New Student Guide

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Yoga Etiquette 101

Yoga studios have become places of bustling activity. A space that normally caters to quiet time and personal reflection, now also acts as a social venue. While it’s nice to have a community space for practitioners to gather, there are some best practices that can help maintain a sacred atmosphere that caters to your personal practice.  As you enter the studio please be mindful of the class that may be in session and keep your voices quiet before and during the class.  Once you have entered the room please keep the giggles, whispering and chatting to a minimum in order to help with the reverent atmosphere  the instructor is trying to allow for all the students.  

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Always check in at the front desk.
  • Practice on an empty stomach. Do not eat 2-3 hours prior to yoga practice. Juice or fruit are OK if you need quick energy before class. Drink plenty of water prior to class. Electrolytes help and are sold at the front desk.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear comfortable, form-fitting workout clothing. Layers help to adjust for temperature changes during and after class.
  • Remove your shoes before stepping onto the mat. Leave your shoes in the shoe area. This preserves the sacred nature of the studio space. We recommend taking your valuables inside the studio.
  • Turn off your cell phone. This enhances your experience and is a polite gesture to your fellow students.
  • Notify the teacher of injuries or medical conditions. This helps the teacher know how to assist you and give you modifications.
  • Practice often. 4-6 times per week for maximum benefit. 2-3 times per week will show improvement for most students within three months.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is Yoga?

A: Yoga is both a philosophical system and a physical science whose goal is the attainment of self awareness. With the asana practice we offer here at The Mat we aim to deepen our self understanding through physical movement, breathing, and meditation.

Q: I have never done yoga before, what class should I start with?

A: At The Mat we offer classes in heated rooms and in non-heated rooms. Any Hot Yoga  class will be in a heated room approx 90 degrees.   If you prefer to explore your yoga practice in a non-heated room then the  Pilates or Beginners sessions are an excellent starting point.

Q: What if I’m not flexible?

A: Yoga is not about how flexible you are, but about strengthening your body and spine in all directions. All that matters is that you try the right way. Go to your personal “edge” and you will get 100% of the benefits.

Q: Is it safe to do yoga if I have an injury or medical condition?

A: Yoga is an excellent way to support the body in its healing process. However, you will want to inform your doctor or health care provider before beginning your practice. Be sure to let your teacher know what is going on so they can modify your practice if needed.

Q: I just found out I am pregnant, should I do yoga?

A: Yoga is a great way to support you body and the newly forming body of your child. There are some precautions however. Please talk with your doctor or health care provider about continuing your practice, and inform your instructor before class begins.  

Q: What do I need to do to prepare for a class?

A: You should wear comfortable workout clothing that you can sweat and move in. Come in on an empty stomach, and please drink plenty of fluids before class. Bring a mat and a bottle of water if you have one. The   Please try to come in ten to twenty minutes before class begins. Yoga is a process. Be consistent in your practice. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.

Q: What is yoga etiquette?

A: Please be mindful of the other yogis in The Mat:Arrive early to class.

  • Arrive early to class.
  • Enter and leave the studio quietly to enhance your focus and to acknowledge their relaxation.
  • Refrain from wearing scents. Many people are sensitive or allergic to various fragrances and scents.
  • Don’t use cell phones or pagers while on the mat.

Q: What are the benefits of Yoga?

A: The following are some of the benefits of Yoga:

  • Brings balance and harmony to the body, mind, and spirit
  • Helps with strength, flexibility, range of motion, and balance
  • Calms the mind, reduces stress and anxiety
  • Replenishes energy
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases stamina
  • Strengthens and tones muscles
  • Helps to detoxify the body
  • Improves function of internal organs
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Increases metabolism and energy
  • Can help reduce depression, stress, and insomnia
  • Slows the aging process

Q: What are the benefits of the heat?

A: The heat has many benefits …
The heat means we can get into postures more deeply and effectively – plus the benefits of the postures come quickly. Like thousands before you, you will find that practising yoga in the warm room creates a satisfying and almost addictive feeling of achievement.
The benefits are many:

  • Your body burns fat more effectively, fat may be redistributed and burned as energy during the class. It is common to lose centimetres of shape in a very short time.
  • The heat produces a fluid-like stretch allowing for greater range of movement in joints, muscles, ligaments and other supporting structures of the body.
  • Capillaries dilate in the heat; more effectively oxygenating the tissues, muscles, glands and organs and helping in the removal of waste products.
  • Your peripheral circulation improves due to enhanced perfusion of your extremities.
  • Your metabolism speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids.
  • You benefit from a strengthening of willpower, self control, concentration and determination in this challenging environment.
  • Your cardiovascular system gets a thorough workout.
  • Your muscles and connective tissue become more elastic and allow for greater flexibility with less chance of injury and improved resolution of injury.
  • Sweating promotes detoxification and elimination through the skin – which is the body’s largest eliminating organ.
  • Just as when your body raises its temperature to fight infection, the raised temperature in the room will assist in improving T-cell function and the proper functioning of your immune system.
  • Your nervous system function is greatly improved and messages are carried more efficiently to and from your brain.
  • Metabolism improves in your digestive system and in the body’s cells (that is food in the gut and nutrients in the cells).