Yoga FAQ

Is Yoga a religion?

Yoga is a philosophy that began in India around 5,000 years ago. The father of classical Ashtanga yoga is said to be Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutras. These scriptures provide a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga will help you deepen your own connection to whatever religion or spiritual practice.

Do I have to be flexible to do Yoga? 

NO! Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play the piano in order to take piano lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible.  This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall wellness.

How many times per week should I practice?

Start with 3 days a week and build up to 6 days. Even if you only practice one time a week, you will experience the benefits of yoga. Consistency is the key. Don’t let time constraints be an obstacle – a shorter practice (20-30 minutes) a few times a week is great. You will likely find that after a while your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself doing more and more.

How is yoga different from stretching or other forms of exercise?

Yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body with the mind and the rhythm of our breath, directing our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns; we become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.

What does “Namaste” mean?

Namaste` or namaskar is a traditional, respectful greeting. The Sanskrit namah means I bow, and te means You – I Bow to You. There is more implied in this greeting and is sometimes interpreted as, “I bow to and honor the divine in you”. Namaste is often said at the end of a yoga class with the palms together in anjali mudra (prayer position), a symbol of oneness.

Savasana – Relaxation PoseSavasana1

All classes culminate with savasana – total relaxation pose – making it one of the most challenging practices. Savasana can also be a practiced separately whenever you need to feel refreshed or to help you sleep if you suffer from insomnia. Start by aligning the body. Physically relax the muscles and bones. Imagine that the mass of your body is sinking into the floor and then spreading out like a puddle of oil. Next calm the senses, soften the tongue, nose, eyes, ears and the skin. Finally, surrender all psychological effort; drop your brain to the back of the skull. Rest; abide.