Frequentely Asked Questions
- What do I need to do yoga?
Yoga is done barefoot therefore you do not need any special footwear. Loose-stretchy comfortable clothes are recommended for freedom of movement. Add a yoga mat and an open mind and you are ready to practice.
- Do I require certain body type or training to start?
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.
- If I am injured, can I still do yoga?
We recommend consulting with your doctor first. After obtaining permission from your physician, you might want to consider starting with a beginner/gentle class.
Please 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 recommend starting with either of pre-registered courses Kundalini Intro or Yoga Basics 101, or you can drop in for Yoga Basics, Relax and Renew or Kundalini Yoga. After attending a few beginners' classes, we suggest exploring the various classes we offer in order to identify which style best suited to you. Your yoga practice will be what you make it to be: gentle/vigorous, relaxing, spiritual, etc. Anyone can participate. All ages and creeds are welcome!
- What is mantra/chant and why is used?
Mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered to create spiritual transformation. They have a specific vibration that works on us at a subconscious level. Its uses and type differs according to the school and philosophy associated with the mantra.
The Sanskrit word mantra (also n. mantram) consists of the root man- "to think" (also in manas "recording aspect of the mind") and the suffix -tra, designating tools or instruments, hence a literal translation would be "instrument of thought". Mantras are inherently true and positive; and the proper recitation brings about (realize) what is inherently true in them. They are in each cell of the creation. Their sound has focus and contains a seed which provides a template for higher experience. Repeating a mantra restructures the patterns in the mind that filter experience. In classes are use to support the practice of meditation, positive thought and self-transformation.
- Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is not a religion, though it has a religious origin (Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism). The word Yoga, from it root “yug”, means to yoke, join, union, “to put to active and purposely use” and describe a discipline, a tool to self-transformation, to join body, mind and spirit, to join our small self with our higher self.
I have included a word reading article by Georg Feurstein Ph.D, founder of traditional yoga studies Is Yoga a religion? (PDF)
- What is meditation?
Meditation is the process of controlling and trascending the waves of the mind, allowing it to stay pleasantly anchored in the present moment. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. "Watching your breath" is meditation; listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation. Its purpose is to clean up the subcoscious mind to align our purpose with our soul and destiny.
Traditional speaking, meditation is one of the stages we find when navigating the inner space of the mind as Patanjali's eight limb of yoga practice points out. Recognizing the integrative nature of these states is important to indentify and utilize it to progress into Self-Realization.
- Pratyahar: Withdraw of the senses, going inside ourselves;
- Dharana: Concentration, consistent penetration of thought, holding the mind withing an object;
- Dhyana: Meditation, deep merger within the object of concentration, aware of thoughts, but not involved with them;
- Samadhi: Liberation, self-realization and deep experience of "Me and God, God and Me, are ONE"
We cultivate the practice of all of the stages while on the mat and our classes nurture your ability to bring it off the mat, into your everyday life.
- Why meditate and what should I expect?
The benefit of practicing meditation are many and includes:
- Regulates blood pressure;
- Alleviates different kinds of pain;
- Regulates hormonal activity in the body, thus providing relief from various ailments;
- Promotes a sense of well-being, clarity of mind, inner peace, mental awareness, stability and calm;
- Develops the neutral mind and intuition;
- Promotes ability to focus energy, enhancing effectiveness and efficiency;
- Resolves core issues of stress-producing patterns;
- Releases reactions and unconscious habits, subconscious fears and blocks, and builds the link to awareness;
- Improves memory and mood steadiness, decreasing depression;
- Promotes youthful skin and appearance;
Various types of meditation that are recognized include transcendental meditation, prayer, Zen meditation, Taoist meditation, mindfulness meditation and Buddhist meditation.
Some methods of meditation may require the body being absolutely still or to be moved with controlled deliberation, while other types allow for free movement of the body.
While the methods are different, the end goal of all types of meditation lead to a mind that is quieted and free from stress by the use of quiet contemplation and reflection.
In our classes, we use Mindfulness, Vedantic and Kundalini meditations(Laya, Japa and Mantra meditations are part of Kundalini Yoga). This includes practicing focusing on the breath, on a particular place in the body, on the flow of energy; use of mantra repetition, visualization, devotion chants, prayer, intention and letting go; either sitting still or while praticing asanas or kriyas.
Practice of satsang (being in good/righteous company and being with the Truth) is also considered part of vedantic meditation.
We would offer the opprotunity for this kind of gathering bi-monthly.
We also encourage students to cultivate their own kind of meditation off the mat, as self-inquiring, journaling, prayer and study of sacred texts.
- What is safe in a yoga pose?
The most important thing we learn when we come to the mat is to cultivate the ability to listen to our body. When practicing if you feel soreness and muscular fatigue, continue holding the pose and do not give up (unless you feel is unsafe); even shaking is normal at this point as the nervous system is adjusting to the pose. If you feel strain in your joints is a sign of misalignment. You need to adjust and modify the practise or asana until there is no strain at all. Ask the teacher for modification or just take a break in child pose or savasana and join the class when you are ready.
- Women (menstruation and pregnancy)
There are many different opinions and theories when it comes to a women’s menstrual cycle and the practice of yoga. They range from not practicing anything strenuous yoga or any other type of exercise to keeping your regular practise to simply avoid inversions. Follow your intuition and listen to your body; honour the energy of your cycle and anything you choose to do, always include relaxation time.
I have included 3 informative articles that I came across in a fellow teacher website. They are a worth reading on the matter:
*Timothy Mc Call
It is not recommendable for you to begin a vigorous practice like Vinyasa flow when pregnant. A pre-natal Yoga class would be suitable. Also you may start on any beginner and gentle practice (Relax and Renew, Yoga Basics and Kundalini) as long as your teacher knows you are pregnant and can give you the necessaries modifications that your condition might require.
If you are a seasoned practionner you may continue with your practise but be gentle. General contraindications include; lying on the stomach, spinal twist, some pranayam (breath work), inversions and lying supine.
Every woman is different. Every pregnancy is unique. Speak with your doctor or midwife and let him or her know of the routine. Stay informed regarding your trimesters, listen to your body, and let your motherly intuition guide.