Starting a new journey can be daunting. We hope these Frequently Asked Questions will help you to make the right decisions!
I am new to yoga - where should I start? The best place to start is with our beginners classes - Introductory Level Iyengar Yoga (Tuesday evenings 7.45pm), Vinyasa Flow for Beginners (Wednesday evening 6.15pm) or Hatha Yoga for Beginners (Thursday evening 7.45pm). To find out more abut these different styles, please go here. You could also come along to Simple Yoga (Friday mornings 9.45am) and depending on your reasons for trying yoga you might also benefit from trying some of our gentler classes such as Restorative Yoga (Wednesday evenings 7.30pm) and The Restoration Hour (Friday evenings 8pm)
I have had an injury/ chronic condition/ disability – are there classes suitable for me? Depending on your level of mobility we have a few classes that might work. We offer two Mobility-Friendly Yoga classes (Monday and Friday mornings at 11am). This class is suitable for people who may have experienced issues with their health and who either have limited mobility or are overcoming limited mobility. We also offer a Simple Yoga class which is suitable for people who may be recovering from illness or who have had a break from exercise and would like a gentle introduction back into it. We offer Restorative Yoga on a Wednesday evening which is a floor-based session aimed to encourage the body to rest and restore, with minimal effort and maximum comfort. You might also enjoy attending one of our Friday evening Restoration Hour sessions which are generally floor-based practices that require very little physical movement. These will soon be held in our new ground-floor access-friendly studio.
The best way forward is to do the following: Step 1. Discuss it with your GP. While yoga can be therapeutic not all classes may suit everyone so make sure you know what kind of movements are allowed for your body at this time and what you should avoid. Step 2. Please make sure you fill in a registration form on your first visit to the centre which gives you the opportunity to let us know about any health issues and will support us to direct you to the right classes.
Do you have parking space? We have ample parking for bicycles and three spaces for cars outside the front of the main building. Across the road we now also have 2 - 3 more parking spaces which you are welcome to use. For the time being, roadside parking at Hawthorn Way is free.
What should I wear? Anything that is comfortable and easy to move about in. Soft and stretchy fabric – any tracksuit trousers or leggings with a vest or t-shirt - will do. Yoga is done barefoot so there is no need to worry about shoes either. (However、 if you feel very uncomfortable without socks we’d recommend to look out for ‘yoga socks’ – the ones that look like foot gloves with a compartment for each toe and with griping soles to prevent slipping).
Do I need a mat? You only need to bring your own mat for the Hot Yoga classes. Otherwise our studio is fully equipped with mats and other props like blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets etc. – just come along!
But I’m not flexible, can I still do yoga?! Yes. In fact, if you are not flexible we would recommend that you do some yoga! While the media is full of people turning themselves into pretzels this is just one tiny facet of the universe of yoga. Yoga is many things. One of the core texts, Bhagavad Gita, says: ‘yoga is the journey of the self through the self to the self’. You don’t need to be flexible to journey through yourself! Yoga creates inner awareness of your body and mind, promotes discipline and courage… the traditional goal of yoga is to reach enlightenment! In modern classes we do stretch and strengthen ourselves, sometimes in a gymnastic way, but the goal is not to show what you can do but to find out for yourself what you can do – or what you can’t do, or what happens to your mind if you can or can’t… As long as you can breathe you can do yoga. And if you’d like to become more flexible, do come and do some yoga, mindfully, and one day you may surprise yourself!
What is a course, and what is a class, and then there are workshops …? I’m confused! A ‘class’ is a self-contained unit. It enables you to come and join the practice whenever you want, without signing up for a block. However, we do encourage regular attendance at our classes. A course involves progression from week to week so it’s advisable to take all the units of a course in order to get the most out of it. A workshop involves a deeper look into one topic and can be self-contained or part of a ‘series’. Workshops can last from a few hours (in which case they are like a longer class) to a few days (in which case they are more like an intensive study course), depending on the topic and the depth at which the topic is studied.
What is the difference between …. ? The long list of classes with unfamiliar names can be very confusing. The description of each class is here but by and large look out for the following: ‘Hatha Yoga’ is an umbrella term for largely physical yoga practice but in many studios' timetables (including ours) it refers to a traditional and slower step-by-step approach. Anything called ‘Vinyasa’ or ‘Flow’ is likely to be more faster paced or, as the name implies a ‘flowing’, dynamic approach. Neither is better or worse or more or less advanced – which style you chose to practice depends on your temperament and goals but in general we recommend beginners to try hatha yoga first to give you time to familiarise yourself with postures and alignment points.
Can I bring my child to a yoga class? We have yoga classes for children in all age groups – from 3-month old babies to teenagers. For detailed information look hereand here. All are very welcome (though booking ahead is advisable as these classes are very popular and some run as courses). In some cases children or young people may be allowed to attend a class along with their parent. Please speak to us directly about this.