I’ve never been to a yoga class before, will I be able to keep up (due to my fitness levels, age, size, etc…)?
The quick answer – yes! In a way, there is no ‘keeping up’, if you are in the room and breathing, you’ll be practising and participating in the yoga class.
The slightly longer answer: My teaching is centred on giving you choice and autonomy in your practice. This means that there will always be options for you to choose from. My teaching will be aimed at beginners meaning there will be time to explore postures and find what works for you. I will give plenty of options for more experienced practitioners so they can also have a practice that feels right for them. In my classes I’m not looking for people to move in unison, I’m looking for people to move how their body wants/needs to move on that day. And most importantly, rest is a valid and welcome choice!
What can I expect to happen during a yoga class?
Specific details for each class can be found on my booking site, but please see an overview below of the types of classes I offer:
Vinyasa / Flow: Vinyasa translates roughly as the combination of breath and movement. Postures are linked together to create more of a ‘flow’, which is why these classes will sometimes be called ‘Flow’ classes. The postures will be a variety of standing postures, balancing postures, seated postures and then some lying down postures. The movements are all connected to your breath, sometimes you might have one breath per movement and in other times there will be 5-10 breaths. Don’t worry about counting though, that’s why I’m there! The beauty of this practice is that everyone’s breath is different so it means you can really move to your own pace. Every few moments we’ll all pause and wait until everyone is ready to move on (that’s where you get little pockets of rest too!)
Restorative: Restorative yoga is all about rest! In an hour long class you can expect to do between 4 and 6 postures, spending anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 minutes in each. All postures will be on the floor, but we might do a few standing warm-ups first. You will use props such as foam blocks, foam bricks, bolsters (cushions) and blankets to make yourself as comfortable as possible – the aim is that it should take zero effort to be in the posture. Whilst in the posture, you can then listen to the music and rest – I’ll be there to protect the space. If I’m honest, it’s almost harder to do this restorative practice than more physical practices. It’s drummed into us that we have to be productive and always go-go-go, how often do we get a chance to do absolutely nothing?
Chair: Firstly, yes, you can practice yoga in a chair! Essentially a chair class will be similar to a Vinyasa class except the postures will all be done in a chair. The focus will be on combining breath and movement. We’ll start with some warm ups, move into a bit of a flow (see the Vinyasa section above) and then end in a rest posture.
What should I wear to a yoga class?
The most important thing is that you’re comfortable! Don’t worry about specialist sports or yoga gear (except for socks, see question below) – you just need to be able to move freely and feel good. If you’re new to a yoga class and not sure what to expect, I’ve given some examples below which will hopefully help you to choose comfortable clothes.
- In a vinyasa yoga class, there may be postures such as Downward Facing Dog where your head is lower than your waist – this can cause some looser tops to fall out of place. This isn’t an issue at all, but it is worth thinking about whether or not this will be comfortable for you.
- Most yoga classes will involve folding forward in some form or another. I’d recommend making sure waistbands aren’t too tight in case this feels restrictive or uncomfortable for your body.
- All classes will end with a Shavasana or rest posture which can be done lying on the floor or sat on a chair. Some tops or trousers might have zips, ties or knots on waist bands so again, it is just worth thinking about whether or not this will be comfortable for you.
Do I have to practice yoga barefoot?
The choice is entirely yours whether you practice barefoot or wearing socks. If you would prefer to, or need to, wear socks then I would recommend getting socks with grip rather than regular socks which will slip on a yoga mat. A quick online search will give you lots of results for ‘yoga socks’ which have grip on the bottom. I cannot recommend specific options as I personally practice barefoot.
During a restorative yoga class, you will be in postures for 5-10 minutes so you might prefer to leave your socks on for warmth!
What do I need to bring to a yoga class? Do I need specialist equipment?
For the first few classes, all you really need to bring is yourself and a bottle of water. Some practitioners also like to bring a towel so they can wipe their hands and face if they sweat during the class but that is optional and up to you.
After you’ve tried a few classes, you might want to invest in a yoga mat and bring your own to class. In the meantime, I have mats that people can borrow to use in the class and these are cleaned between sessions.
I also provide props (blocks, bricks, bolsters/cushions and blankets) but once you find some favourite props you might want to buy and bring your own.
Restorative classes: In restorative classes, lots of props are used so you are welcome (and I recommend) that you bring any cushions/blankets that you might like – but I will have some you can use.
Is it ok if I eat before a yoga class?
As with any physical practice, it’s probably not a good idea to eat a big meal beforehand! You’ll be moving and bending so please think about your comfort levels if you do eat beforehand.
Of course, if you require food / snacks handy for medical reasons you are more than welcome to bring these into class. Your self care and needs take priority.
Will you adjust, assist or touch me during the yoga class?
As a general rule, I do not include adjusts, assists or touch in my yoga classes. You know your body better than I do! I will give verbal cues (steps) to follow during the class.
The only time I might offer an assist, or touch, is in Shavasana, which is the final resting pose. For this, I might offer to lay a blanket over you so you can stay warm.
If you would like a specific adjust or assist in certain postures, please contact me before a class so that we can discuss this first.
Why don’t you offer adjusts, assists or touch in your yoga classes?
For some, adjusts, assists and touch play a big part in their yoga practice. I personally choose not to use them as I’m still exploring my own relationship with assists and touch in yoga classes.
In the yoga industry there have been a lot of issues surrounding abuse in yoga spaces and a lack of consent when teachers use adjustments, assists and touch. For more information about this, I’d like to refer you to my friend Miriam of LIT Yoga and her blog series about the student-teacher power imbalance and consent in yoga:
Where did you train and what qualifications do you have?
Full details about my training and qualifications can be found on my Qualifications & Development page, but please see a summary below.
I am a qualified 200-hour Yoga Teacher and my qualification is recognised by Yoga Alliance. This means I have completed 200 hours of training with a Yoga Alliance approved training centre – in my case, this was Yoga Quota in Oxford (now Nourish Yoga Training). I’ve also completed my 30-hour Accessible Yoga Training and 85-hour Pregnancy & Post-natal Yoga Teacher Training.
Yoga Alliance: https://www.yogaalliance.org/
My Yoga Alliance profile: https://www.yogaalliance.org/TeacherPublicProfile?tid=254658
Is there a yoga teacher ‘Code of Conduct’ you adhere to?
I am registered with Yoga Alliance and must therefore adhere to their Code of Conduct:
Do I have to attend every week? What happens if there is a week I cannot attend?
There is no obligation to attend a class every week, it is your practice.
Please refer to the studio you have booked through for their cancellation policies and time limits on class passes.
If I’m running late for class, can I still attend?
For the comfort and security of everyone in the class, the doors to the practice location will be closed and not accessible from the start time of the class (if a class starts at 3pm, the doors will be closed at 3pm).
Although I appreciate that things crop up (traffic, being held up at work, etc…) I hope you can appreciate that the comfort and experience for people in the class must come first. The first few minutes of a yoga class are focused on grounding and settling into the space and for this to happen it is really important that there are no interruptions and distractions.