What is yoga and why should I practice it? Yoga can be traced back to 5,000 years ago and it is a sanskrit word meaning to join, or yoke; union. It’s full meaning is about union of body, mind and spirit. Yoga is an ideal way to build physical strength and flexibility as well as cultivate calm and peace in our spirits. The movements in yoga build a “whole body strength” or core strength that we do not get from all sports and gym activities. The aim of yoga is two-fold. It heals the body and calms the mind.
At Yoga Palm Beach, yoga embodies not only the physical postures associated with the practice but a lifestyle that includes practicing kindness, compassion and patience.
What should I wear/bring to class? Please bring a bottle of water, a towel and a mat if you have one. The studio rents towels and mats and also sells water. Wear comfortable, fitted exercise clothing that you can sweat in. Also, please arrive 15 minutes before your first class to meet your instructor and fill out a short “new student” form. This will also leave you time to relax on your mat, open your mind and prepare to enjoy class.
What if I’m not that flexible? Flexibility is something yoga gives you; you do not have to be flexible to start a yoga practice. When you sit a lot during the work day, or when you are engaging in repetitive motion activities, you are shortening your muscles; yoga allows you to lengthen and expand, and release toxins that build up during these activities.
Increased flexibility is not yoga’s only objective, nor it’s only benefit. The ultimate benefit of yoga – to harmoniously unite body, mind and spirit in a healthy physical practice – can be experienced regardless whether you’re able to easily touch your toes.
Why is the studio heated? Some classes are practiced in a heated room which helps stretch muscle fibers and tendons, and helps prevent injuries to these areas while stretching. The heat also helps increase circulation to tissues and organs, enhances the functioning of the immune system, and provides great healing influence to the entire body. The process of sweating releases toxins, and exfoliates and rejuvenates the skin, the largest organ of the body. The heat will make classes more challenging, however, we encourage students to pace themselves and determine the intensity that works best for them in each pose and throughout the class. Sweating is just as essential to your body as breathing and eating!
When can I expect progress in my yoga practice? Each individual will respond differently to yoga, based on many factors including physical condition, age and genetics. What is far more important than measuring “progress’ is to simply embrace where your practice is, and let go of any arbitrary self-imposed “goals”. Yoga is truly a life-long pursuit, one that you can go on exploring as long as you live. Yoga is about the journey, so enjoy the ride.
How many times a week should I practice yoga? Pattabhi Jois (yoga master) said that yoga is 95% practice and 5% theory. He also said “practice yoga and all is coming”. Yoga is amazing, you will receive some benefit with even one hour of practice a week. Practice as much as you can, but a minimum of 3 times a week is recommended. Transformation will happen over time with a consistent 3 times per week practice, and practicing 3-6 times per week will provide a life changing result.
Will practicing yoga help me lose weight? Practicing any type of yoga will build strength but some do not raise your heart rate enough to burn calories and lose weight. Yoga Palm Beach Vinyasa flow classes practiced at least 3 times a week will give you the cardiovascular workout you need to lose weight.
Yoga is so much more than a weight-loss program but it’s helped many people shed extra pounds, even some who have tried to slim down in other ways without success. The regular practice of yoga also helps you become more sensitive to what’s going on inside your body – this awareness helps you detect not only, for example, your hamstring is tight but also whether your stomach is already full. So many people find that practicing yoga helps them feel better about themselves, regardless of the shape or condition of their body.
What does Namasté mean? Yoga Palm Beach instructors commonly end class with the traditional acknowledgement of “Namasté”. This gesture is an acknowledgement of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow; “as” means I; and “te” means you. Therefore, Namasté literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you”. The gesture is a deep form of respect.