NEW TO YOGA?
Here are some frequently asked questions that should provide you with all the information you need to get started on your yoga journey. If we’ve missed anything, please feel free to contact us at LotusYogaBC@gmail.com.
Yoga is an ancient art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind and spirit.
Many people think yoga is just stretching. While stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect alignment. The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.
The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being by making the body strong and flexible and improving respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal system functioning.
Yes, of course! In fact almost every class at Lotus Yoga is suitable for everyone, presenting challenges for beginners, intermediate and advanced students alike. We are proud to offer optional difficulty levels for each pose, allowing us to make yoga accessible to EVERYONE. Visit our Schedule & Classes page for a better idea of the current class offerings. All levels are welcome to come to each and every class. However, if it is your very first time, we suggest the Yoga Basics class designed specifically for Beginner's and those who want to get back to basics.
If you have any health concerns or injuries, or if you are pregnant, we recommend consulting your doctor prior to attending any yoga classes. Please also inform the instructor prior to class.
All that being said, many health conditions have been improved through regular yoga practice. In fact, many doctors now prescribe yoga as a form of physical therapy. Remember yoga heals and strengthens the body and its systems, and is especially beneficial to the immune system.
Some specific health conditions that can be successfully treated with yoga include:
- Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move and stretch easily. Stay away from anything too baggy, as you will probably find yourself upside down at some point. Shoes and socks are not worn in class. We recommend either yoga wear or shorts and a tank top.
- Come with an empty stomach. We recommend not eating a heavy meal for at least 3 hours before class.
- We provide mats and equipment free for your use or feel free to bring your own gear if you like.
- We have a washroom that doubles as a change room if you need one.
- We recommend you arrive 10-15 minutes early so you have time to sign in, change, and get settled.
- On your first visit, plan to come at least 20 minutes before class to fill out a waiver and release, sign in, and pay for class. This will also allow you some time to ask questions and to check out the facility.
We supply mats and all the yoga equipment you need, free to use with each class. Items include mats, 9" x 3' cylindrical bolsters, 4" foam blocks, soft foam chip blocks, 6' and 8' straps and 80"x60" 100% cotton blankets.
If you are starting yoga for the first time, it is important to know your boundaries. If you were not a runner, yet decided to run a marathon, you would train and build up to it. Look at yoga the same way. While it's important to try to improve upon your practice, it's equally important to recognize that yoga is a process. You build at the pace that suits you. Don't run the marathon on your first try!
- First time students, please arrive 20 minutes before class.
- Leave valuables at home and please do not bring any personal items into the studios, as this takes away floor space from your fellow yogis. We have cubicals right in the studio, where you can keep an eye on your personal items right from your mat.
- Turn off cell phones.
- Please refrain from heavy perfumes, soaps, colognes or smoking before class.
- Please refrain from excessive talking once inside the yoga studio. Many students use the time before class to quietly meditate and center themselves as they prepare for class. There is time for tea and socializing after class.
- Never hold your breath. Breathe, Breathe, Breathe!!!
- Practice stillness between postures.
- Honour the silence in the room by moving quietly.
- Focus on only yourself in the mirror.
- Refrain from talking during class.
- Out of respect for the teacher and your fellow yogis, leaving class early (before or during savasana) is discouraged. This integration period is of great benefit, and leaving earlier denies yourself and disrupts others experience of such.
- Observe silence during and after the final savasana (meditation).
- Leave the room quietly. Respect others.
- If you have used our mats, then please clean with the environmentally friendly mat cleaner provided. Feel free to use this on your own mats as well. It is a mixture of water, vinegar, tea tree oil and lemon grass.
Be thankful for the peace and energy you're taking with you from class and enjoy the rest of your day!
Many find their first couple classes to be the most challenging. Often this is because it’s new and unfamiliar. You will find that you will learn the postures quickly and become familiar with what to expect. Come with no expectations - just a light heart and an open mind. Most students feel amazingly detoxified and relaxed after their first class.
However, as with any form of exercise, different conditions and situations require a period of acclimatization. The benefits of yoga are immediate and as it becomes more familiar (within 1-3 classes), you’ll forget about all the other factors and begin to focus on your yoga practice. Many of us even come to crave it, increasing our practice from once or twice a week to everyday, feeling a void when we don’t practice regularly.
Any amount of practice is beneficial, however, if possible, coming to class 3 or 4 times per week will bring extraordinary benefits in a matter of weeks. This will help your muscles develop muscle memory. Each time you practice, muscles are built and conditioned and your skeletal structure is properly aligned.
It does not take long to see the results of yoga. Depending on the frequency of your practice, results occur in as little as 2 weeks, with a regular practice of 4 classes per week. Remember every body is different and unique, as are the results.
Even more dramatic than the physical results are those you begin to notice off the mat in your daily life. Breathing through challenges ON the mat translates into gracefully moving through challenges OFF the mat. As your response to challenging situations becomes less reactive and more accepting you will also begin to notice the people around you soften to your new way of being. This is part of the peace that is difficult to understand until you experience it for yourself. Yoga 3 times per week for several weeks will literally change your life and then as a result, the lives of those around you as well. For me this is the true blessing of yoga.
It's important to understand that yoga is not about flexibility. This misconception keeps many people from coming to yoga class. Yoga is about stretching your spine and body in all directions. From the very first class you will learn the concept of "trying the right way", enabling you to receive the benefits of each pose according to your own ability.
Most people are inflexible or become inflexible over time. Muscles and joints stiffen from under-use, which often occurs as we age. Many jobs require long hours of sitting or bending. This can compress and disfigure the spine while causing muscles to conform to this incorrect alignment. Yoga helps to alleviate stiffness and creates flexibility, keeping the spine supple and in correct alignment. If you are not flexible, that’s more reason to begin yoga practice.
Yes! Regardless of your fitness level, yoga can be challenging. Muscles are toned and strengthened and all of the body’s systems are brought into balance. With consistent and dedicated practice you will lose pounds and inches. Power flow classes burn a minimum of 600 calories, other classes will burn less depending on the level of challenge you bring to yourself.
To get the optimal results from your yoga practice, you should attend class at least three times per week. Specific benefits of a regular yoga practice include:
We are proud to offer classes that are accessible to EVERYONE, including pregnant women and seniors. Currently those under 18 will need to have waivers signed by their parents prior to attending our yoga classes.
In the future we are hoping to add classes specifically for children and even mom & tot classes.