I thought it would be a nice idea to bring up some of the Frequently Asked Questions I get from my clients. So here it goes:
What does Namaste mean?
Namaste means "The light within me sees the light within you and knows that we are one." At the end of each class, we join our palms at our heart, bow our heads and offer each other Namaste as a gesture, to acknowledge each other as individuals as well as being interconnected. Two lights on the path in this universe.
Should I eat before class, and what?
I don't suggest eating right before class for many reasons. 1. Much of your energy will be spent digesting your food. 2. Downward Dog can be quite unpleasant with a full tummy. 3. You'll be more likely to have to quietly slip away to the bathroom during class.
You know your body and digestion best. Some people are okay eating and practicing right away, others need time in between. Plan to eat a light snack at least 90 minutes prior. Maybe some fruit, a handful of nuts, yogurt, or other fresh and easily digested yummy.
Should I come to class early? What if I'm late?
Definitely try to be at least 10-15 minutes early to your first class with a new teacher. A good teacher will want to ask your experience if any with yoga as well as any injuries or health issues you may have. After the first class, its kind to be at least 5 minutes early so you can sign in, set up your mat, and use the bathroom. As for arriving late, if you've been to the class before, slip in as quiet as possible and join in. Be respectful of others in class, and try not to make it a future pattern.
Can I practice while menstruating?
YES! Now let me get on my feminist horse here. Back in the old days, women were considered in a delicate condition (or thought to be "unclean") during this time. So activity was discouraged. We all know these thoughts are outdated at the least and actually quite absurd. There are some poses such as inversions (like standing on your hands or head) that you may wish to avoid because of discomfort, but otherwise simply listen to your body. If you feel up to it, do it. If you're fatigued or otherwise not feeling well, rest in Child's Pose, do some restorative yoga, savasana, or meditate. But you make the call.
I can't quiet my mind during class. Maybe yoga isn't for me. Am I "bad" at yoga?
It is the nature of the human mind to run from thought to thought, continuously. During a time when you are consciously trying to quiet your mind or become aware of the thoughts entering, you may be surprised by the traffic in there. This is in no way a gauge on the quality of your practice. In fact, this is the practice. No matter how many thoughts come, keep letting them go, returning to the breath and the present moment. You may notice some days you can find stillness with relative ease, other times its quite elusive. Keep at it. You'll notice an increased awareness the more you practice.
What questions do you have about yoga?
Ask them here and I'll answer them for you.