Answering your Frequently Asked Questions about the mind-body practice
What if I’m not so flexible?
This FAQ is a common misunderstanding that can prevent people from coming to yoga classes. Certain movements or postures may not be suitable for you but you will be offered a modified pose or an alternative option.
I’ve never been to a yoga class before & I’m unsure what to expect. Will I feel a little intimidated as others may be really good?
As yoga is non-competitive newcomers shouldn’t worry. You’ll be made most welcome & usually there are mixtures of ages / abilities in class (unless class levels clearly stated prior).
At tattwavisionyoga everyone is encouraged to work within their own range of movement & abilities, ensuring health & safety according to their own individual level.
What if I feel I’m too old?
You are never too old! If you feel you are & have very limited movement or mobility, perhaps try ‘chair yoga’ or there are also ‘seniors’ classes available.
Should I eat or drink before coming to class?
Another common FAQ! You should not eat before class! Avoid a heavy meal 3-4 hours prior to class or if preferable, only eat a light snack 1-2 hours prior (depending on one’s individual metabolism). Many of the postures place tension / stress on the digestive system; therefore it is advisable to avoid straining the digestive system & hence creating an imbalance of energy.
In the hour before class it is advisable to hydrate oneself but not excessively; sip when or if required during class & then be sure to rehydrate after the class is finished.
Of course remember to use the toilet before class & if necessary, the bladder & intestines should be preferably emptied!
Can I still attend class if I am late?
Please be aware, late arrivals are disruptive to class. Under exceptional circumstances a 5 minute margin will be allowed, otherwise entry is not permitted until after breath work has been completed. Therefore, please be considerate to other yoga students when arriving to & entering class, especially if late.
How often should I come?
The more you practice, further benefits you’ll perceive. Coming to class once or twice a week alongside self practice at home, will allow you to experience the holistic benefits of yoga – transformation internally besides externally.
Can I practice yoga when menstruating?
Certain postures are contraindicated during menstruation, therefore it is advisable to discreetly mention to your teacher of menses.
During the first few days of the menstrual cycle many women prefer not to exercise, however this is a personal choice. As always it is vital to respect one’s body, trusting what is correct for you as an individual & listening to your own inherent judgment.
If one does decide to attend class, the focus can be on more restorative poses focusing on the reproductive system & with particular attention to deep breath work.
What if I’m pregnant?
Not so common FAQ for men but of course more popular with women! It is not recommended you take up any new exercise whilst pregnant. However, if you’re already an experienced practitioner (for at least 6 months), then there is no reason why you cannot continue with some modifications from your teacher. Please inform your teacher of your pregnancy to enable them to work with you.
Is yoga just for women or can men practice too?
Yoga is for everyone, not only women! Of course men prefer more dynamic, competitive activities but this leads to over training in one particular sport & hence RSI (repetitive strain injuries), alongside even more serious injuries.
The physical aspects of yoga entail a full body workout that creates strength, flexibility & endurance, besides the benefits of breathing exercises, relaxation & meditation. It strengthens the muscles that receive less attention during sports / activities (lower back, knees, hips & shoulders); these are often extremely tight in men which through time, lead to injury & prolonged weakness.
What if I have an injury or an ongoing health condition?
Always inform your teacher of any ailments, injuries & the advice given to you by your Doctor. Therefore perhaps arrive early & discuss any issues with the teacher; they can suggest alternatives to manage the injury safely or they may even suggest not taking class, pending conclusion of healing.
Prior consent from your GP should be obtained. Please complete our consent form for a more comprehensive list. In most cases you can still attend class & practice safely; yoga actually accelerates healing in respect to accidents, injuries or surgery.
Yoga is not competitive where one pushes the body beyond its limits, especially when rest maybe required. Yoga is both a science & discipline which encourages deep awareness & respect for the body.
Do you use Sanskrit names for the postures? How will I understand?
At tattwavisionyoga we do augment yoga practice with philosophy, due to yoga’s origins much of which is written in Sanskrit. All postures (asanas) have Sanskrit names which make them easier to identify across the many various schools of yoga; however at tattwavisionyoga we also offer English translations.
I’m not spiritual inclined but I’ve heard that yoga is for spiritual people. Is this a concern?
Not of any concern at all. Yoga is not a religion. Most classes provide a well balanced variation of breathing (pranayama), asana, relaxation & meditation. If at all any yogic philosophy is offered, it is entirely up to the individual as to whether they take this on board or chose to reject as they please.
What style of class should I try?
At tattwavisionyoga we offer a variety of classes but we also recommend you try a few different classes / teachers. One’s preference for a specific style of class & teacher can be rather personal; it is worth trying a variety of classes in order to meet your precise requirements. Try various classes with different teachers & see which seem to suit your needs the most.
Is there any reason I cannot participate in yoga?
Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns and inform the teacher prior to class. Other times that we would recommend not practising yoga is:
- If you are fasting or have sickness / diarrhea
- If you have a fever / influenza / heavy cold
- If you have had recent chemotherapy
- If you are pregnant & have less than 6 months regular practice of regular yoga.
What should I wear?
The fashion Guru’s favourite FAQ. It’s important to be comfortable during class and also have freedom of movement. You can either wear baggy, loose, light & comfortable clothing or tight stretchy leggings and tops (but of course please dress appropriate).
Before commencing class remove any jewelry, wristwatches & spectacles.
Please note: men must wear a top at all times in class for hygiene and comfort of the teacher adjusting.
What will I need to bring?
Please bring along your own yoga mat to class. If you are completely new to yoga we suggest contacting the teacher and asking in advance if any spare mats are available. Alternatively, buying an inexpensive yoga mat and just bringing along a blanket will suffice.
Yoga is almost always done in bare feet but socks & a blanket are advisable for the relaxation phase at the end of class.
Should I bathe or shower & swim directly before or after class?
No, another commonly misunderstood FAQ. Yoga stimulates the flow of blood to the internal organs. Bathing, showering or swimming ensures the blood flows back towards the skin / surface of the body, reversing the entire effect of yoga. It is advisable to wait an hour or two before showering or swimming.
Mobiles are not permitted in class & should be switched off prior; photos should not be taken during class either (whether via smart phones, tablets or cameras).
During yoga we should always breathe through the nose (with mouth closed) unless specific instructions indicate otherwise. Coordinate the breath with the movement of asana.
Yoga practice has profound effects on every levels of the being if combined with awareness. Conscious attention is given to physical movement, posture, breath, body sensations, chakras & most importantly, witnessing any thoughts or feelings that may arise during your practice (with acceptance rather than rejection).
We usually relax in between postures as well as at the end of class. If one feels mentally or physically tired at any point, it is essential to respect your own body & listen to its requirements – rest.
There are no special dietary rules for yoga practitioners. However, it is more advisable to eat natural food as opposed to processed & also in moderation. Regular FAQ amongst the carnivores & contrary to popular belief, yoga doesn’t insist on a vegetarian diet; on the other hand in the higher stages of practice, it is suggested.
Over exertion & competiveness
As yoga isn’t a sport or competitive, one should never exert undue force during practice. Of course muscles will appear stiff at the beginning but with regular practice one will eventually become suppler.
Termination of practice
If at any point during your practice or class you experience pain or discomfort in any part of the body, one should terminate immediately & if necessary medical advice sought. During asana / posture one can lose awareness & perhaps push the body too hard; do NOT stay in an asana / posture if any discomfort or pain is felt.
What if I still have not so frequently asked questions?
Please feel free to Contact us.