Getting Started - Begin From Where You Are

As a teacher of yoga, almost every day I answer a telephone or email inquiry from a person who is interested in beginning yoga, but does not know where to begin. It’s difficult to advise the newbie - sight unseen - yet there are some guidelines that may help to point the student in the right direction and also for the student to consider.

One of the things that often comes up in the initial conversation is a feeling on the part of the student that he or she is not ‘ready’ to begin....that there is a certain level of yogic knowledge, and of strength and flexibility that one must have BEFORE beginning. This is not true! One of the main reasons for starting and continuing with yoga is to develop strength and flexibility! Even the most advanced yogi is always seeking to learn! This is a life-long process!

My dad, who is now on the Other Side (and no doubt watching our escapades very intently), had a very dry, Scottish sense of humour. One of his favourite sayings was, tongue in cheek, that when setting out on a journey, you cannot get there from here...that you have to begin from somewhere else......’ And then he would follow up with a hearty laugh! My brother and I used to think he was very strange..... It took me many years to learn the true meaning of this old saying. He meant, of course, to point out that there is no other place to begin, other than from that place in which you already are! This is one of the major teachings of yoga. 

Yoga teaches us to come to the mat with what we have - all of our ailments, our limitations, our thoughts, our ways of being - and to just begin. The following are some other guidelines that may be helpful to a new yogi.

It does not matter how old you are. Yoga is not only for the young.

You can begin yoga at any age at all.

If you are out of shape, have not exercised in a while (years!), it might be best to embark with one of our Beginner Classes. Take a look at the times that you are available to come to class. Days, weekends,
or evenings....then match this time to a class that is on the schedule.
To this end, we have added more Beginner Classes to our schedule,
As of July 6, we will have added classes on Monday at 7:30 pm, 
Tuesday at 6 pm, and Thursday at 6pm. Another good choice for
beginners would be our Level 1 classes held Wednesday at 9:30 am or
Monday at 9:30 am.

If you are older, tight and inflexible, hurt (emotionally or physically), stressed and in need of relaxation and rest, or have some sort of on-going condition such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc. etc., you might wish to investigate one of our Gentle Yoga Classes. These classes are held on Tuesday at 9:30 am, Tuesday at 7:30 pm, and Wednesday at 6 pm.

If you are relatively fit (regardless of age), even if you have never done yoga before, you might wish to visit one of our Level 1 and 2
Classes. These classes are held on Monday at 9:30 am, Monday at 6pm, Thursday at 7:30 pm, and Sundays at 11 am.

If you are a warrior and are looking for a physically strenuous class, then one of our Level 2 classes is for you! These classes are held on Friday at 9:30 am, Saturday at 11 am.

If you are looking for a class that is physically challenging without a spiritual component, then Pilates is for you! Tuesday 6 pm.

Other considerations:

We are often asked what to wear to yoga. Bare feet, comfortable clothing...so, a t-shirt and yoga pants for women, sweat pants for men. Ladies, it is helpful to have a longer top so that it does not ride up during the class. Also, hoods on shirts are not such a good idea. Hair gets in the way during yoga, and should be tied back. We have mats that are available for your use while at the studio, but if you are serious about continuing yoga, it is advisable to purchase your own mat - for hygienic reasons, and because you will want to practice at home! For sure!

Each one of our classes - including our more advanced classes- are taught in such a way that each pose is taught step by step. So you will not be ‘behind’ the others, or feel ‘left out.’ If you have an injury or a physical limitation, your teacher will want to know this before class. You will be asked to fill out a waiver form. The teacher may offer you modifications that will help to make the poses more suitable for you. However, you should not feel that every pose will be modified just for you. You must listen carefully to your body, and not push beyond your limits - physically or mentally. You are the one who lives inside your body, and only you know your body best.

Our classes are not over-crowded. We have a spacious, airy studio and a wonderful teaching staff and clientele. We will all do our utmost to make you feel at home.