What is Yoga?
Developed in India, yoga is a psycho-physical discipline with roots going back about 5000 years. The word "yoga" means "union". Linguistically, it is related to the Old English "yoke." Traditionally, the goal of yoga is union with the "Absolute" (known as "Brahman"), or with "Atman (the "true self").
I'm not flexible enough to do Yoga!
Firstly, it is a misconception that yoga is all about flexibility – it is about developing and maintaining a balanced physique, mobility, core strength and of course uniting mind and body.
Secondly, its never too late to start yoga to work on your flexibility!
What class is right for me?
In all of our classes our instructors cater to all levels of ability, so you can work at your own comfort level. Don’t be afraid to try different classes and remember that yoga is all about flexibility of mind and body. Every approach and instructor will assist you in finding your "own" way.
However if you do not have any prior Yoga experience, we recommend attending one our beginners' courses.
What style is Yoga is practiced at Balance Yoga?
We do not subscribe to any ‘style’ (a modern concept) or commercial franchise of yoga but rather teach Hatha Yoga in the traditional way. That is, we take an open-ended and virtually limitless approach – as you would expect from a discipline that is over 2000 years old. We pride ourselves on carrying on the discipline of traditional "hatha" practice focusing on the physical postures called "asanas," breathing exercises called "pranayama," and meditation. Having said that, we have instructors in our Centre who have trained in traditional Hatha yoga, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Dru yoga styles.
How often should I practice yoga?
Ideally every day and all day. For example it is possible to do some yoga exercise even when at a computer workstation! We'll show you how.
What should I wear?
We suggest comfortable clothing as you would wear for the gym. Yoga is practised barefoot. Please bring a towel in summer. We supply all necessary equipment for your practice and communal mats are available for your use. If you would prefer your own mat (which we encourage), you can purchase one from reception. Prices range from $12 - $139 (that be a 1st class 100% organic rubber mat :) ).
Is it okay to eat before class?
If you eat before a class we recommend only a light meal eaten at least 1 ½ hours before class. A banana or muesli bar could be recommended if you are coming straight from work. Also ensure you have drunk water during the day so that you do not feel dehydrated during your class. Drinking water during the class itself is not recommended as it may disrupt your practice and concentration.
How long before I get flexible?
This is not a dissimilar question to that asked by people beginning bodybuilding or starting a diet. It is important to persevere and be patient and focus on enjoying the long-term process of becoming healthier and more flexible rather than on a short-term measurable result. In time your body will adapt and change for the better. Fear not moving forward slowly, fear only standing still.
Why do I have to remove my shoes and socks?
Yoga, unlike many other forms of exercise does not neglect the feet and as such, it is necessary to have bare feet in order to be able to exercise them correctly. Furthermore because the balance begins with the feet it is important to be able to ‘feel’ the floor and use that feedback to fine-tune posture.
I have a sore back will Balance Yoga help?
Yoga, if practiced regularly and correctly will rehabilitate many back problems and produce long-term back health. Of course as with any exercise program, seek advice from your medical practitioners if you have any doubts about your fitness before beginning yoga.
I have a cold - should I stay at home?
Many Olympic and World records have been set by people with colds. Having said that, out of courtesy avoid attending yoga during the contagious stage and, if you have a fever, do not do any form of exercise until you are better to avoid compromising your health further.
I'm pregnant - can I do yoga?
Yes of course but ideally some prior yoga experience is recommended. We have had quite a few ladies continue their practice in our general classes almost until full term. An important thing to keep in mind when practising yoga during pregnancy is to modify your practice to take account of your baby bump and the fact that pregnancy hormones can cause excessive flexibility, so it is wise to never push to your limit as you may ordinarily do when not pregnant. If you have not practiced yoga prior to pregnancy, you should be okay to join in our beginners classes if you are a fit and physically active person. However, if you have any doubts, we would ask that you obtain a clearance from your doctor first and then try a class and see how you go.
Should I practice yoga when I have my period?
Many Olympic and World records have been set by athletes who were menstruating at the time. Modern Sports Science has dispelled the old myths and misconceptions that women had to be banished to a special hut at that ‘time of the month’! While instructors will often recommend alternative exercises for those women who are menstruating, you should train according to how you feel. There is little evidence in sports medicine that menstruation need place any limits on what you can or can’t do.
Any other questions? Drop us an email and we will do our best to answer you.