Frequently Asked Questions
Who is suited to practice yoga?
Who is suited to practice yoga? Anyone can practice yoga... it is the one who has the courage to take the first step on your life's journey and then you will be 'that' much closer to your goals. We will help you ease into this first step. As quoted from the ancients, "whether young, old or too old, sick or lean, one who discards laziness, gets success if he practices Yoga. Success comes to he or she who is engaged in the practice. How can one get success without practice; for by merely reading books on Yoga, one can never get success. Success cannot be attained by adopting a particular dress (Vesa). It cannot be gained by telling tales. Practice alone is the means to success. This is true, there is no doubt." Hatha Yoga Pradipika, by Svatmarama, 15th Century C.E. translated by various scholars.
What should I wear to class? We suggest comfortable, loose fitting breathable clothes. It is normal and preferred to feel heated or sweat during class as this helps with stretching and opening the joints and flushing toxins. Suggestions: Pants could be cotton/lycra fabric with elastic waist or drawstring lightweight sweat pants. A cotton T-shirt, tank top or any performance fabric shirt is fine. In the winter you may want to wear an extra layer sweatshirt or light weight long sleeve shirt, so you can remove it if you get too warm. In the summer, if you typically get too warm, feel free to wear shorts or capri pants. Example of men's clothing. Example of women's clothing. Example sources online: santosha.com prana.com or rei.com. or organicselections.com We do not endorse or benefit from any purchases from these companies. return to top
Do I have to be flexible to practice yoga? No, this is the very reason you will want to begin taking yoga. You will notice improvement after just a few classes. The yoga postures are designed to flex your range of motion. Your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles will be stimulated to bring your body fresh oxegenated blood, flush toxins and aid in regeneration. You don't have to be able to touch your toes. Our teachers have the knowledge to assist in guiding you through the practice compassionately at what ever ability you have today. You will begin to notice the benefits and start to feel younger with regular practice. return to top
Do you provide mats if I don't have one? Yes, mats are available at the studio, however, students are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat to class. We clean each mat after every class, so please, if you borrow a mat leave it out for the teacher at the end of class. return to top
What if I'm late to class? It's okay to be late. We understand and this is part of life. Leave your class card on the desk for the teacher to mark your card at the end of class. Please enter quietly and find a space for your mat. If you arrive after 1/2 hour late you may find the door locked as the teacher prepares the class for svanasana, final relaxation and doesn't want the incoming class to open the door before class lets out. return to top
What if I can't attend my regular class? We understand vacation and other commitments arise. If you can't attend your regular class and wish to take another yoga class, feel free to drop-in at your next opportunity. Please confirm with our online schedule that the class is being offered, as our schedule does change from time to time. If you wish to call the studio to let the teacher know your change of plans, please feel free to E-mail us or call 410-857-0890. return to top
Should I ask questions or make comments in class? Yes and no. If you feel something that isn't quite right or don't feel sure of your body, please ask questions. We encourage dialogue so that you can learn. Sometimes other students have the same concern. If you have a more in depth question that can be answered at the end of class, then it would be best to wait to speak with the teacher later. return to top
Will I really begin to feel more energy and sleep better? Yes, with regular practice you'll notice you feel more energetic throughout the day. In the evening you'll be able to fall asleep easier, as you'll have frequent practice of relaxing the body and mind. return to top
When will I know if I'm ready for the next yoga class level? All our classes include instruction for modifying a pose to accomodate different body types and ability. Some poses you will find that you may move to an advanced level sooner, and other poses or different days you may find your body needs a simplified or gentler variation. We encourage students to stay in a class they are comfortable and with time you will know when you practice begins to seek the next level. Some students remain in Yoga I for many sessions and continue to enrich and expand their yoga results. Other students start in Yoga II/III and feel perfectly suited with just the right amount of challenge and comfort when needed. Yoga is meant to be enjoyed, as well as enriching and enhancing your path in life. return to top
How long or deep should I hold a yoga posture? Let the teacher guide you in each session, but go at your own pace since each day may be different. Also, keep in mind each side of your body may be different. Try to be 'in tune' with what your body is telling you. Instead of trying to go as deeply or completely into a pose as others might be able to do, do what you can without straining or injuring yourself. You'll go farther faster if you take a compassionate attitude toward yourself and work from where you are, not from where you think you should be. As a rule of guide, beginners would count 3 to 5 breaths (inhalation and exhalation = 1 breath, not breath retention) Intermediate Yogis may progress to holding a pose (an asana) between 7 and 10 breaths without fluctuation or holding the breath. A pose should be a whole body sendsation where you notice the effort, strength and at the same time are at ease, balanced and joyful in the body and mind. The spirit will follow and be soothed and ultimately with practice come to know bliss. return to top
Should I practice the postures outside of class? Yes, we recommend beginners start with 1 or 2 classes a week and then practice at home one more time. After about a month, then add another home practice or come to another class to balance, encourage and challenge your learning. As you progress to practice 3 times a week and then increase as your goals deem necessary. To maintain health and tone your body, it is said to progress up to minimum 4 times a week. To obtain optimal health and youthful longevity, or to reduce weight we recommend working up to 5 to 7 days a week with an emphasis toward learing and practicing vinyasa yoga. Keep in mind this progression and conditioning of the body takes time. Discuss your goals and with your instructor's guidance and regular practice you'll have a good idea when you are ready for more yoga. Take time after class to think about the postures, so you can retain what you learned. Review the poses you practiced, and note any instructions that particularly made sense. Even if you remember just one thing from each class, you'll soon have a lot of information that can deepen your own personal practice. return to top
Should I come to class if I'm injured or have sore muscles? Yes, you will benefit and in many cases and heal quicker, especially with sore muscles. They benefit from being stretched every day as this will help release lactic acid. Please let your teacher know about injuries or conditions that might affect your practice. If you are injured or tired, skip poses you can't or shouldn't do, or try a modified version. Of course if you are seriously injured and your doctor recommends you refrain from exercise, then discuss with him or her when you should return to practice. return to top
What kind of yoga do you teach at Santosha's Studio? Our instructors vary with the style of yoga. Our studio was founded in Sivananda Yoga. You will also experience Hatha, Vinyasa, IYT (Integrated Yoga Therapy), Ashtanga and Iyengar influences amoung our instructors. To learn more about the various styles of yoga, ask your instructor to elaborate about the differences. Our instructors guage each sessions classes with a particular emphasis designed to complement our students abilities. You will be guided through each sessions series of poses with the intention that they build upon your knowledge and enhance your own practice of yoga, both in and out of the studio. return to top
Santosha means 'contentment' in sanskrit, an ancient language used in yoga tradition. It is one of the five 'Observances of Yoga'. Practiced with sincerity, santosha guides us to experience the opposing forces of life with equanimity and detachment. return to top
Have more questions, please see one of our yoga instructors after class. We'll be happy to discuss more about yoga and how to develop your own yoga practice to begin to achieve your goals and feel contentment within your own body, mind and spirit. E-mail or use our registration form to send comments and questions to our director.
© 2003-2011 The Santosha School of Yoga, LLC, Since 2003 Site compliments of Lucy at Beebe Comm update