Most people who contact me have many different questions about yoga, health and all things wellness.
Here are 6 common questions ANSWERED (wooo!) to help you embark on your yoga health path.
1. I've never done yoga before and I'm not flexible. Will I be able to do your classes?
Yes, absolutely! Many beginners worry that they won't be able to keep up with a class and that they need to be flexible. That's much the same as believing that you need to be able to paint a landscape before taking painting lessons. You will find that a yoga practice will help you to become more flexible, not just in your body, but also in your mind and outlook in life.
The classes that I run are infused with modifications and adaptations so all levels of students can enjoy the benefits of yoga, such as strength, improved cardio-vascular health, agility and so much more.
2. What does Namaste mean that we say at the end of class?
At the end of every yoga class you will see me bring my hands together in a prayer position, bow forward and say 'Namaste'.
For teacher and student, namaste allows individuals to come together energetically to a timeless place and connection, free from ego.
A definition of namaste is "I bow to your true self". The true self might be seen as a deeper version of yourself, less attached to any ego driven actions or thoughts, it's the kindest, calmest, gentlest, happiest, most compassionate and loving person you can be.
The exchange between students and teacher at the end of the class is a beautiful way to honour the true self in each of us.
3. Will yoga conflict with my religion?
No. Yoga does not conflict with religion. It's a huge misconception that yoga is a religion. It is in fact a philosophy that began around 5000 years ago in India. Yoga teaches us spiritual growth as well as proficiency over the physical body, emotions and mind.
It is not necessary to surrender your religious beliefs in order to practice yoga. Many religious people attend my classes including Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Some people have even told me that they have felt closer to their religion since practicing yoga because of the spiritual growth they have achieved.
Yoga can sometimes interweave Hindu and Buddhist philosophy but it due to the heritage of the yoga and vedic philosophies. It is not necessary to study those paths however, in order to practice yoga.
If you would like to learn more about yoga and its philosophy why not take my online Yoga Philosophy course? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
4. What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda dates back to around 5000 years ago when the sages of India developed a powerful mind-body health system - the science of life - to maintain balance physically, mentally and emotionally,. It is designed to help people reach their maximum potential whilst staying vibrant and healthy.
The word Ayurveda is Sanskrit. Ayur = Life and Veda = science or knowledge.
Ayurveda offers many practices for achieving true balance including being aware of your unique constitution, eating foods that will bring your constitution the best balance and ensuring your daily routine is right for your body type.
If you would like to know more about Ayurveda and how it can help you stay vibrant and full of vitality you may be interested in a one-one session or attending one of my workshops on Ayurveda. Contact me at email@example.com for more details.
5. Do I need to buy anything? What should I wear to a yoga class?
At the end of each class we lie down for Savasana and during this time your body temperature can drop so I recommend that students bring a blanket with them. This can also be used as a prop in some of the postures.
Some students like to have their own yoga mat, but that is not a requirement with my classes as I do have spare mats. If you would like to borrow a mat please let me know and I will bring one for you to use. Alternatively if you would like to purchase a mat I can recommend some particular makes and styles.
When coming to class I want you to feel comfortable. Some people like to wear leggings and a t shirt, some prefer sweatshirts and some people like to wear jeggings! Whatever you feel happy in that allows you to move freely but is not too loose.
6. Why do we lie down at the end of the class and relax?
At the end of class we lie down in Savasana - corpse pose and it is an ESSENTIAL part of yoga practice.
Savasana is a time to rest at the end of movement practice to soak up all the benefits of the physical practice. It provides time for our bodies and minds to meet and integrate providing us with that blissful sensation that yoga gives, rather than jumping straight back into the whirlwind that is our busy lives.
Yoga is an eight-fold process and asana - movement postures - is just one part of it. Pratyahara forms another areas of yoga which teaches us to withdraw our senses from the world and go within ourselves. Savasana and relaxation is one way to practice pratyahara. By turning our awareness inward we tap into deep insights and help ourselves to be calm and grounded.
Savasana also calms and soothes our nervous system allowing our bodies natural healing methods to kick in, bringing about restoration, rejuvenation and recovery - all essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind.
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by Jenny Dowling - Jenny is passionate about yoga and yoga health. Her love of yoga began at the age of 11 when she was introduced to it by her mother. When Jenny isn't teaching or recording classes for her online yoga members, she is busy looking after her little family (daughter, fiancé and Finnish Lapphund), walking in the nearby moorland or trying out new delicious Ayurvedic and vegan recipes. Connect with Jenny on Facebook or Instagram.