to the stars yoga
~ with steffi
What is Yoga? / is Yoga a religion
The word yoga, is from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or a method of discipline. Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. It is a spiritual practice that brings the body, mind and soul together as one.
How often should I practice?
Many people notice that as they practice more, they want to continue because of all the health benefits. If you are short on time, even practicing for as little as 30 minutes a week can have all sorts of benefits.
What should I wear/bring to yoga?
Wear something comfortable, but not loose. You don't want to trip on your pant leg or have your shirt fly over your head. Socks and shoes should not be worn when practicing because part of the reason we practice yoga is to connect with our surroundings, but also because we don't want to slip off of our mats while practicing. To be prepared for your first yoga session, bring a yoga mat and water. You may also like to have a yoga block or strap and a small towel.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
The list goes on and on. There is new research being done everyday that adds to the list. Here are just a few, but I encourage you to do your own research for the long list. Yoga has been proven to: reduces stress, reduces heart rate, reduces blood pressure, lowers risk of heart disease, can lower cholesterol and triglycerides, increased circulation, better posture, improved muscle tone, increased endurance, increased core strength, better body awareness, can help with respiratory problems such as asthma.
But I'm not flexible enough.
That's ok, yoga will help you be more flexible. Very few people start yoga with a wide range of flexibility, but through practice you will soon notice your body transforming and flexibility will come.
Do I have to be a vegetarian to do yoga?
Absolutely not. You may hear a lot of yogis say they are vegetarian or even vegan, but it is not required. Many people find that after practicing yoga for a while, they become more in tune with their own bodies and minds. You may find that what you are putting in and on your body becomes more of a concern and you may want to explore different and more natural foods, clothes, or hygiene products.
How is yoga different from any other form of stretching or excercise?
In America we tend to start a yoga practice for the exercise aspect, but yoga is so much more than an exercise routine. In yoga we concentrate on breathing and meditation first and foremost, the asana (poses) are secondary and will come with time. That being said, yoga can be very intense and you can certainly work up a sweat, while in Yin yoga the stretches can be extremely deep and even get into the facia of the muscles and bones.
I work out often, can I go to advanced classes?
Maybe. No one knows your body better than you do, but some things to consider are: Even if you are physically fit, you may not be working the same muscles as in a weight lifting program, or a crossfit type program as you would be in yoga. Runners typically have tight hamstrings and quadriceps so an advanced class may push your muscles over the edge. Try easing in to it, and see how your body feels before taking the plunge into an advanced class.
Should I eat before I come to class?
Typically you don't want to eat about 2 hours before practicing yoga, just like with any exercise program. The reason being that you may get cramps, not to mention that it will make you feel slugish and could slow down your stamina.
I am overweight/anxious/depressed. Can I still practice yoga?
Yes! Being overweight can make you feel like you don't belong but there are so many health benefits to yoga that it may help you lose weight, if that is your ultimate goal. If you're anxious or depressed yoga may be the best thing for you. Again, there are so many things that yoga can do for you. It has been medically proven to help to reduce stress, anxiety and even help with depression. The bottom line is that yoga is exactly the place for you.
Is there an age limit to practice yoga?
No! Anyone at any age can practice yoga. There are classes to cater to every age group from mommy-and-me to senior chair yoga. If you can breathe, you can practice.
I am pregnant. Is yoga safe for me?
Yes, prenatal yoga can be extremely beneficial from conception to delivery! Get a doctor's OK and find a certified pre/postnatal RYT. Although all RYT200s are trained in some form of prenatal yoga, it is often a very short training and only covers the basics. Going to a regular class may be okay for you if you're an experienced yoga, but a prenatal class may serve you better as the training for prenatal is quite in-depth and covers a much wider range of contraindications and asana (poses).
What should I expect at my first prenatal class?
Subtle movements and breath work, gentle asana with the intention of gaining knowledge for the mother and baby about a safe and happy labor and delivery.
How long will it take to see results from yoga?
Every body is different. You may start to notice changes in your body and mind immediately, but it could take some time as well. Most people begin to notice a change within a few weeks of regular practice (about once a week).