According to the ancient texts of Yoga a studio should be "simple, clean, practical and natural" (Hatha Yoga Pradipika Chp.1 Verse 13). We honor this description to the best of our abilities at LTY.
Upon entering any Yoga studio you should immediately remove your shoes and there should be a place designated for them and the storage of your personal belongings. Electronics, including smart watches, should not be brought into the studio space. Anything that might distract you from the practice should remain away from your mat. Your personal items should be put somewhere safe and secure. At Lake Tahoe Yoga we lock our doors during the practice so you do not need to worry about your personal items.
The entirety of the space should be well organized. From the lobby to the bathrooms, it should be obvious that they space has been considered and the necessary items are available. All the necessary materials should be readily available and clearly marked. It should be easy for you to figure out where things belong when it is time to return them.
The studio space should feel spacious and roomy. The floors should be clear of debris and dust and the shared materials should be clean. You may do your part to maintain the studio by cleaning your mat after you use it.
From the moment you enter to the moment you leave the Yoga studio treat it as sacred. Keep your vocal volume low, respect the space, materials and those joining you for the practice. Consider how your behavior is affecting everything around you. This practice is the beginning of Yoga.
What do I Wear?
This is not a fashion show. Yoga isn't about what you have on your body, it is about what is inside. Show up in comfortable clothing in which you feel confident moving. You may practice in running shorts and a polo, or a sleeveless top and a skort. We don't judge. Our goal is for you to feel welcomed, happy and ready to try anything.
I am not flexible, will I be able to do anything during class?
Originally, yoga was practiced in order to develop flexibility. Ancient yogis thought that by moving and stretching their bodies prior to sitting for meditation, they would be able to sit more comfortably for longer. Do what is accessible to you and challenge yourself to attempt that which appears out of reach. Over time, the more you try, the more you will be able to do.
I am not very strong, what should I do if I feel like I cannot do something during class?
Our goal is to help you feel inspired to try every pose that we offer during the class. However, when you first begin, the movements may be new and challenging. Feel free to take a break by sitting down, standing in mountain (pictured below) or resting in child's pose (pictured below).
Moutain Pose - Tadasana Stand tall with hands by your sides.
Child's Pose - Balasana (bottom) Rest your hips upon your heels and stretch arms forward or by your sides.
I am dealing with a variety of physical issues and pain. What should I do if these things limit my ability to practice?
Listening to your body during any physically demanding activity is important. Yoga is a practice that helps us to identify the difference between pain and discomfort. We will encourage you to challenge yourself, but suggest that you choose a more gentle variation in the case that you begin to experience pain.
You may choose to begin with Privately Booked Sessions to develop comfort and awareness of variations you may use during group classes.
This will be my first time attempting yoga. What should I know ahead of time?
Yoga is over 5000 years old. The practice was originally taught in a 1:1 setting, to men only. Over the past 30 years or so it has grown in popularity in the West. As this has happened, the aspects of the practice have been divided. Many teachers have chosen to focus on just one or two minor aspects of the practice. At Lake Tahoe Yoga we are enthusiastic about the practice as a whole. Therefore, we teach not only Asana (poses), but also breathing techniques, focused concentration, life skills, self care and more.
Is yoga going to help me lose weight, get stronger, become more flexible, relax, destress, reduce anxiety, sleep better, eliminate disease, cure cancer, change the world, etc.?
The practice of yoga, in itself, is not going to do any of these things. Applying the practices of yoga to your life can help you to develop new habits and a healthier lifestyle. As with anything, it is up to you to decide how you want to change your self and the world.
I have been doing yoga at the gym/community center/another studio, but I am looking for a change. What should I look for in a teacher/studio?
All of us have different personalities and desires. A high quality yoga practice should include more than just physical movement. Your teacher should give guidance on variations of the poses, proper breathing and explain the philosophy behind the practice. You should feel welcomed and the studio should be clean. We encourage you to ask questions during class and to provide feedback regarding the teachers. Overall, when you find the right studio and teacher, it should feel like home.
I am pregnant, have high blood pressure, heart issues, etc. Is yoga safe for me?
First of all, pregnancy is neither a reason to begin a practice nor one to stop doing all of the activities you enjoy doing. It is important to listen to your doctor regarding any body issues. There are certain poses recommended for various illnesses and issues and others that are recommended be avoided. In the case of pregnancy, blood and heart issues, it is good practice to avoid going upside-down (headstand/handstand, etc.) and to make sure that you are able to breathe with ease regardless of the position you take. Let your instructor know what, if any, precautions your doctor has given you prior to class. He or she should be able to offer variations on the postures that give you access without causing harm.
I have been hearing people talk about Vinyasa. What is it?
The word Vinyasa is often translated to mean "flow." Simply put, it is a purposeful sequence of postures intended to create a particular effect. Vinyasa can be fast or slow. The key to a quality Vinyasa is the intention. Every movement should gracefully flow into the next with a specific intended effect. This may be physical, energetic, emotional or mindful.
Vinyasa originated as a result of experience in practice. As practitioners became adept in alignment, structure and direction of the poses, they naturally began to flow them together. We recommend choosing a slower moving practice to begin. Choose wisely - not all Vinyasa classes are equal.
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