Frequently Asked Questions
What is yoga?
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke or to unite. Yoga began as a philosophy and way of life in India roughly 5,000 years ago. The sage, Patanjali collected the teachings of yoga into the Yoga Sutras, a collection of 195 guidelines in which many yoga traditions follow. This text outlines the 8 limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).
Most people practicing yoga focus in the third limb, asana, which is the practice of physical postures designed to purify the body and unite mind, body and spirit through breath and movement.
I am a beginner, what is the best class for me?
The majority of our classes are designed to be for all-levels. The best classes for beginners are: Hatha, Intro-to-Power and Yin Yoga. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your practice, please feel free to email or call us.
What does Hatha mean?
Hatha comes from the Sanskrit words: 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. Hatha yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting opposites. 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.
I’m not flexible—can I do yoga?
Yes! Saying your are too inflexible to do yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a shower. Each and every person will find benefit in a yoga practice, regardless of the flexibility of your body. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible. The agility that will develop through an ongoing practice will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.
What do I need to begin?
All you really need to begin practicing yoga is your body, your mind, and a bit of curiosity. Wear clothes that you can move and be comfortable in. No special footgear is required as you will be barefoot. We have mats and other props available at the studio but encourage you to bring your own mat with you if you have one. We have mats and other yoga equipment available for purchase at the studio.
Why should I refrain from eating a big meal 2–3 hours before my practice?
In a yoga practice we twist, turn upside down, and bend forward and backward. If you have not fully digested your last meal, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable. If you are a person with a fast-acting digestive system and are afraid you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiment with a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.
Is Yoga a Religion?
No. While yoga occasionally draws from philosophies such as Hinduism and Buddhism, it is not necessary to study those paths or comprise your own beliefs of traditions. As you flow thru your practice you will find that the stresses and worries of life dissolve away and you become present in your body and mind. We encourage you to take what resonates with you, leave what doesn’t and discover your own path as you journey in your yoga practice!
How do I start?
The best way to begin is to just come! Check out the class descriptions and schedule to find a class type and time that works for you and come to the studio to join the class. If you are unsure, please email or call us for help in selecting the best class for you.
What are the instructor qualifications?
All Yoga Spirit instructors are certified yoga instructors at either the 200 hour or 500 hour level. Many teachers have further specialty training for supporting specific student needs such as pain management, yoga’s therapeutic applications, pregnancy, kids and seniors.
How many classes should I take?
Many people enjoy taking two or even three classes per week. A minimum of two classes is optimum for experiencing the benefits of yoga early on. Some of us can only fit one class per week into our busy lives. The number of classes you take has to work with your schedule and lifestyle. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, except maybe, not to come at all!
How do I choose the right class?
Check our class descriptions out below. We hope that these descriptions will help you to begin your journey. Once you are attending classes, your instructor may suggest other classes for you to try and explore. We are always happy to help personally to find the best fit. Contact us at any time.
What if I have pain or a previous injury?
We highly encourage you to tell us about any existing physical conditions and concerns you have about them. Yoga does help many people with chronic pain by helping the body regain its balance between strength and flexibility, movement and awareness. If you are under a doctor's care for an acute situation, please be sure you discuss taking yoga classes with him or her. In some cases, it is more appropriate to work one-on-one with a teacher at the beginning.