Here are some FAQ’s that should provide you with all the information you need to get started at SantoshaYoga.
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Read further to find out more about our styles and the practice.
What is yoga?
The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’. Yoga is a practical aid, not a religion. Yoga is an ancient art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with their environment. This is a simple definition. The practice of yoga makes the body strong and flexible, it also improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. Yoga brings about emotional stability and clarity of mind.
I’ve never tried any type of Yoga, can I still come to Santosha?
Of course! There are classes at Santosha Yoga suitable for everyone, presenting appropriate challenges for beginners, intermediate and advanced students alike. The most important thing to remember is that yoga is a personal journey.
For your first class we suggest Hatha Level 1, Hatha All Levels or a Yin Yoga class. Inform the teacher that it is your first class, and set up your mat where he/she can see you.
You will find Intro courses are an excellent foundation in yoga, if you can fit one into your schedule, but they are optional. Feel free to take classes if you are waiting for an Intro course to begin too.
Can I practice if I have a health condition?
- If you have any concerns or injuries, we recommend consulting your doctor prior to attending any yoga classes. Please also inform the instructor prior to class.
- Many health conditions have been improved through regular yoga practice. In fact, some 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.
How should I prepare for a class?
- Bring a large water bottle; we also have water on site
- Bring a yoga mat and towel (if you don’t have one, we rent and sell them).
- 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.
- Come well hydrated! Drink plenty of water before class.
- Be prepared to sweat & learn.
When should I arrive?
- Doors open 15 minutes before the start of class.
- On-line registration is only available at the Elgin Street location, and is optional. In the event that a class at Elgin fills to capacity, on-line registrations will be held until 10 minutes before class begins. If you have not signed in by then, your spot will be given away.
- We strongly recommend that you arrive at least 10 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. You can save time by printing and completing the Waiver and Release prior to arriving.
See Studio Etiquette
What should I expect from my first few classes?
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, open mind, and a well-hydrated body. 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. Although the benefits of hot yoga are immediate, some of you may not be able to focus on much more than the heat for the first few classes. But very shortly, as it becomes more familiar (within 1-3 classes), you’ll forget about the heat 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.
What if I feel headachy, nauseous, dizzy or lightheaded in class?
This is perfectly normal, especially for the beginner. The most important thing to do is to breathe deeply, pace yourself, do the best you can, and rest when you feel the need (lie in savasana or child’s pose for as long as is necessary to feel back to normal). Do your very best to stay in the hot room once class begins. Leaving the room can sometimes increase feelings of sickness or anxiety. Most people respond better by simply lying down and focusing on deep breathing. Learn to listen to your own body and take care of yourself in class. Yoga is a personal journey and each and every one of us attending class is probably in a different place and at a different level. Drink lots of water before class to make sure you are well hydrated. A headache is a symptom of dehydration and holding your breath. Feeling tired or wiped out after class is a sign that you need to breathe more in class.
How many times a week should I practice to see results?
Any amount of practice is beneficial, however, if possible, you should come to class a minimum of 3 to 4 times per week for maximum benefits. It’s especially beneficial to practice hot yoga as much as you can as a beginner. 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 hot 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.
What if I’m not flexible?
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, there is even more reason to begin yoga practice.
Is this a cardiovascular workout and can I lose weight?
Yes! Regardless of your fitness level, yoga can be challenging. Muscles are toned and strengthened. All of the body’s systems are brought into balance. With consistent and dedicated practice you will lose pounds and inches. Health professionals have estimated that between 600 – 1200 calories are burned per class.
What other benefits will I see?
To get the optimal results from your yoga practice, you should attend class at least three times per week. Over a short period of time, with this frequency of practice, you can expect to see and feel the reshaping of your body. Physically, you will lose weight and inches, gain muscle tone, and improve strength and balance. Mentally, you will notice improvement in concentration skills and will power, and a reduction in stress and anxiety. Medically, you will notice that you are sick less, and are not as prone to injury. Yoga has been known to help those suffering from insomnia, depression, Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and shoulder, knee and back injuries. Through these changes in the body, there are changes in the mind, attitude and behaviour, like reduced stress and anxiety. These are all positive changes to help improve your quality of life.
Is there an age limit to practice at Santosha?
Children under 14 may be allowed to take classes with prior consultation. Teenagers 14-17 may attend provided their waiver form is signed by a legal guardian. Please provide a phone number so we can verify your consent.
We don’t recommend hot yoga for people who are over 50 and unfit. Please behave responsibly and take a few classes in normal temperatures until you are more familiar with yoga and your capacity.
Likewise, we don’t recommend hot yoga for some medical conditions. If you are taking medication or receiving care for any ongoing issue, please call beforehand to consult with us.
Most of all, enjoy your yoga at Santosha!