Frequently asked questions
A few answers to a few of the questions you might have about starting yoga…
I am a complete beginner can I just come along and try a class?
Yes! Complete beginners are very welcome. All our yoga classes cater for all levels and modifications/alternatives are offered where required.
Yoga is an integrated system that considers all aspects of human life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social. Not only does it work on your physical body, it connects you with your inner self, creating awareness over time. It also builds connection and empathy with others.
The Chair-based and Yoga4Health classes are designed to accommodate all levels of participants, regardless of age or ability or location. A chair-based video of a 30-minute class is available on our website to experience it first-hand. The Yoga4Health classes are specifically designed to build ability over a 10-week period and caters for seated chair-based options too for anyone who prefers this option. The 1-2-1 classes are designed with your needs and ability as the focal point to start from your current ability to move to a physically and mentally stronger you on your personal journey.
How is yoga different from stretching or other fitness programmes?
Yoga is more than just physical postures. Connecting the body, breath and mind helps us to become more mindful and aware. Yoga can help your body become more flexible – and your mind too.
How can I tell which style of yoga the class will be?
All our classes are Hatha yoga, which is designed to align and calm the mind, body and spirit. Hatha focuses on the importance of breath to build resilience in the body and nervous system to offer support during periods of stress. Over time, it also brings flexibility and muscle strength.
I’m not at all flexible, can I do yoga?
Yes! If you want to become more flexible, then yoga is perfect for you. It may take time, but yoga practice is going to help you become more flexible.
I’m not very fit, can I still do yoga?
Yes, but if you have serious concerns, talk to your GP before you start. Listen to your body and only do what you can do. Our job is to design a yoga programme that works for you – a programme that might challenge you but won’t destroy your confidence! Over time, you will build strength, stamina, balance and flexibility.
Can I practice yoga if I’m overweight?
Yes! You can practice yoga at any weight, size or fitness level. We will help you adjust poses and positions to accommodate your body type and shape. Yoga can also help you to lose weight, strengthen and tone muscles and reduce stress.
What if I have a health condition or injury? Can I still do yoga?
Many people use yoga to help them manage chronic health conditions. And we can modify poses and positions to accommodate injuries. But, if you have a medical condition or injury and haven’t practised yoga before, check with your GP and make sure you include the details on the assessment questionnaire we send you. We will design a yoga programme that takes account of your needs.
The important thing is that yoga is not meant to hurt. You will feel your muscles working and some sensations you are not used to, but if you feel any type of pain, listen to your body and step back from that pose.
Am I too old to start yoga?
No! As long as you listen to your body and respect your limitations, then you can start yoga at any age.
Can I do yoga while I’m pregnant?
The general recommendation is not to start yoga while you’re pregnant, especially if you’ve never done yoga before. But don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re looking for some advice or suggestions.
How many times a week should I practise?
Research suggests that you get more benefit if you practise your yoga at least twice a week, but it all depends on you and how you feel physically and emotionally. Even a few minutes can make a difference and we will help you to plan a programme of exercises you can do at home between classes. Regularity is key.
What should I wear?
You don’t really need any special clothes for yoga, especially at the start. Choose tops and bottoms that are comfortable and allow your body to move: form-fitting t-shirts, tank tops, leggings, jogging or gym pants, that kind of thing. But you don’t want clothes that are too baggy and will flop over your head or ride up when you’re upside down! You also don’t want clothes that are too thick. Our yoga might be gentle, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get hot, so layers are good. And for your feet? No shoes required, yoga is practised in bare feed. But you might want to have some warm socks and a cosy blanket or sweater to hand for the end of the class.
What equipment do I need?
For the Chair-based Yoga classes, you will need a stable, securely positioned chair, preferably without arm rests. For One-to-One classes and the Yoga4Health course, you need sufficient floor space to stretch the body in all directions.
If you are having a face-to-face class, then we will provide any equipment you might need, such as mats and blocks. But if you are doing an online class, then it’s a good idea to think about any equipment you might need and what alternatives you could use instead if you don’t already have them.
If you decide to continue with yoga, then a yoga mat is probably going to be your first purchase. Yoga mats provide a comfortable, supportive and non-slippy base to practise on. If you don’t have a yoga mat, you could try a non-slip rug or an area of non-slippy carpet.
Other useful items include a folded blanket or a rolled-up bath towel, which you can sit on or use as a support. A sturdy, stable dining or kitchen chair is another useful prop to have nearby.
Can I eat just before yoga?
It’s better not to eat within, at least, an hour before a yoga session. In yoga practice we twist from side to side, turn upside down, and bend forward and backward. If you have not fully digested your last meal, you will know about it!
What does Namaste mean?
Western yogis have adopted the custom of closing their yoga classes with a bow of namaste. It is a way for the teacher and students to thank one another for time well-spent and to close the sacred container of the yoga practice. The palms and all ten fingers touch one another, with the thumbs joining in front of the heart space or brow. It is common for the teacher to say it first and the students to repeat it back.
Namaste is a salutation of respect and reverence. A traditional Indian greeting, it literally translates to ‘I bow to you’ (namah or namas, meaning bow, te meaning you).