What is yoga?
Yoga is union of the mind, body, and spirit. The practice is thousands of years old, and many different disciplines have developed over time. Yoga we see today is primarily focused on the physical practice, called asana. Scientific research shows that practicing yoga offers physical and psychological health benefits. For a more in-depth definition of yoga, read this.
I am not flexible. Is yoga right for me?
Yes. You can be inflexible and enjoy the benefits of yoga; through practice, you can improve mobility, along with agility and strength. Saying you’re too inflexible to practice yoga is a bit like saying you’re too weak to lift weights. The practice is adaptable for students of all levels of experience and ability. Yoga is for every body.
Can men practice yoga?
Yes, men and women are equally welcome to practice yoga. Over the course of history, the practice of yoga has been embraced by many people and adapted for many uses. At one point, it was practiced exclusively by men. It’s true that group classes today are well attended by female yoginis, but the practice is not gender-specific. The yoga studio is a place of non-judgment, inviting all people equally.
What type of yoga should I practice?
Hatha yoga is the general term used to describe the physical practice of yoga. There are many different names used to describe yoga classes, but in truth, every teacher is a unique “style” of yoga. First ask yourself “why do do I want to practice yoga?” and seek out a teacher who can accommodate your preferences. Starting with private lessons is great because you can learn about yoga from a fundamental level, and develop a customized practice to suit your needs. A great teacher will help you establish your own personal style of yoga, giving you confidence to practice independently or attend group classes if that’s your goal.
What should I wear to yoga class?
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move and breathe in.
Is yoga a religion?
There is no universally accepted answer here, just as there is no universal definition of what is religion. Here are a few key points, which explain why yoga is NOT a religion:
- Yoga has no deity to worship.
- Yoga has no worship services to attend.
- Yoga has no rituals to perform.
- Yoga has no sacred icons.
- Yoga has no creed or formal statement of religious belief.
- Yoga has no requirement for a confession of faith.
- Yoga has no ordained clergy or priests to lead religious services.
- Yoga has no institutional structure, leader or group of overseers.
- Yoga has no membership procedure.
- Yoga has no congregation of members or followers.
- Yoga has no system of temples or churches.
Do I have to be a vegetarian or a vegan to practice yoga?
No. There are plenty of dedicated yogis who still eat meat. Each person has a different interpretation of the practice, and thus different ways of practicing. Ahimsa, or the yogic practice of nonviolence, is why many yogis are vegetarian. The rationale here is that it’s violent to take the life of another living being. Vegetarians also say that meat-eating inhibits us from achieving deep states of meditation because it negatively affects the energy body.
I want to practice yoga, but I don’t know how to start. What should I do?
You have several options to choose from. You may attend a group class, sign up for private lessons, read articles or books, or follow along with a video. If you have more questions, or would like specific guidance on how you can get started with yoga, please fill out this interest form and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I have seen and experienced incredible transformation through this practice, and I am happy to help you in any way that I can.