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Common FAQ’s about yoga


1.What Is Yoga

When most people think of yoga they think of the movements. There are actually 8 limbs or parts to yoga. Most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, or physical postures. These are designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.


2. What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga refers to a set of physical exercises (known as asanas or postures), designed to align the body and calm the mind in preparation for meditation – savasana; that wonderful part at the end of your yoga practice, where you get to totally relax. The postures are also designed to open the many channels of the body—especially the main channel, the spine—so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha is also translated as ha meaning "sun" and tha meaning "moon." This refers to the balance of masculine aspects—active, hot, sun—and feminine aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us. In our physical bodies we develop a balance of strength and flexibility. We also learn to balance our effort and surrender in each pose.

Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for self-transformation. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in the unfolding of each moment.

3. How Many Times Per Week Should I Practice?

Yoga is amazing—even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. If you can only do 20 minutes per session, that's fine too. Don't let time constraints be an obstacle—do what you can and don't worry about it. You will likely find that after a while your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself doing more and more.

4. How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. The 8 limbs of yoga show how the physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognise our habitual thought patterns without labelling them, judging them, or trying to change them. 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.


5. Is Yoga a Religion?

Many people I have met who who follow a faith shy away from understanding yoga. Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. It provides a framework for mastery over the physical and mental body. You can practice your own religious beliefs and still happily practice yoga.


6. I'm Not Flexible—Can I Do Yoga?

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. 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 tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and with the mind set of letting your practice meet you where you are. It is about self acceptance and not judging the body. You will find that yoga will help you become more flexible. This newfound agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.


7. What Do I Need to Begin?

All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind, and a bit of curiosity. But it is also helpful to have a pair of leggings, and a t-shirt that's not too baggy and slides over your head in down dog! As your practice develops most people want to buy their own yoga mat. I have mats to borrow for the first few sessions and other props available are included in your class payment.

Please arrive at the studio about 5 minutes before class time, if you are new I ask clients to come a little earlier, allowing time to fill out the health screening form. This is to ensure I can provide a safe, effective class to meet your needs. Upon entering, you can set up your mat and stretch or meet the other students in the room. Arriving early will also give you time to ask the teacher any questions you might have, and tell him/her about any injuries or physical conditions he/she should know about. It is etiquette turn your mobile phone off.

In order to keep disruptions to a minimum, please plan to stay for the entire class. If for some reason you need to leave early, please let the instructor know in advance. You are, of course, always welcome to enter and exit the studio (quietly) during class to use the restroom.



8. What if I can’t do a Pose?

Yoga is about baby steps, we must crawl before we can walk and walk before we can run. I offer modifications whenever possible. Yoga is non-competitive and you are invited to make the practice your own, — honouring your body and doing what is best for you—not forcing yourself into a shape that you aren’t ready for.

9. Why are you supposed to refrain from eating a little while before class?

In yoga practice we twist from side to side, bend forward and backward and move up and down. If you have not digested your last meal sufficiently, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable. It is a bit like trying to swim on a full stomach!


10. I’d like to bring yoga to my workplace. Do you offer that service?

I sure do. Yoga is a practice for living a happier, healthier life; a practice that is accessible to everyone. To arrange a corporate yoga class or series, please contact michelle@yogaforeverybody.nz



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Yoga for Every Body - Tauranga - New Zealand

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