Yoga Basics

Information for New Students:

IMG_0997Welcome to Enlighten Yoga! Whether you are brand new to yoga or coming back to the mat, the information below provides some helpful information, suggestions, and tips to make your experience enjoyable and stress-free.

We offer a variety of classes. There is no prerequisite to take any class on the schedule; however, if you are brand new to yoga, we suggest beginning with the following classes:

  • Yoga Basics (offered 6x/week)
  • Gentle Yoga
  • Hot Long Slow Deep

We also offer kids yoga classes for our younger yogis and yoginis. Yoga Fun for Kids is for ages 5-10; Girls Empowerment yoga is for ages 10-14.

Why Yoga?

Yoga is beneficial for all individuals, regardless of age or fitness level. There have been a number of studies touting yoga’s benefits on a physical level such as improved flexibility, strength, joint mobility, posture, and circulation. However, during class, you are asked to relax, slow the breath, and focus on the present, which can be extremely transformational on an emotional level.

IMG_0996Keep in mind that yoga is a practice! Everyone’s body is different; as such, postures can be modified to fit your individual needs. There is no such thing as a perfect pose. As long as you honor your body and work within your capabilities, you are doing yoga.

Helpful Tips for Your First Class

  • Wear comfortable clothes that don’t restrict movement. While you don’t need to wear spandex, try to avoid clothes that are too loose, as you don’t want to feel uncomfortable in forward folds.
  • It’s best not to eat 1-2 hours before class to allow movement in twists & folds.
  • Hydrate throughout the day, especially if taking a hot class.
  • Arrive at the studio at least 15 minutes before class to complete any paperwork, meet the instructor, and get checked in.
  • Notify your instructor of injuries or health concerns.
  • If you have a yoga mat, bring it with you along with a towel. We also have yoga mats and yogi toes in various sizes (helps to prevent slipping) for rent. The studio is equipped with blankets, blocks and bolsters.
  • Bring water but try to refrain from drinking during class.
  • Yoga is non-competitive; it’s ok to look around but try not to compare or judge. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Keep your attention on your mat and bring your focus inside.

Studio Etiquette:

  • Leave shoes outside the studio. We also recommend taking off your socks, as they can be slick on a yoga mat. There are baskets inside the studio to leave your keys, phones, purses, etc.
  • Silence cell phones before class.
  • Refrain from chewing gum as it interferes with your ability to breath.
  • Be mindful while talking in the retail area.
  • Stay for savasana (final resting pose) – it is the most important pose! If you have to leave early, let the teacher know and leave before people are settled in savasana.
  • Feel free to use the bathroom when needed, exiting the room quietly.
  • Return props to their designated area after class.

Common Questions:

IMG_0998Am I too stiff to do yoga?
Yoga is for everyone! Everybody is different, and we use props and modifications to find our personal version of the posture. Yoga is intended to help you become both strong and flexible. We all come to yoga in varying degrees of these two states; our goal with yoga is to strike a balance between strength and flexibility.

What should I do if I have an injury?
Always consult your doctor before trying any new exercise. Let the instructor know before class so they can help you with modifications or offer props.

 What classes should I start with?
We recommend starting with: Basics; Hot, Long, Slow, Deep; or Gentle. However, you are free to try any class on the schedule. In fact, we often suggest going to the class that is most convenient with your schedule.

When am I ready to move beyond Yoga Basics?
Typically, the next step after yoga basics is Level 1. In our Level 1 offerings, the classes move faster and arm and leg movements are combined in certain postures. Level 2, one step beyond Level 1, includes more arm balances and challenging postures.

What is an assist?
The instructor wants to make sure that you are in a safe alignment. As such, they may offer you a prop and/or adjustment in the posture. If you do not want to be assisted, let the instructor know.

How should I Breath in Yoga?
The breath is the most important part of yoga! Try to inhale and exhale through your nose throughout the class, keeping your mouth closed. Over time, focus on making your inhales and exhales of equal length keeping a consistent and steady pace in both challenging and relaxing postures.

 What is a Full Yoga Breath?
Inhale deeply through your nose first into the abdomen, then through the sides of the body, and lastly into the top part of the chest. Exhale through your nose, reversing the order.

One way we practice breathing while moving is with Sun Salutations, where each movement is linked to either an inhale or an exhale. Move slowly and with control letting your breath guide the movement.

If you would like to print out this information for future reference, you can download our yoga basics brochure here

Yoga is for everyone. You will gain flexibility, strength, and focus over time. The most important thing to remember is to keep breathing!

We look forward to seeing you on the mat! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us at info@enlightenyogaclt.com or call at (704) 543-8000.