Beginners Corner – Demystifying Yoga
Beginners Corner is our place in the Yoga Community for you to learn about Yoga. Running, Walking, Cycling, Rowing, Tennis, Golf, Soccer, or any other activity we humans endeavor to use for fun, fitness and entertainment have very specific meanings to people. In any crowd you could ask what is Running, or Weight training, Tennis and you would get very similar descriptions of the specific activity, from just about everyone you ask. But ask that same crowd to describe Yoga and you will likely get all sorts of descriptions. Some right, some wrong and some other very interesting misconceptions are likely to be included as well. This guide is meant to dispel the mystery of Yoga and hopefully convince you to give this amazing activity a try.
Can’t wait to get started?
Let’s start with “What is Yoga?”
This is a great question and oddly we are not often asked this question… Why? Well, it seems many people have a well formulated idea about Yoga that has been nurtured by perception, misperception, and anecdotal accounts. Frankly, when we ask the question to those who have never tried Yoga we get wildly varying descriptions. More often or not it is quickly followed by some refrain as to how they could never do Yoga because [insert excuse].
That’s exactly why we created Beginners Corner. So, let’s try to define Yoga. Yoga comes from the sanskrit word yuj which translated means “unite”. There are several interpretations of this but I take it as uniting the mind, body, soul. While it is true that Yoga is based on hindu philosophy (note, I did not say religion; more on that later…), there is plenty more to the rest of that definition – “…inner peace and controlling the body and mind.” This is the heart of yoga. It is this phrase that defines Yoga, its benefit, and its purpose. You will often hear Yoga described as a Journey or a Practice, and you will also frequently hear the word intention. When in the company of experienced practitioners you will hear these words quite a bit. But, a Journey to where? Practicing and intending to do what?
Your class ROCKED! I had such a great time and am so glad that I finally did something like that for myself! I know I have a LONG WAY to go, but I loved it! I can’t stop talking about it to whoever will listen and have already talked another friend into coming with me next time. Your studio is beautiful and has an inviting, friendly atmosphere. I loved the way that you teach — your voice is so relaxing and encouraging at the same time. I was a little nervous that I would feel intimidated, but the whole experience was just incredible! I can’t wait for next time!K.R.
“I feel like I have found the missing piece in my life. Yoga has helped me learn to relax which I haven’t been able to do in years. There have been so many positive changes in my life since I joined your yoga class. Even my husband has noticed a change both physically and emotionally. Thanks for that…”Crystal Z
Let’s dispel a few myths about Yoga
5 Things Yoga Isn’t
1) First and foremost yoga is NOT a competition.
2) Yoga is NOT a religion.
3) Yoga does not require any equipment whatsoever.
4) Yoga is not about twisting yourself into a pretzel.
I’m not that flexible!
5) Yoga doesn’t look like much of a workout.
Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga
We get all kinds of questions – We have collected the most common questions here in Beginners Corner.
Why go to a Yoga Studio? My gym offers free yoga...
What do they mean by Ashtanga,Vinyasa, and Bikram Yoga?
What’s the difference between Hot Yoga and Bikram Yoga?
Sometimes, and erroneously, these two terms are often used in place of one another. When in fact there are some significant differences. Bikram Yoga, created by Bikram Choudhury, is a very specific 26 poses practiced in a studio thats been heated to sauna like conditions (105 degrees Farentheit and 40% humidity). While Hot Yoga is similar, it is not restricted to the same 26 poses and the level of heat and humidity is at the discretion of the studio. While the difference is subtle, it does explain why you will see Hot Yoga offered at some studios and Bikram at others.