What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that invites us to find balance in our lives. Yoga asks us to tune into the present and see the connection between mind, body and heart while moving through poses that develop toning, flexibility, strength, calmness and range of motion and express the whole person.
Why don't we wear shoes?
Our feet are a very important part of our body that affects all other parts of our body. They are the foundation of most poses so we want to be sure that they are active, strong and aligned just like we would want the tires on our cars or the foundation of our houses to have integrity. We remove our shoes before coming into the yoga room as a respectful gesture but also to keep street dirt from the practice surface.
Why do we om?
Chanting OM is a ritual that invites connection to our fellow students, the overall yogic community and, more broadly, to all that exists, has ever existed or will exist. It is described as the ‘sound of the universe’ and represents the cycles of life or ‘the beginning, the middle and the end.’
What does "namaste" mean?
Namaste means ‘the light within me sees and honors the light within you’ – it acknowledges the connection among all beings and the presence of goodness in everyone.
What if I'm running late to class?
Please do your best to be on time. The opening is important for centering and beginning the yogic experience. If you are late, and the teacher has begun her opening of class (speaking or “om-ing”), please sit quietly in the doorway so you can participate in the opening without disturbing the class. The teacher will invite you in as soon as possible and will help make space for your mat. If you are more than 10 minutes late you would usually just plan to come to a later class. If possible, you can check with the teacher or staff at the desk to see if it is possible to make an exception.
Why should I stay for savasana?
Savasana is the quiet resting pose at the end of the practice. Like the opening, it is a very important part of the practice. It brings closure to the entire experience. While you are enjoying a supported and relaxed position, you are prompted to keep the mind actively observant, rather than busy and distracted, so you can absorb the lessons from the preceding class. Also, students leaving as the class is winding down change the energy of the class and affect the experience for the other students. If you must occasionally leave early from class, please let the teacher know at the beginning of class.
How should I place my mat when I enter?
Neatly place your mat in line with the other mats. The distance between mats will vary and likely you will need to adjust your mat placement as additional students come into the room. When classes are more full, please cheerfully hug in closer together so everyone can fit into the room. Please place the mat quietly as students begin to come into their yoga energy.
Can I bring food or water into class with me?
Closed containers of room temperature water (or similar) are welcome.
Can I bring my cell phone into class with me?
Please leave your cell phone on the shoe rack or purse rack. In either location, please turn it to silent (not just ‘vibrate’). If there is an occasional emergency situation that requires you to bring your phone into the yoga room, please check with the teacher.
What about fragrance?
We are a fragrance-free studio. We ask that students refrain from wearing cologne, perfume or aftershave – but also to avoid scented grooming products like deodorant. We have students who are very sensitive to these products but also the warmth, movement and relative close quarters make the fragrances quite present to all students. We do have showers available should it be helpful to take a quick shower before class. Bring your own towel.
Do I need anything other than my mat?
No, but many students will use blankets, blocks and sometimes straps as props. Some also like having a small towel.
What kind of yoga does this studio offer?
Yoga Village offers a variety of yoga that shares the traits of ‘normal/warm room temperature,’ moderate pace and clear instruction. Some classes (flow) emphasize a steady, fluid movement and pacing to the class; some classes (Anusara) emphasize precise alignment and focused movement while still gracefully moving into poses. We also offer specialty classes like Tai Chi, Restorative, and Nidra that are more gentle and quiet but still can offer a unique challenge.
Will the teacher touch me? Can I decline to be touched?
Most of our teachers will provide physical adjustments to some degree and we also sometimes have students gently help each other. It is perfectly all right to mention to the teacher if you do not want physical adjustments or to participate in partner poses.
What should I wear to do yoga?
Wear clothing that allows for free movement but is not too loose or too tight. Also, yoga has you move into many positions so you’ll want clothes that offer coverage when twisted, upside down or in other unusual positions! Since we are not an especially hot studio, students keep their shirts on. Students may wear shorts but generally people find lightweight, mid-length shorts, capris and long pants or leggings most comfortable and appropriate.
What are the statues I see around the studio?
We have some of the Indian ‘murti’ around the studio. They represent ideas and archetypes in human nature that appear in the Yogic philosophy. Although they are also Hindu deities, they represent universal ideas of the human experience. We do not teach or promote any particular religion.
Which classes are appropriate for a brand-new yogi?
Level one classes are a good place to start. The poses stay more basic and accessible but you will still be challenged to work to your fullest. However, you can adjust or modify the practice to best suit your needs and the teacher will offer choices to best benefit each person’s practice. All students can enjoy the relaxing classes: Sunday Stretch, Nidra, Restorative, and Tai Chi. Most mixed level classes are appropriate for fit beginners.
What should I do if the class is doing a pose I can't do?
The teacher will almost always offer an alternative that is similar to the main pose so you are still participating and getting the benefit of the lesson. You can always ask for an alternative or just stay with the last thing you were able to do. Should you find you simply need a rest, you can choose to sit or stand or do a resting pose as needed. Note that yoga is meant to be challenging but do-able and to be done in an easeful way. The teacher will help you to find your pace and rhythm so you can enjoy the class.
What is being chanted at the beginning of class?
Most classes begin with “OM” and, in some classes, the Anusara invocation (which is painted on the wall). OM is the ‘sound of the universe’ – representing the beginning, the middle and the end – or – the cycles of life. The Anusara invocation honors “gurave” – the ‘true and omnipresent teacher’ – however you envision this in your life.
Is yoga a religious thing?
Yoga is a ‘spiritual’ practice. Since it comes from India, there are some references to those deities that represent universal human experiences, but it does not teach or embrace any religion. There are some ‘Holy Yoga’ classes that incorporate Christian lessons, but we do not offer those classes at Yoga Village.
Whether you're new to yoga or have just always wondered about why we do things the way we do, here are the answers to some frequently-asked questions about yoga in general, and our studio in particular. Happy reading!