"Yoga is the name given to an ancient practice that helps to create a sense of union in all aspects of ourselves; in body, mind and spirit. People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years in order to feel at peace with themselves. Moving your body into poses and exercises is the most commonly known form of yoga. In yoga you will become more aware of your breath and the inner workings of your body and mind. Yoga also helps you become healthier and happier by circulating vital life energy through all your body systems.”
(Source: “KISS Guide to Yoga”, Shakta Kaur Khalsa)
Forget those images of acrobatic backbends and pretzel-like postures! You are not required to be flexible nor in perfect physical shape to start your yoga practice. Yoga is very adaptable and exercises can be modified for different levels of flexibility.
We recommend consulting with your doctor first. After obtaining permission from your physician, you might want to consider starting with a Beginner or Gentle class. It’s a good idea to notify your teacher of your injury before beginning the class. Most importantly, always listen to your body and make sure you’re never pushing beyond your own limits.
There are so many types of yoga – how do I know which one is right for me?
As a beginner, we suggest exploring the various classes we offer in order to identify which style and teacher is best suited to you.
Your yoga practice will be what you make it to be: gentle/vigorous, relaxing, spiritual, etc.
Anyone can participate: men and women of all ages are welcome!
I am interested in trying a class, when and where do I start?
We offer classes on a drop-in basis, therefore you can start your yoga practice at any time. We ask new students to arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before the start of their first class to fill in a new student form and to receive a short orientation session.
I am under the age of 18. Do I need my legal guardian to sign my new student waiver?
Yes. All yoga students who are not yet the legal age of 18 must have a legal guardian sign a new student waiver prior to attending class. Students under the age of 18 without a legal guardian to sign for them will not be permitted to attend. Once the waiver is signed, it will be kept on file for all future visits.
Can I bring my child to a class?
We do not recommend children under the age of 13 to any adult class as they simply require instruction more suited to their age. However…as todays 13 year old is more like our 15…we do allow 13 and olders to be in adult classes with a parent.
What should I wear to class and what do I need to bring with me?
The recommended clothing depends on how strenuous the class is and the temperature of the room. In general, we suggest wearing something you can move comfortably in. Light, fitted clothes are preferable for any of the classes in the hot room. Yoga is done barefoot therefore you do not need any special footwear. Please be mindful that some clothing can gape and even be see-through when bending and stretching in yoga postures. For the comfort of yourselves and others, it is recommended that you make sure your clothing is appropriate.
When attending a class you will need a yoga mat and water is recommended.
How many times a week should I practice?
A daily practice is ideal but not accessible to all of us. We recommend a minimum of one to three 60-minute class per week. Any yoga is better than no yoga! It has been proven that transformation will occur more rapidly if you can sustain a regular practice.
What services do you offer?
We offer several services to make your experience a pleasant one. We provide eye pillows to help deepen your Sivasana experience by applying gentle pressure to your Third Eye Chakra and helping to block out any residual light. (we ask that you keep them in the studio; they have removable covers that are laundered for everyone to enjoy) We have random workshops to help enhance your yoga knowledge and deepen your practice. And we sometimes offer destination retreats and training.
What is Om?
The sound of Om represents everything. The material world of the waking state is symbolized by the large lower curve. The deep sleep state is represented by the upper left curve. The dream state, lying between the waking state below and the deep sleep state above, emanates from the confluence of the two.
The point and semicircle are separate from the rest and rule the whole. The point represents the turiya state of absolute consciousness. The open semicircle is symbolic of the infinite and the fact that the meaning of the point can not be grasped if one limits oneself to finite thinking.
What are the Eight Limbs of yoga?
Approximately 200 years AD, a physician-sage named Patanjali divided the science of yoga in 8 basic beliefs.
The Yamas or restraints (Dont’s) are divided into five moral injunctions, aimed at destroying the lower nature. They should all be practiced and developed by the letter but also more importantly in the spirit. They should all be practiced in word, thought and deed.
Ahimsa – non-violence
Satya – truthfulness
Brahmacharya – self-restraint; moderation in all things
Asteya – non-stealing
Aparigraha – non-greed
The Niyamas or observances (Do’s) are also divided into five and complete the ethical precepts started with the Yama. These qualities are:
Saucha – purity – this internal and external cleanliness.
Santosha – contentment
Tapas – austerity; intention
Swadhyaya – study of the sacred texts
Ishwara Pranidhana - which is constantly living with an awareness of the divine Presence (surrender of ego)
Asanas – The Postures
Pranayama – Regulation or control of the breath.
Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses in order to still the mind.
Dharana – Concentration. When Dharana is achieved, it leads to the next step:
Dhyana – Meditation is that state of pure thought and absorption in the object of meditation.
When mastered, Dhyana leads to the last step:
Samadhi – The superconscious state. In Samadhi oneness is experienced. This is the deepest and highest state of consciousness where body and mind have been transcended and the Yogi is one with the Self or God.
(Source: “KISS Guide to Yoga”, Shakta Kaur Khalsa)