We all had the same questions before we started practising yoga and we thought it about time to debunk some myths, challenge those niggling doubts and set the record straight. If you ever have any questions, weird & wacky included, please speak to reception who will try their best to answer them for you!
- Why do some classes have music & others don’t?
This depends on the style of the class and the teacher’s preference. Typically in more traditional styles of yoga, like Ashtanga, you won’t find music played whereas in a Vinyasa Flow or hot class you may find some music to match the pace of the class.
- Do I have to Om or chant in class?
No, this is completely up to you. Some people like to join in with the Om as it helps to seal the start and finish of a class but this will be up to you. Chanting is a lovely supplement to the traditional Ashtanga practice, but this again is optional.
- How long does it take to become an advanced Yogi?
There is no fixed time or route to become an advanced practitioner. Nor is there a test or barometer. You could be practising for 20 years, and still be working on the basics, while others may be moving quickly through advanced sequences in their first 5 years of practising. The important thing to remember is that you will never be judged against your fellow students; there is no one to impress! Focus on keeping up a regular asana practice and combine this with working towards your moral and ethical codes in the Yamas & Niyamas.
- Can I skip Savasana?
We get it, you feel great having wrapped up a strong practice and you’re itching to get away to start the rest of your day but this part is SUPER important. Savasana allows the muscles, organs, joints, connective tissue & mind to assimilate the information it’s been given throughout the practice and make sure that you’re in a good state to move forward with the rest of your day. It can be dangerous to move straight off your mat without calming the body and mind and make that clear transition from yoga class to busy life. Not to mention the disruption leaving early can cause the rest of the class. Look at this time as an opportunity to really rest and reward yourself for the time you’ve taken in the day to practice.
- Shouldn’t yoga be free for everyone?
In an ideal world yoga would be free for everyone, and in fact, it still is if you have a home practice. For yoga studios and yoga teachers there are many costs to consider including studio overheads, staffing, teacher CPD and training (which is on-going). The best studios will hit that balance between providing the most experienced teachers, the cleanest/safest/most peaceful environment with affordable classes for all. Definitely ask your studio to run through the best deals for you, including discounts and off peak passes – you may be pleasantly surprised.
- Why am I asked to come showered before class?
One of the Niyamas (2nd limb of Yoga) is Sauca which can be translated as a cleanliness and purity of body & mind. This is what we strive towards in our daily lives and ensuring that we achieve the basic cleanliness of our bodies can help us to achieve purity in other areas of our practice. On a practical level it is also nice for your neighbours in the yoga room if you are nice and clean before class 🙂
- Do I need to be a vegetarian or vegan to be a serious Yogi?
Not at all, this is again a matter of preference. Some yogis prefer an adapted diet like vegetarianism or veganism for ethical, personal or health reasons but there is nothing to suggest that this should be a prerequisite for any kind of yoga practice.
- Sometimes I feel pain during certain postures, should I push through it?
No, please don’t! You should never feel pain, pinching or twinging as this could be a sign of nerve or joint issues. It is normal to feel some tightness of muscles in a nice, juicy stretch but if you ever feel any pain, dizziness, pinching, twinging or shortness of breath you can always come out of the posture and stay in child’s pose or downward dog until you feel ready to continue.
- What if I fart?!
This isn’t as common as you may have been led to believe (we’ve heard the stories…)! If on the rare occasion it does happen, everyone else will be so focused on their own practice that they will barely notice. It’s all natural after all!
- Is one style of yoga better than another?
Absolutely not; every yoga style brings something to the table. Try a few styles and find one that’s right for you, taking into consideration whether you want to incorporate more traditional practice with philosophy/chanting or a purely physical exercise… or something in the middle! Ask at reception if you’re not sure where to start.
- Will I be the only one not in fancy yoga leggings?
All you need is your yoga mat and some comfortable clothes that allow for flexibility. Layers are good too so that you can keep your body warm at the start and end of practice. No need for fancy, expensive clothes!
- Am I too old/inflexible/unfit to join a Yoga class?
If you can breath, you can do yoga! Yoga can help with flexibility & fitness so it doesn’t matter at what stage you decide to take it up. Yoga is for everyone; the most important thing is finding somewhere where you feel comfortable practising regularly in order to see the benefits of this practice. The first time might be scary, but we promise that people of all ages, shapes and sizes practice yoga and you’re always welcome.
- Will I get singled out or asked to demonstrate?
No, in regular classes you won’t be singled out, so you can just focus on your own practice and what you’re doing. Sometimes in workshops there will be discussions and opportunities to demo and try things out with the rest of the group but your level of participation is up to you.