New to Yoga?
Initially we each had our reasons to come to Yoga. Some of us were feeling just a little too stiff at the end of the workday. Some wanted to experience peace and calm and escape the stress of a performance based world. Many of us were ready for meaningful community ritual that didn't involve drinking or consuming.
It could have been something far less profound: our friends were doing it, or we found a really good online coupon. No matter, those of us who practice have found our own paths to the mat, and we hope you will too.
Yoga really isn't that scary. Despite the media driven images of impossibly thin women bending themselves into pretzels, this isn't real life at a yoga studio like Santosha. Far from it. Not being flexible is a smart reason to try coming to yoga. Fancy yoga clothing is not required - just your presence and the ability to breathe.
Yoga teaches tools for self exploration, it is not performance nor entertainment.
The hardest part of an new path is often getting through the door. Many of us experience this with yoga. Santosha School has a friendly community. You are most definitely welcome here, and we know you'll feel it when you walk through our door. We understand that walking through that door is sometimes the hardest part. We've each been there.
When you schedule a class at Santosha, it is important to realize that there are no expectations here. All we ask is that you bring the body you have now. Yoga is not about performance. It's about breathing and doing what you can do today. Each day is different. There is no need to judge yourself in yoga. This change in mental perspective - from performance to exploration - is one of the reformatting gifts yoga provides. However yoga still demands discipline: the day I least want to practice is the most important day for me to do so.
How Should I Prepare for a Yoga Class?
There is no need to pre-register. Just show up a few minutes before your first class.
As with other forms of physical activity, don't eat right before a yoga class. A meal three hours prior is ideal although this can vary by individual. You may have a light snack up to an hour prior to class. If you're attending an early morning class you may want to skip breakfast.
The studio will be warm. Wear lightweight, loose, comfortable clothing - preferably of natural fibers. Specific Yoga attire is completely optional.
You may like to bring a small towel to wipe away any excess perspiration.
If you have a yoga mat, bring it. If not, no worries. We have loaners available and when you're ready we have mats available for purchase too.
What to Expect
Generally, yoga is practiced barefoot. Be prepared to remove your shoes and socks upon entering the studio. If you'd feel better with your socks on, that's okay too. Sometimes socks can feel slippery when practicing though.
Relaxing music might be playing before, during and after class.
At the beginning of class we often set an intention for our practice while being seated on our mats. Sometimes we chant. Some of our teachers play the harmonium, an instrument that creates a drone like a church organ. If you feel comfortable, join in the chanting. If not, that's okay too. The intentionality part of class is not overly long and not mandatory.
If you're not used to sitting on the floor tell us so that we help with ways to make you comfortable. We have plenty of chairs.
Some of our teachers do physical adjustments. Generally we leave new students alone for a few classes. If you would like more help, feel free to ask the teacher. As with all relationships, we tend to work more closely with those we know better.
How often should I practice to see the benefits?
Usually students feel the benefits after 1 class. You might be quite sore after the first class - all the more reason to learn the basics and at least do a little at home each day. Yoga repatterns the body, breath, and eventually even the mind.
Eventually we encourage our students to develop a daily practice, done in the morning before the responsibilities of the day. This can be as little as 5 minutes of gentle warm ups for the spine in all directions, and 3 minutes of alternate nostril breathing to claim your own peace in your nervous system. Claiming my own nervous system allows me to then act in the world, rather than react to others - or overreact!
Keep in mind that our free and $5 classes are taught by teacher trainees, so if your first class did not have as much instruction as you wanted - try coming to one of the other classes.
Our classes follow a fairly standard, well rounded routine. Our goal is to teach you how to practice, so that you can learn to do so at home and anywhere. Of course we also hope you continue to come participate in the community and support our school to stay open.
If you still have questions, look at our teachers and see that we have all body types and ages here. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 317-405-8248.