New to Yoga
What a perfect time to start or resume yoga! In fact – especially NOW is a perfect time to start yoga – irrespective of age, gender, level of experience or fitness, state of mind or … let me say it … body weight.
The best advice I could give anyone new to yoga is just show up. Don't over-think it, just do it. As yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois once said, yoga is “99% practice and 1% theory.”
Your first few classes might be a bit confusing until you become familiar with the movements. I know that can seem daunting, but the whole point of yoga is to not have judgment toward yourself or the people around you.
Yoga studios are not spaces for competition; they're a starting point for an inward journey.
And once you have come a few times and get the hang of the various asenas, maintain an open mind to learning new aspects of the Self.
Pointers for your yoga practice
- Everyone is welcome and we try to provide a warm and supportive environment.
- Wear slightly loose or stretchy comfortable clothing which doesn’t constrict deep breathing or wide movements, but also does not sag over your eyes if upside down. Avoid tight waistbands or watches.
- Yoga is done with bare feet.
- Don't have a full tummy for class. It is recommended not to eat a heavy meal within 2 or 3 hours prior to a yoga class. It is good however, to drink water before and after a class.
- Personal hygiene is an integral part of practicing yoga. (That's probably obvious, but worth mentioning.) Be clean, no strong perfumes, smoke odours and your gear.
- On your first visit, kindly complete and sign the registration / indemnity form.
- Please notify your instructor if you have any acute or chronic injuries, if you are pregnant or have other health concerns.
- You are welcome to use the studio yoga mats and other props initially, but over time it feels more comfortable to get your own mat. You also may want to bring a small towel in summer time.
- Arrive about 5 minutes before a class scheduled starting time.
- Payment is usually made before the class starts – EFT or cash.
- Please leave shoes, handbags, etc outside the studio in the pigeonholes provided. Mobile phones should be turned off.
- Put your mat initially in the back of the room. It helps to be able to follow others if the instructor’s words doesn’t make sense to you at the time.
- Respect your body's limits. Acknowledge that your body and mind will feel different every day. Listen to what your body tells you and practice in your own time following your own breath.
- Remember, Yoga is not a competition – work at your own level and be aware of your body on the day. Above all enjoy.
Some yoga benefits listed below:
The practice of Yoga is well-demonstrated to reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. The body responds to stress through a fight-or-flight response, which is a combination of the sympathetic nervous system and hormonal pathways activating, releasing cortisol – the stress hormone – from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is often used to measure the stress response. Yoga practice has been demonstrated to reduce the levels of cortisol. Most Yoga classes end with savasana, a relaxation pose, which further reduces the experience of stress.
Yoga can ease pain. Studies have shown that practicing Yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.
Yoga includes breathing practices known as pranayama, which can be effective for reducing our stress response, improving lung function and encouraging relaxation. Many pranayamas emphasize slowing down and deepening the breath, which activates the body’s parasympathetic system, or relaxation response. By changing our pattern of breathing, we can significantly affect our body’s experience of and response to stress. This may be one of the most profound lessons we can learn from our Yoga practice.
Yoga can improve flexibility and mobility and increase range of motion. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity.
Yoga asanas use every muscle in the body, increasing strength literally from head to toe. A regular Yoga practice can also relieve muscular tension throughout the whole body.
While most of the evidence for the effects of Yoga on weight loss is anecdotal or experiential, Yoga teachers, students and practitioners across the country find that Yoga helps to support weight loss. Many teachers specialize in Yoga programs to promote weight management and find that even gentle Yoga practices help support weight loss. People do not have to practice the most vigorous forms of Yoga to lose weight. Yoga encourages development of a positive self-image, as more attention is paid to nutrition and the body as a whole. A study from the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that regular Yoga practice was associated with less age-related weight gain. The lifestyle study of 15,500 adults in their 50’s covered 10 years of participants’ weight history, physical activity, medical history and diet.
Yoga helps to improve circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
Even a gentle Yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
Yoga connects us with the present moment. The more we practice, the more aware we become of our surroundings and the world around us. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.
The meditative effects of a consistent Yoga practice help many cultivate inner peace and calm.