choice. 

Hydrate yourself by drinking water before class.  It is not recommended that you drink any water during your practice.  The body is trying to maintain heat through breath, cool water cools the body and the kidneys have to start working. Your energy should be conserved for the practice.

Why is increasing my body temperature during a yoga session a good thing? 

In our classes we do not practice "hot yoga" - we develop the heat internally rather than by turning up the thermostat - but you will definitely warm up.  Raising your body temperature by doing yoga warms your muscles, allows for a more fluid stretch, allows for a greater range of motion, prevents injures and allows for a deeper release in your body.  Heat makes your body more pliable.  Sweating will also help flush toxins and poisons from your body. 

I'm not very flexible - can I still do Yoga?

Yoga is for everyone! You don’t have to have a flexible body – just a flexible mind!  Everyone is capable of practicing yoga and receiving its benefits. You just need to know where your limits are and have patience with yourself.  Also, yoga is much more than just fitness or flexibility. It addresses strength, stamina, and concentration, helps reduce stress, improves circulation, and is a lot of fun too!  In our classes you are encouraged to adapt postures so that you can practise safely at your own level of stamina and flexibility -  modifications will be provided for the poses.  No matter what level of flexibility or strength you have, there is a yoga practice suitable for you! 

Will Yoga help me lose weight?

Yoga works in a number of ways. First, the exercises help you burn calories. Secondly, they tone your muscles and improve your posture so you make the best of what you have.  Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, they orient you towards healthy living, which includes a healthy diet.

What is the difference between Yoga and "normal exercise"?

Traditional exercise is goal oriented.  Yoga, by contrast, is a process.  The idea is to focus on what you are doing and how you feel as you do it. In exercise, you fail if you miss your goal.  In yoga, you succeed by trying.   Yoga can give your body much more of a "workout" than if you go to the gym - yoga works/exercises 100% of your body, and you don't need expensive equipment or a gym membership or years of training.  You don't need to be flexible, graceful, athletic, or have "talent".  Again, all you need is your body, your mind and a bit of curiosity!  

When should I arrive at a Yoga Class?

Arriving on time or even early can help you settle in and prepare yourself to be present for your practice.  If this is your first class with this studio, please arrive early to introduce yourself and advise the instructor of any health issues that may be of concern to your practice.  If you arrive a few minutes late, you may still join the class. Please join the group quietly, and wait for the asana practice (the physical practice) to begin to roll out your mat and set up your props.

Does Yoga help relieve stress?

Yes, yoga is one of the best ways to reduce the stress in your life. Yoga teaches you to relax and focus within your practice. Within a little time this discipline becomes a part of your everyday life.

Yoga is a mind/body activity which means it works on many different levels at once. Any time you do yoga, the poses and breathing techniques work together to release tension from your body. When your body feels more open, relaxed and energized your mind will feel more calm. Over time, the concentration and focus that we practice in class will help you stay more balanced outside of class.

Should I be concerned about injuring myself during Yoga practice?

Always pay attention to your body. Some days you may feel stronger or more flexible than other days. Learn to distinguish the pain of growth from the pain of injury.  Stretches should be felt in the body of the muscle, never at the insertions near the joints.  No pain felt in a joint itself is beneficial.   Numbness or tingling could be nerve pain and is a sign to stop.  If it continues, consult a health professional.  Be sure to inform your teacher if you have any special conditions.

 

No one knows your body like you do.  The more you practice yoga, the better you can become at determining your limitations with each posture: each posture presents its own unique challenge.  Ideally, you want to explore and expand your physical and emotional boundaries without straining or injuring yourself.

 

While all our yoga poses have the potential to be powerful healers, like all strong medicine, they have the potential to be injurious if practiced without discretion.  Develop your intuition.  Listen to your body, your inner teacher, and be responsible for your own safety. 

Should I practice Yoga if I have injuries? 

If your doctor doesn't have any concerns, you're welcome to join the class. Let the instructor know so that modifications can be suggested to ensure you're comfortable.

Should I inform the instructor if I have injuries?

Please inform the teacher before class if you have any injuries, diseases, recent surgeries, low back or disc problems, or inflammation of the head, stomach or eyes. And please inform the teacher if you are pregnant.

Is Yoga a Religion?

Yoga is a philosophy (not a religion) that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago.  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.  Yoga can be classified as a way of life – not a religion.  There are people who practice yoga from all religions, faiths and backgrounds. To practice yoga you do not need to believe in anything other than the possibility that you can transform yourself - at the heart of all forms of yoga is the assumption that you have not yet tapped into your full potential as a human being.  Yoga is a tool for exploring this potential!