WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT YOGA?
Most people have so many questions when they first come to yoga that they don’t know where to begin. Here, we offer up some of the most common questions and answers.
If your question isn’t answered here, we invite you to meet up with us at the studio, via e-mail or by phone at +234 803 673 7525. You’ve heard it before, but really, there’s no such thing as a silly question. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible when you come to practice with us! So ask away!
What does “yoga” mean?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke” or “to unite.” As a practice, it is a scientific system for achieving total health, mental, and spiritual well-being — a means to unite the body, mind, and spirit. In the United States, the term yoga is often used to mean the postures, or the physical part of yoga; however, these poses, or asana, are only one of the eight “limbs” of yoga.
Can beginners attend classes at Breathe?
Absolutely! We offer a weekly beginner class, please talk to us so we can help you select the right class to begin.
How often should I practice?
Ideally, yoga is meant to be a daily practice. As that is quite overwhelming to a beginner, we recommend you set a goal you can realistically keep. Consistency is the key—it’s far better to attend one class per week without fail than to attend four classes one week, none for the next two weeks, one the next week, etc. The more you practice, the better you will feel, and the more you will want to practice!
How do I know which style of yoga to choose?
Depending on your physical condition, your health, and your motivation for practising, we can help guide you to the right class for you. Vinyasa is an active, heat-producing styles of yoga where the breath links one movement to the next. Yin and Restorative classes are much quieter, slower-paced classes designed for you to go deeper—into your body and into a quieter, meditative state. Classes like Flow & Stretch are a combination of both. While Ashtanga is a bit more traditional and intermediate. Please talk to us if you are unsure where to start.
I can’t sit still for two minutes and can’t touch my toes.
Is there a yoga class for me?
One of the great things about yoga is it brings us all to the same common denominator—we all have the same struggles and worries, and though everyone comes in a different body, each of us has a path to travel to make it a more comfortable place to live. People come to Breathe with differing levels of experience, but there is room for everyone. We are ALL learning. Talk to us, and we can point you in the right direction.
Is yoga a workout? Will I lose weight?
The answer depends on the style of yoga you select, as well as the frequency and intensity with which you practice. Although the focus in yoga is about balance, healing, and reconnecting, a regular practice of Vinyasa will not only open your mind and offer you a fresh perspective on your life, but it also will absolutely change your body. While not an intense aerobic workout, it does burn calories as you create long lean muscles and cultivate flexibility and greater range of motion in the joints. Just as important, as you move into an improved state of well-being, you will make choices off the mat that also improve your health.
Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is a philosophy, not a religion, though it does have a spiritual component. You do not need to be religious to practice. It has been practised by individuals of widely differing beliefs and any and all people are welcome at Breathe. In order to practice, you only need to believe in the possibility that we can transform ourselves, that there is always more to learn, and that there is a better way to approach life than the old habits that tie us down. At the heart is the openness to see we have not yet tapped into our highest potential as human beings. Yoga seeks to put us in touch with our spiritual core—our innermost nature—that which or who we truly are.
The instructor uses words in another language. What is it?
The language of yoga is Sanskrit, the language of ancient India. Some teachers use it more than others, and it is nothing to feel uncomfortable about. Although you may never say the words yourself, you will come to recognize them over time. If this is an area of interest for you, there are books in the Breathe boutique we can point you to, to learn more.
What is OM?
The sound of “om” is actually a-u-m—three separate tones/vibrations. It is considered to be the original sound from which all other sounds emanate. It is the sound of creation and life you hear all around you—the wind in the trees, the buzz of a bee, the hum of a car engine, the rumble of a train. In chanting om before or after practice, we are looking to create unity of breath, sound, and vibration, reminding us we are connected to each other, and the unifying power of the universe. The OM symbol represents the three states of consciousness—waking, sleeping, and dreaming–as well as the universal consciousness that underlies and connects everything.
What is Namaste?
Namaste is a word of greeting. It is in common usage on the streets of Nepal and India even in modern times, and is generally accompanied by drawing the hands together and slightly bowing the head. Translated directly, Namaste means “to bow” and is considered a greeting from the heart that is reciprocated in kind. Expanding that definition, Namaste recognises light and goodness of the self and others, and honours the sacredness of all.
What should I wear?
We keep the studio pretty chill year-round, so bear that in mind if you are warm natured. We suggest comfortable, stretchy clothing that is not too loose or it will get in your way, and make it difficult for the instructor to check your alignment. Most women wear a tank or tee with leggings and men wear a tee with shorts. Do plan to practice in bare feet as Breathe is a no shoes studio.
Do I need to bring anything?
Although we have yoga mats to loan, you need to have your own mat if you are going to practice yoga. It’s more hygienic, and more importantly, having your own mat will make it much more likely you will unroll it at home! If you are attending a Vinyasa or an Ashtanga class, you may want to bring a hand towel and water, though we suggest you drink before and after, and not during practice.
When should I eat, and do I need water?
Plan to practice on an empty stomach. If you need a snack, eat a piece of fruit or something light before class. One of the benefits of yoga is its detoxification of the body. Drinking lots of water will help flush the toxins out of your system, so do hydrate well both before and after class. As you don’t want to extinguish all the internal heat you are trying to build during class, if you need to drink while practising, take small sips. Drink up when you’re done!
Can I leave during class?
In order to keep disruptions to a minimum, please plan to arrive on time and stay for the entire class. If for some reason you need to leave early, please let the instructor know in advance. You are, of course, always welcome to enter and exit the studio (quietly, please) during class to use the restroom.
Do I need to sign up in advance?
Yes, we do suggest you register in advance. You can reserve an appointment via our “Schedule and Sign up” page.
I’d like to bring yoga to my workplace. Do you offer that service?
We do! Our instructors have experience in offices, hospitals, and schools, as well as offering special team-building classes at the studio for corporate groups. We want to promote yoga as a practice for living a happier, healthier life; a practice that is accessible to everyone. We are committed to offering yoga anywhere and everywhere we can! To arrange a corporate yoga class or series, please contact us!
Why should I come to Breathe?
That is a question only you can answer for yourself. In order to move forward on this path, you need a qualified guide and a supportive community. Breathe was created to offer you both. Our instructors are of the highest calibre, and are continuously studying with senior teachers around the world. They practice yoga daily and have offered up a large part of their lives to share this practice with others. Breathe hopes to be the new yoga home by both newcomers and experienced practitioners because of not only the teachers, but also the supportive, fun, student community we are growing. We are creating something truly unique in the Triangle, and we welcome you to be a part of it.
So I am ready to take my first class, what should I expect?
Please arrive at the studio about 10-15 minutes before class time. Upon entering you’ll be shown the changing room where to leave your personal items, you’ll be reminded to turn off your phone and directed into the studio where you can set your mat and stretch out or meet other students in the room. Arriving early will also give you time to ask the teacher any questions you might have, and tell him/her about any injuries or physical conditions he/she should know about. It is imperative we know if you are pregnant or are dealing with an acute injury.
We are so excited for you to become a member of the Breathe community.
If there is anything you are unsure about, please talk to us!