Do I need do book for a class or can I just turn up?

There is no need to book unless it is specified for a particular event or workshop. You are welcome to bring your own mat if you wish, but we have all the equipment at the studio for your comfort. If you haven’t been to the studio before, its a good idea to arrive 10 minutes early and speak to the teacher, share your concerns/injuries/experience so they know how to work with you and and make yourself comfortable on your mat with whatever props you need.

I’M JUST A BEGINNER…

I recommend that as a beginner you start with a basic introduction to yoga to learn the foundations from the ground up. I have over fifteen years experience as a natural therapist and yoga teacher so I will make sure you are safe at all times. Your first yoga experience can set the pace for your entire yoga ‘career’ so it’s important to feel comfortable and at ease in this new environment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during class or watch other students to follow suit. Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point! There is a phrase ‘beginners mind’ that yogis use to reiterate the importance of being in the moment and developing self awareness. As a beginner you will often experience the most profound releases and insights because yoga is so new and expansive for you. Be brave, be patient and enjoy yourself!

SOMETIMES I FEEL VERY EMOTIONAL…

Yoga helps us to shift stale and stagnant energies that embed as tension, fatigue or weakness in certain areas of the body and within the layers of the mind. Think tight hips, stiff shoulders and neck and contracted hamstrings; think repetitive thoughts, headaches and confused, critical inner dialogue. Every sensation is an indication that energy is blocked. When we begin to breathe deeply and fully, and start to unpack these old energies, emotions begin to rise to the surface ready to be examined, accepted and then released. Don’t worry, it’s absolutely normal and completely fine to shed a tear or feel vulnerable. This may be the first time you have allowed yourself to acknowledge stress or grief, so let things come up and know you are safe and not judged. Everyone has their moments on the mat. This is why we do yoga – to connect more deeply and authentically with ourselves and make the connections between what we think, feel, do and resist, and our happiness.

HOW MANY CLASSES…

Ideally two to three classes per week will manifest many wonderful benefits for you. Yoga can increase your sense of peace and calm, greater love of self and others, better sleep, mental clarity and inner stillness, the gift of connecting to and understanding the self, increased lung capacity and lowered stress levels. It will also create a stronger, flexible and capable physical body that will feel more comfortable to live in.

CAN I PRACTICE YOGA IF I’M PREGNANT OR MENSTRUATING?

Yes. I offer a comprehensive and holistic prenatal course where you can come each week to move gently and safely as well as learn about sacred birth techniques and connect with other mums to be. These classes give you sisterhood support as well as time to commune deeply with your unborn baby. They will also help strengthen and open your body, release old beliefs that might hinder your sense of confidence and calm and teach you how to rest and relax deeply into your beautiful, expanding body, heart and soul. These are very popular courses so bookings are essential.

WHAT DOES YOGA MEAN?

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke” or “to unite”. As a practice, it is a scientific system for achieving total health, mental, and spiritual well-being; a means to unite the body, mind, and spirit. The term yoga is often to describe the postures or the physical part of yoga; however, these poses, called ‘asana’, are only one of the eight “limbs” of yoga. If you are interested to learn more I recommend the following books: Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar; ‘The Tree of Yoga’ by BKS Iyengar; ‘The Bhagavad Gita’; Patanjali’s Sutras; ‘The Yamas and Niyamas’ by Deborah Adele and ‘Autobiography of a Yoga’ by Paramahanda Yogananda.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I PRACTICE?

Traditionally yoga was taught by masters to individuals as a daily practice and as a powerful tool to facilitate self awakening and self development. The idea of maintaining a daily practice can be quite overwhelming to a beginner so I recommend you set a goal you can realistically keep. Consistency is the key – it’s far better to attend one class per week than to attend four classes one week, none for the next two weeks, one the next week and then none. The more you practice, the better you will feel and the more you will want to practice. Binge yoga will not serve you in the long run!

WHAT IF I CAN’T DO A POSE?

