Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the frequently asked questions we hear from people starting out on their yoga journey.
Q: What is yoga?
A: The word yoga means union, that is the union between body, mind and breath. The physical poses are just one aspect of yoga. The yoga philosophy has existed for over 2000 years and is described by The Mayo Clinic as "A multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centre and focused breathing."
Q: What are the benefits of Yoga?
A: There is much evidence to support the benefits of practicing yoga on a regular basis. Problems of alignment, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, insomnia, high and low blood pressure and many other problems have been shown to improve. Some of these are:
Body toning (fat loss and muscle growth)
Improved breathing capacity
Better sleep patterns
Improved self-healing and regeneration
Improved T-cell and immune system function
Improved circulation and digestion
Improved mental strength
Q: Why is the room heated?
A: To best benefit from any exercise regime we need to warm up before and down afterwards. To facilitate this the room is heated to a temperature similar to the body's, thus enabling faster improvements in many of the benefits resulting from your practice. If you have been used to exercising you will recognise that the best feelings are when you are at the peak of your exercise and your body has had the time to generate the warmth from the inside radiating throughout your muscles. We are not designed to function well when cold!
Q: What are the benefits of heat?
A: When the room is heated we are able to achieve our postures (asanas) more deeply and effectively and so achieve the benefits faster. You will soon find, like many others, that it is a satisfying, almost addictive feeling to be in the warm room. Some of the benefits are:
Fat is burned more effectively as the metabolic rate increases breaking down glucose and fatty acids. It is very common to lose centimetres in a very short period with regular practice.
There is a greater range of movement in joints, muscles, ligaments and other supporting body structures preventing injury whilst promoting recovery. Scar tissue is broken down and eliminated.
Blood vessels dilate allowing greater tissue oxygenation and removal of toxins.
Perspiration increases so detoxifying through the skin, the body's largest organ.
Nervous and immune system function improves.
Q: What if I am not flexible?
A: This is a common misconception which prevents many people starting yoga. Yoga is not about how flexible you are, but about strengthening your body and spine in all directions. All that matters is that you try the right way and you will get 100% of the benefits. Yoga stresses the importance of strengthening the mind and body. With regular practice you will see great improvements in your concentration and flexibility.
Q: How do I prepare for my first class?
A: Take all the pressure off by having no expectation other than enjoying the experience. New students will gain the most by arriving 20 minutes early for registration and a confidence inspiring orientation.
Drink plenty of water - before and after
It is best to minimise eating to light meals about 2 - 3 hours before the start of class.
If attending a morning class have a light breakfast, perhaps non-citrus fruit or a light smoothie. Heavy cereals or the "full fried" just don't mix well with yoga.
Q: What do I need to bring to class?
A: Not very much. Just yourself and ...
A mat - you can hire one for $2.00 per class or purchase one from the Studio
A large towel to place on the mat to prevent you slipping and perhaps another for a shower afterwards. Like mats, towels can also be hired
A hand towel to wipe perspiration during your practice.
A water bottle.
Q: What should I wear?
A: As a general guideline wear clothing that is fitting, not too loose or tight.
Women tend to wear:
Full, 3/4 or knee length cotton tights
Tops can be full sleeveless fitting tops or crop tops
Running shorts and tops
Men tend to wear running shorts with a singlet, T-shirt or no top.
The important thing is to be comfortable so you do not have to keep adjusting your clothing.
Q: What if I can't do something?
A: If you are too tired or feeling dizzy then feel free to stop for a moment and gather yourself.
Calm the breath and pulse by sitting still and concentrating on inhaling/exhaling through the nose, mouth closed.
Sitting with a straight back move into child's pose.
Shari and the team will always be on hand to help and support if required.
Your practice is for you, it is not a competition. Everyone's ability in each position will be different. You are guaranteed to get the benefits of Hot Yoga by doing the best you can in each posture, respond to the instruction, concentrate on alignment and work to your level of discomfort - never pain. This simple approach will prevent all injuries.