I am often asked questions before a first class or workshop so this is my attempt at answering the most frequently asked questions for you. If you have questions not answered here then please do contact me to ask.
What style of yoga do you teach?
I don’t teach one style of yoga. I teach individuals. All physical styles of yoga come under the general umbrella label of Hatha Yoga and my teaching fits within this label. This term is used to describe any yoga which includes a mix of physical posture practice, breathing practices and some form of meditation or relaxation designed to bring your attention inwards. I trained in one specific tradition but include teachings and practices from many sources and combine this with current sports and medical science knowledge. I have been particularly influenced by the work of teachers who emphasise the need for individualisation of the yoga to suit each person and think it is important to have the in depth understanding of anatomy to ensure that each person is working safely and effectively. Each class differs to offer a new way for the body and mind to adapt to the practice. I also encourage a way of working with yoga which allows you to take that knowledge ‘off the mat’ and into the rest of your life.
What should I wear?
Wear clothes you can move freely and comfortably in. Yoga involves moving in all planes of movement, forwards, backwards, sideways, twisting, standing, lying, and sitting, so clothes which don’t restrict your movement are best. Try to avoid wearing anything with a zip which will dig into you, especially when lying down. Layers are best so that you are warm enough to be comfortable when relaxing or still but not overheating when working in postures. You might also want to test what happens to t-shirts when raising arms or bending forwards, for example. You don’t need to wear anything special though as long as it is comfortable for you.
What do I need to bring?
I provide mats, blocks and belts in the studio so there is no need for you to bring anything. If you do have your own mat and/or other equipment and wish to use it then please feel able to do so.
Do you have a beginners class or workshop?
I have in the past offered classes and workshops specifically for beginners but have found that the best learning environment is to be in the company of people of all levels of experience. You learn from each other. I offer plenty of instruction so that everyone knows what they are doing and I offer modifications wherever needed. There will always be someone in the class who is either as new as you to yoga or has only recently started. There will also be others in the class with plenty of experience but who are learning something new for the first time just as you are. That might be about the posture or it might be about themselves. I encourage everyone to practice their yoga with the attitude and enquiry of a beginner, whatever your previous experience. That’s what keeps you engaged with learning and developing your yoga practice.
Can I keep my mobile on to stay contactable?
It is generally accepted practice that people turn off their mobiles or switch them to silent when attending a yoga class or workshop. Your time there might be the only time in your week when you are free from the need to be contacted by anyone in the outside world and this alone can bring a great deal of relaxation. However, I do have some people who come to class who want to be reassured, for example, that their baby is OK or who are doctors or similar on call. If you need to keep your phone on then let me know and it is fine for you to do so. Usually people opt to keep the phone on vibrate so that it is audible to them without necessarily disturbing others.
What footwear do I need?
Yoga is practiced without shoes. Most people opt to wear socks for relaxation practices and work with bare feet when in standing poses. If you prefer to work in socks throughout that is fine though may affect your ability to not slip on the mat so extra care is needed. (As shoes are not needed during the class, I ask everyone to leave their shoes outside the studio yoga space. There is a storage area on the landing at the top of the stairs. This keeps the studio clean and uncluttered.)
Do I need to book a ‘term’ of classes or can I book individual classes?
Having over the years offered classes in ‘terms’ of varying durations I now find that offering the flexibility of individual classes works best for you and for me. You can book any number of the classes advertised on my website at a time and have no commitment to the same day of the week or attendance every week and no restriction to how many classes you come to each week. All classes cost £8.00. If you book a class and then find you are unable to attend you can cancel up to 2 hours before class at no cost. Any payment made can be transferred to a future class. Cancellations or non-attendance with less than 2 hours notice need be paid for as I will be unable to offer your place to anyone else.
Which classes do you have availability in?
If when you go to book the class in my ‘Shop’ the system allows you to add a place into your basket then you can be sure there is availability. I have set the system to monitor the number of places available and it will warn when there are only 1 or 2 places left and now allow you to book if the class is full.
I don’t use online banking or PayPal so can I still book online?
When you book online you will be offered four methods of payment: BACS, cash, cheque or PayPal. You can select the cash or cheque payment method if that is your preference.
Am I too inflexible/old/unfit to do yoga?
Nobody is too anything to do yoga, if they want to. Over the years, I have taught yoga to people ranging from 5 to 93. I have students who have MS, Parkinsons, are amputees, have back pain, or have conditions such as Fibromyalgia. Others are athletes who have specific injuries they need to recover from. When I started yoga I was very fit but completely inflexible. I have experience and knowledge of a range of medical, health, and fitness conditions and can tailor the yoga that you do to suit you. Whatever your starting point, I can help you learn and progress at a rate appropriate for you. Before your first class I will send you a short health questionnaire to complete so I can be sure to keep you safe. You can also have a private chat with me before your first class if you need to.
Are people in classes friendly or is everyone very serious?
You will find that I have a playful sense of fun in my teaching and that is echoed by those who come to classes and workshops. I take my yoga seriously in the sense that I consider it a profoundly important part of my life and I consider it an honour to be one of a long line of teachers who have passed on the knowledge and value of yoga. However, I like to take a playful approach to working with postures and I encourage everyone to have fun and enjoy the time they spend practising yoga and enjoy sharing that experience and learning with others. You will find a warm and welcoming environment in any of my classes or workshops.
Do I need to know the names of any of the postures?
I made a conscious decision when I began teaching yoga to generally use the English names for yoga postures rather than their Sanskrit names. Sanskrit is a lovely language with layers of spiritual meaning to each word and I may on occasion talk a little about some of the meaning behind the name but when leading you into a pose I will do so with anatomical cues rather than just giving a name. If I give a name it is usually the English version. I want everyone in the class to be able to understand where they are positioning parts of themselves in order to fully benefit from the pose.
One exception to my generally not using Sanskrit is that I like to end classes by saying “Namaste”. This is a Sanskrit word which represents a recognition of the depth of human spirit of each of us and for me sums up the positive shared experience everyone has been a part of in the class.
I’m very happy to answer any other questions you may have.