Yoga is about baby steps; we must crawl before we can walk and walk before we can run. I always offer a modification when I they see someone uneasy in any posture and encourage students to “make the posture yours”. I never tell students to contort themselves in order to fit into an ideal of what they think a posture should be or to replicate what they have seen in the media or a magazine. I don’t push bodies into postures they aren’t ready for and prefer to stress the non-competitive nature of yoga by inviting you to make the practice your own. Do what is best for you. Don’t force yourself into a shape that you aren’t ready for because we certainly won’t be asking you to do that. The golden rule of thumb is: ‘If it hurts, don’t do it!’

IS YOGA A WORKOUT?

Although the focus in yoga is more about inner balance, healing and reconnecting to your deepest self, a regular practice will not only open your mind and offer you a fresh perspective on your life but it will also absolutely change your physical body. While not an intense aerobic workout, it does burn calories, stimulate hormones and enhance internal communication between muscles, joints and organs. Just as importantly, as you move into an improved state of well-being, you will make choices off the mat that also improve your health. This is where it is imperative to practice with teachers who are properly trained and have several years of experience in being able to ‘read bodies’ – even mindsets – and manipulate energy correctly. Mana Yoga has its’ roots in traditional Chinese medicine and the meridian system and by practicing this particular style you can influence the function of your organs, your metabolism and all systems in your body. There are specific postures that address weight balance as well as effecting the associated emotions and mindsets. You will definitely be moved, cleared and strengthened on all levels.

IS YOGA A RELIGION?

Yoga is a philosophy, not a religion, although it does have a potent spiritual component. Yoga has been practiced by individuals of widely differing beliefs all around the world for generations. In order to practice, you only need to believe in the possibility that you can transform yourself, that there is always more to learn and that there is a better way to approach life than through the perpetuation of old habits that just bind and restrict us further. At its’ core yoga opens the heart, enabling us to see where we have not yet tapped into our highest potential as human beings. Yoga seeks to put us in touch with our spiritual core – our inner nature – our truth.

DO I NEED TO BRING ANYTHING?

Although we have yoga mats for you to use whilst you practice at the studio, you will need to have your own mat if you are going to practice yoga at home. It’s also more hygienic, and more importantly, having your own mat will make it much more likely that you will unroll it at home! The mats we use and promote in the studio are eco yoga mats. They are a little more expensive than ‘regular’ mats but they last longer, are free of nasty toxins and are completely biodegradable. You will be able to purchase your own in our shop soon if you wish. You might also want to bring water – in an aluminum bottle as we are a plastic free studio – though we suggest you drink before and after your practice, not during.

CAN I LEAVE DURING CLASS?

In order to keep disruptions to a minimum, please plan to arrive on time and stay for the entire class. If for some reason you need to leave early, please let me know in advance. You are of course always welcome to enter and exit the studio (quietly) during class to use the restroom and please turn off your mobile phone or put it on silent if you are expecting an urgent call.

DO YOU OFFER CLASSES IN THE WORKPLACE?

Yes. I have experience teaching in offices, hospitals and schools, as well as team-building classes held privately at the studio for corporate groups. I also specialize in support classes for mothers’ groups. To arrange a corporate yoga class or series, please contact us at denby@denbysheather.com.

I AM READY TO TAKE MY FIRST CLASS…

Please arrive at the studio about ten minutes before class time so you can meet me, have a quick chat with other students and then get yourself settled. You’ll be shown where to leave your personal items, reminded to turn off your cell phone and guided to a mat. Grab any props you feel you need on the way. If others are already resting on their mats, please keep noise/conversations to a minimum. Arriving early will also give you time to ask me any questions you might have and share any injuries or physical conditions for your safety. It is imperative that I know if you are pregnant or dealing with an acute injury BEFORE class begins.

CAN I PAY BY CASH OR CARD?

At the moment we only have facilities for cash if you wish to pay casually. We have the Glofox app installed for your convenience so you can book in for one class, buy a pass or purchase one of our special membership offers and save yourself time AND money. Please note that pass and membership extensions or changes to conditions are not permitted.

CAN I BRING A TEENAGER TO CLASS WITH ME?

Teens are welcome to attend at a reduced price with a parent – $10 – but they must be over the age of 16. This is because yoga for children addresses very different needs to that of the adult body, and to keep growing bodies safe, a specific teens or kids class is best. If you have any questions, feel free to speak to me of course.