It’s pretty normal to have questions about attending a yoga class, especially if you’ve never been before. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common queries.
Isn’t yoga a bit...weird?
I often hear people say that they are wary about coming to yoga because they think it will be a bit weird – full of bendy people doing strange chanting – but I can promise you it’s not! Yoga is for everyone and I’m committed to teaching in a way that is accessible to all. My classes are friendly, warm and inviting.
And don't you need to be flexible?
Well not really though that’s, on the surface, what Instagram and the like would have you believe (more on that here). Lots of the people I teach would class themselves as inflexible when they first come to class but this is pretty normal, especially when you think that we spend most of our days sat at a desk.
The key to remember is that yoga is a journey – you turn up to a class wherever you’re at in that moment and work forward from there. This means that flexible or stiff, happy or sad, tired or energised, injured or healthy there will be something that you can take away from the mat that day.
But it's all women right?
Actually no – that’s a myth! There are plenty of men in the classes I attend and, in the classes I teach, the split is often somewhere near 50:50. Yoga is for everybody – male and female, young and old. Come and give it a go!
I've never done yoga before - where do I start?
Hmmm, perhaps I’ll give it a go.... What do I need to know about my first class?
First of all don’t worry!! We were all beginners once and you’ll be very welcome no matter what your ability/experience.
Give yourself time to ‘arrive’. Get to the class at least 10 minutes before the start time so that you can introduce yourself to the teacher (me!) and advise of any injuries, set up your mat and take a few moments to settle.
Depending on the venue, expect to take off your shoes before you enter the practice space but just ask if you’re unsure. You’ll want to leave any bags or coats to one side and make sure your phone is turned off.
The practice is done barefoot on a yoga mat (see the next question for more on mats) with a period of relaxation at the beginning and the end of class. Once class is finished we typically close by saying Namaste (pronounced nah-mah-stay), a sanskrit word that can be translated as the light within me acknowledging and honouring the light within you – a mark of respect towards everyone else in the class.
Do I need to bring anything?
Depending on the venue you might need to bring your own mat but get in touch with me in advance and I’ll confirm whether or not I can provide one for your first class. You’ll also want to bring something warm to put on during relaxation (known as savasana – pronounced sha-vas-a-na) at the end of class. All other yoga props will be provided by myself.
What should I wear?
As there’s a lot of movement throughout the class you’ll be best off in something that flexes with you, so leggings for example are perfect though shorts are also fine – just be sure you’re comfortable bending over in them! A top that’s fitted, or that you can tuck into your bottoms is preferable, just so it doesn’t fall over your head every time we bend over or do a downward facing dog.
What's different about yin yoga?
In contrast to the more energetic or yang practice you might experience in your regular class, yin yoga is slow, soft and deeply releasing. We work much deeper into the body, accessing and nourishing connective tissue, fascia and joints and take you on a journey deep into your parasympathetic nervous system (where we ‘rest and digest’) for a supremely relaxing and restful class.
I’ve got an injury. Can I still come?
Yep! Yoga can actually be a great way to rehabilitate injuries, but we do need to be mindful in working with them. If you’re carrying an injury drop me a line before signing up and we can discuss how best to manage it. One key thing to remember at all times is that yoga shouldn’t cause pain (there’s a difference between a good stretch and a bad stretch!). If ever you feel pain during a class, or in home practice, back off from the pose and let the teacher know.
I think I'd like to try a one to one
Wonderful! Yoga was traditionally taught on a one to one basis and it’s the ideal way to deepen, begin or refine your practice. Drop me a line and we can discuss how to make this best work for you.
I'd really like to bring my child - is that possible?
If your child is a teen or even pre-teen, get in touch to find out if it might be appropriate to bring them to class.
What does it cost?
Where on earth is the Pontcanna Dojo? I can never find it!
Very true – it can be hard to find… If you know where the Pipes brewery is, it’s just next door – through the black double doors to the left-hand side of the bar.
Otherwise you can make your way to the Co-op on the corner of Kings Road and Severn Grove and find the Church of God in Cardiff opposite (still on Kings Road). Go down the alleyway to the left of the church entering a courtyard and you’ll find the Dojo to the left of the Pipes bar, through the black double doors.
Here is a Google Maps link.
I've got more questions...
Not a problem – just get in touch, I’m more than happy to talk.
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