Frequently Asked Questions
We want you to feel comfortable the minute you walk through the door at The Yoga Loft. Below, please find some Frequently Asked Questions and commonly used Yoga Terminology. If there is anything we did not cover, feel free to call or email.
Which classes should I start with as a beginner?
We encourage students who are brand new to yoga to start with our Basics & Slow Flow classes. Both of these move at a slower pace and allow more time for alignment instruction. Candlelight Flow & Restore is another good option. Class starts with 30 minutes of beginner/intermediate yoga, followed by 45 minutes of deep relaxation in resting poses, accessible for all. Please read our Class Descriptions page for information, and make your decision based on your general level of fitness.
What if I'm not flexible?
Contrary to the many images we see of yogi's in advanced postures, one does not need to be flexible to begin a yoga practice. Yoga is a life-long practice appropriate for every fitness level and stage of life. Each pose has many variations - making it either more accessible or more challenging. Anyone of any fitness level has the ability to practice yoga. Over time a student's flexibility (and strength) will improve allowing the student to go deeper into the poses. More importantly, this practice will protect one's mobility and make for a healthier body for the future.
What should I wear?
Make sure your clothes are comfortable and appropriate for movement. If wearing baggier pieces of clothing, consider how the clothing will shift if bending forward, lying down, being fully or partially upside down or lifting legs up. If layering, or when choosing between short sleeves or sleeveless, please consider the temperature of the class you are taking (listed in the class description). Please refrain from wearing perfume or scented lotion/oils as other students may be sensitive.
What should I bring?
Most students will bring their own yoga mat and (particularly for Power Flow classes) a towel and a bottle of water. Students have the option of renting a mat if needed. The Yoga Loft provides blocks and straps for all students and all class types. We also provide bolsters and blankets for Restorative classes. Most importantly, bring an open mind :)
Should I eat before class?
In a yoga class you will find yourself forward bending, back bending and twisting your torso. If you haven't digested your last meal it may be uncomfortable. It is recommended that you refrain from eating a major meal for 2-3 hours before class.This can be challenging, particularly for the evening classes that may fall after your typical dinnertime. In those cases, try to eat a hearty, late lunch, or simply have a light snack before class (like a piece of fruit or yogurt) to hold you over until after your yoga practice.
What should I do when I arrive?
Please arrive about 10 minutes before a class is scheduled to begin. This will give you time to sign-in at the desk and get settled in the studio space upstairs. Once in the studio, you may want to get props (for most classes, a strap and 2 blocks is sufficient). It's also helpful for new students to meet the teacher before class and let the teacher know if you have any injuries or medical concerns, so he/she can help modify postures for you if necessary.
Om is believed to be the mystical sound or vibration of the universe and represents the infinite or universal consciousness. Chanting the sound of Om at the beginning and/or end of a class creates harmony and unity among students and teacher.
Namaste is a greeting, taken as a sign of gratitude or respect. It translates to "the light inside of me bows to the light inside of you". Namaste is often said at the close of a yoga class with hands in prayer position at the heart center as a way to acknowledge and celebrate our interconnectedness.
Asana translates into "seat", and was originally used to describe the posture yogis took for meditation. Over time asana became the word used to group all postures, since all poses are a preparation for mediation.
Savasana, also known as "Resting" or "Corpse" pose, is taken at the end of a yoga class allowing all of the effort put forth in the practice to integrate into the body.
Pranayama is the word used for breathing techniques. Broken down, prana means "life force energy" and yama means "control". The most basic pranayama in yoga is to simply breathe in and out the nose, but teachers may guide students to practice other forms of pranayama which each have different physical and energetic benefits.