Yoga FAQ's

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If you're new to yoga or thinking about starting out, you probably have questions…you may even have concerns about whether yoga is right for you. These questions and concerns might even be holding you back from embarking on your yoga journey. Here, I’ve answered the questions I find that I am asked most frequently by new yogis:

 1)    Do I need to be flexible?

I've lost count of the number of people who've said to me, “I'm not flexible enough to do yoga.” If you're worried about not being flexible then you are in the right place - because increased flexibility is just one of the many benefits of yoga. A regular yoga practice will help you gain greater range of motion. You MUST be patient with yourself though. Flexibility can’t be rushed so be sure to take things at your own pace.  Remember, there's much more to yoga than how flexible you are…your yoga practice will teach you about finding balance, strength and a connection between your body and mind, which can all be achieved even if you can't touch your toes.

 2)    What should I wear?

Whatever you feel comfortable in!  There's no need to invest in expensive gear...just wear something you can move easily in, Layers are good for when you get warm during class and then cool down during relaxation.

 3)    When should I eat?

I recommend eating 1 ½ – 2 hrs before a class....that way you've got plenty of energy but are not feeling too full for class. If the timings are tricky and you find yourself feeling hungry right before class, a snack bar or piece of fruit can give you a little boost to get you through.

 4)    How often do I need to do it? 

So much of yoga is about listening to your body and doing what feels right, and this is the same when it comes to how frequently to practice.  Whether you practice for an hour a day or once a week, make it a regular thing and you'll quickly start to feel the benefits, both physically and emotionally. Of course, as with anything, the more you practice the faster you'll experience the benefits so aim for at least once or twice a week to start.

 5)    Do I need to buy my own yoga mat and other equipment?

The studio is equipped with everything you’ll need, including mats and blocks, so there’s no need to invest in your own until you develop a regular practice.  Bring a drink in case you get thirsty though.

6)    What if I can't remember the names of the poses?

Don't worry, there's no test! The teacher will explain all the poses to you as you practice and soon enough, you’ll remember more then you think.

 7)    Will yoga help me to lose weight / tone up? 

Yoga will help you feel better in every way...physically, mentally, emotionally.  It will make you more aware of your body.  Yes, it has the power to make you stronger, more flexible and more toned.  But much more than that.  Discovering yoga will give you the tools to improve your mental well-being, to reduce stress and to simply become more aware and in the moment. 

When I found yoga I started to care more about my body.  Not just what it looked like, but how it FELT.  I could see my body changing through yoga, but most importantly, yoga taught me to feel better.  And it can do the same for you!

 8)    I'm worried I don't have a “yoga body” - will I feel self-conscious in class? 

Do you have a body? Good. Then go to yoga. There, you have a yoga body. Yogis come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone is welcome.

 9)    I've tried yoga before and didn't like the class.  Does this mean yoga isn't for me?

The first yoga class I ever went to I was really, really bored. So, I left and forgot all about yoga thinking it wasn't for me. Years later I tried another class and I liked it...but it still wasn't going to help me tone, which was my motivation for starting yoga. So I tried another class with the same teacher and it was just what I was after.  The perfect mix of movement, instruction and me time. Just because you didn't like one yoga  class, teacher, DVD you tried, it doesn't mean that yoga isn't for you. Try again.  Find another class, teacher, studio, DVD etc. It's worth it, I promise!

 10)    Can I do yoga even if I'm not spiritual? 

You'll find there are many different views on this and plenty of people will tell you that you can't have yoga without the spiritual element. I'm a big believer in connecting the body and mind through yoga but wouldn't describe any of my classes as very spiritual. It's about cultivating your own yoga practice that suits you...if you're purely looking for a physical experience then it can be just that.  But if you want to combine it with a more emotional journey then you will also find what you're searching for through yoga.

I do yoga to burn off the crazy

This is my truth but there's more...  I practice yoga because if I didn't I would yell at my kids (even) more. I practice yoga because my practice teaches me something every single day. I practice yoga to forgive. I practice yoga to be kind. I practice yoga to help me believe that I am enough as I am. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. I have insecurities. I have fears.

I just keep getting on my mat to learn, to forgive, to be kind, to believe.  And as I teach, I teach to learn, to share, to support, to protect and to love.  That's why I 'do' yoga. 

There's no wrong way to practice yoga. Stay open to wherever the practice leads you. It's worth it. I promise. <3

Tips For Your First Yoga Class (Or Classes!)

Today, a student walked out about 10 minutes into my class. She'd come in after class had started so I hadn't had a chance to speak to her beforehand like I normally would when there's a face I don't recognise. It turns out she was new to yoga, looking for a relaxing class to start her practice and found herself in a level 2/3 heated flow class😕 I'm disappointed that she had a bad experience and thought that now is a good time to discuss how best to get started practicing yoga in a class environment. 

I highly encourage those new to yoga to start with an introductory beginners course, designed to teach the basics of yoga (I teach one, by the way, on Wednesdays at 8:15pm). A course like this should provide you with the tools to begin your practice safely and mindfully.  But, depending on your schedule and lifestyle, a series isn't always an option. So here are a few tips to get you started in a class environment:

See what's out there: Check out local studios and venues. Many offer a reduced rate on your first class or introductory first month rates.

Taste Test: Once you find a studio, try out different teachers that offer classes at times that fit your schedule. Please don't ever give up on yoga after one class or teacher that you didn't connect with. 

Get to class early: this will give you the chance to meet the teacher beforehand. Tell them you're new to yoga. If you have any injuries you need to modify for you'll want to communicate that too. 

When in doubt, Child's Pose: Get down on all fours, sit your hips back to your heals, rest your forehead down on your mat and breathe.

When class is finished: Pat yourself on the back because you did it!  You rolled out your mat and you got on it. You moved, you breathed, you connected. Well done❤️

For more information about my beginner series, click here.


Morning Yoga Sequence

If your body is anything like mine, it takes time to warm up, especially in the morning! I created this less than 20 minute sequence to energise and warm the body slowly to prepare for the day ahead.  Try it and let me know what you think!

Yoga For Runners & Cyclists

Try this sequence after a run to stretch the hamstrings, quads and hips.  Take 5-10 breaths in each pose and then repeat on the other side.  Hang out in the final pose as long as you have time for. For a gentler option, check out my post below on Yoga For Tight Hips.

Gentle Yoga Sequence

Here is a calming yoga sequence to slow things down a little.  Take 5-10 breaths (or longer) in each pose.  Stay in the last pose as long as time allows.  See how you feel afterwards!

Yoga For Tight Hips

This sequence is for those of us with tight hips.  It's a great sequence for after a run, a cycle, a HIIT session or whoever you can fit it in.  Take at least 5-10 breaths in each pose and repeat on the other side.  Let me know what you think!