Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga benefits include increased strength, flexibility and balance. It also could improve calmness and lessen anxiety. Yoga practitioners tend to have lower blood pressure which improves heart health and also promotes sleep quality. The overall focus on mindfulness may increase quality of life.
Do you have to be flexible to do yoga?
Absolutely not! It is through the practice of yoga that flexibility increases. The important part of increasing flexibility is mindfulness. When we get to our edge (where we feel a deep sensation of stretch) it is best to step back a little and hold while breathing to avoid a strain or pull of the muscle fibers.
What items do I need to practice yoga?
Besides your body, mind and breath, there are no required items to practice yoga. For comfort (particularly at a studio or gym) you should have a yoga mat. There are many options for and qualities of mats, so find one that fits your budget and start there. The more you practice, the more you will discover the qualities of mat that work best for how and where you practice. A yoga block(s) is very helpful even if you have practiced yoga for many years, but if you are practicing at home you can also use books, chairs, pillows, or coffee tables to get the support you need. The use of a yoga strap (or a belt or towel) is very helpful especially if you have limited flexibility in your hamstrings or shoulders.
How many classes should I take a week?
There is a saying in the Baptiste yoga community about practice “… 3 times a week will change your body, 5 times a week will change your life!” Unlike competitive sports, the nature of the yoga practice does not require a day of rest between days of practice. Whether you practice a few times a week or every day, avoid pushing to a specific number of classes just to reach a goal when the body may be asking for rest. Be mindful and listen to your body. There is also good sage advice… when you just do not feel like practicing, that’s when you need the practice most!
What should I wear?
Wear anything that makes you feel most comfortable and is appropriate for the space where you are practicing (public or at home). You can do a quick test to see if what you are wearing will be good for your practice: Can I lift my arms over my head? Can I fold forward without my pants falling down or my shirt falling over my face? Can I breathe deeply without feeling constricted? There is no need for socks or shoes.
What if I cannot remember the names of poses?
At Yoga Holmes we do not only speak Sanskrit (the language often spoken in yoga classes). We blend Sanskrit pose names with the English name as well as describe the posture. This way you do not have to guess the pose and at the same time you will naturally begin to learn the Sanskrit names of poses especially if you choose to learn the names.
What does namaste mean?
Namaste is a salutation paying respect or homage to whom you are speaking and is also often stated at the end of yoga practice.