What is Ashtanga Yoga and what does Mysore style mean?
Please click here for a detailed answer to this question.
What days and times do you teach yoga?
It’s usually the same from year to year but if you haven’t been attending regularly any updates are always on the Class Timetable page .
Do I need to bring my own mat?
Sarah brings a few spare mats to class which you are welcome to borrow. Buying your own mat is an excellent step in helping yourself become more committed to your yoga practice and health.
What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing that you can move around easily in. A snug fitting top is better than something too loose so that when you bend forward you don’t get a mouthful of clothing. No socks or shoes – yoga is a full body exercise, your feet and ankles will love you for the stretching and strengthening they receive.
Am I allowed to eat or drink before class?
Give your body at least an hour to digest a meal before class, if you are hungry a small snack should be fine. All the bending and twisting stimulates your digestive system (excellent for your metabolism) so the emptier your stomach is, the more comfortable you’ll feel- hence early morning classes are traditionally recommended for practice.
Do I need to bring anything?
Apart from your mat (unless you’ve previously arranged to borrow one from Sarah)… an open mind, a positive non-judging attitude and a sense of humour will help you enjoy moving your body into shapes it may not have been in since school days!
I’ve never done yoga before and I’m worried I’ll look like an idiot…
Yoga is not about what you look like. It’s learning to move your body safely with ease and strength. Your energy will be much better spent concentrating on how you feel- and moving in ways that feel safe and comfortable as opposed to busting out postures that look fancy. Everybody has to start somewhere. Comparing yourself to others is a guaranteed way of ensuring you won’t enjoy yourself. No one knows anyone else’s story- what one person can or can’t do is not a reflection of how happy they are. Concern yourself with coming to yoga for your health rather than your ego, and feeling amazing will be your happy side effect. Doing anything new can feel uncomfortable, so try to let go of any expectations you may have on yourself and enjoy learning something new. Stepping out of your comfort zone develops qualities like humility, patience, tolerance, acceptance and empathy. Over time postures that felt impossible will feel amazing and just like some days are cloudy and others are sunny -some days your body will feel stiff and other days it will feel like silk! If you practice moving regardless of whether you are tired, stressed, energetic, sad, happy.. you will notice the positive effect that simply giving energy to your body has on your state of mind.
Do I need to sign up for a certain number of classes?
No, however the more yoga you do (like anything in life) the more comfortable and relaxed you will feel and the more you will enjoy yourself! A little done often and consistently will have much greater results then a lot every now and then… think of it like brushing your teeth!
Do I need to book?
No, however if you haven’t attended class with us before then please let us know whether you have any previous yoga experience and whether you have any health concerns or injuries.
Is there any kind of religion/spirituality in the classes?
Yoga is not a religion. It can be a spiritual experience for some students as it tends to be some of the only time that they have to themselves to listen and be ‘present’ to their bodies. When students consistently take an hour away from technology and the responsibilities of constant planning, analysing, judging, criticising, comparing, life feels better and how you feel can be associated with a ‘heightened spirit’ or in other words ‘a happy person’.
Can I pay by eftpos or credit card?
Sarah accepts direct deposits and cash and you can view Sarah’s the fees page here.
I am injured – can I still come to class?
Yes, Yoga helps us heal. If you are injured and you are willing to do modified variations of your practice there will always be more that you can do than you think possible. Please just let us know how you are feeling and come to practice. The Ashtanga method can accommodate during times of repair, just ask us how. If you are tired please come to practice, we can adjust for your energy. Listen to your body and practise mindfully. If you are sick and contagious please take home practice. If you have a fever take rest — no practice. In the photos below you’ll see Sandra, after a scooter accident she broke two bones in her foot and was initially unable to come to class. Once Sandra started getting used to the cast on her foot, she managed to practice yoga at home, mostly seated postures, but after a couple of weeks when she was allowed to put weight on her foot, she returned to class, and her foot healed up quickly.
Such an inspiration!
Do I need to be flexible to do Yoga?
It is not an uncommon experience to be overtaken by anxiety or feel intimidated by the thought of walking into a room of people who all seem to know exactly what they are doing. There is, however, no other place to start but the beginning. Be courageous. Sarah will help carry you along until you can stand on your own. A perceived sense of inflexibility is the most common hindrance that prevents people from trying yoga. Yoga is not about how flexible you are. The more inflexible you are, the more you need yoga. You become flexible by doing yoga. The more inflexible you are, the more benefit you will receive in each class that you do. Yoga is a process and a journey, the more you practice the sooner you’ll begin to understand that yoga is much much more than just ‘stretching’ and the only thing you need to practice is an ability to breath and smile!
Just like people, each pregnancy is unique. Some women find they can continue with their yoga practice right through their pregnancy with one child but then with the next pregnancy it just doesn’t feel right. It is important to use your intuition and common sense. If you’ve checked with your doctor or midwife, you are welcome to attend any of the classes and if any postures don’t feel “right” for you or aren’t possible (i.e lying on your stomach) I will happily give you alternative modifications and postures. It is best if you already practiced yoga before your pregnancy as you will have a greater understanding and trust of your body and yourself and you will know your general limitations and what feels different with your pregnancy. Specific pre-natal yoga classes are generally for women who have no previous yoga experience, however if you have good self and body awareness you are more then welcome to join us in any of our classes. Sarah does not run specific pre-natal classes.
I’m overweight – will I still be able to do yoga?
Yes anybody can practice yoga. If you want to practice yoga Sarah will be able to support you regardless of whether you are injured, overweight or a beginner. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and you have the discipline to be consistent and kind 🙂
Some helpful things to know before you begin…
Yoga may be uncomfortable when you start, but there is a big difference between dis-comfort and pain. Pain is not welcome in yoga- it is your bodies way of asking you to listen to it and to respect it. We are given feelings for a reason and the more you listen with your ego switched off the happier your body and you will be. Use your breath as a quality control key- if you can breathe effortlessly you will know you are taking the ‘right’ option that Sarah has presented in class. If you can’t breathe effortlessly your body will tense up and flexibility comes with the ability to let go of tension. Sometimes that requires people to let go of unrealistic ideas about what they should or shouldn’t be capable of doing. This is the biggest difference between yoga and most other forms of exercise and the mentalities in our modern society in which pushing through pain or forcing things are accepted as the tools required for getting stronger, fitter, faster, successful etc… It may take you a while to change your thought patterns if this is the way you habitually do things, once again be patient, believe that change is necessary for growth and that change starts with your beliefs.