What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient self-therapy to “still the thought waves of the mind”, bringing inner peace. Yoga means the union of body, mind and spirit. It is not a religion.

What are the benefits of yoga?

Stretching, breathing and relaxing all improve the circulation of the body’s energy. Improved energy levels bring better health. Postures are the best known aspect of yoga. They promote flexibility and strength to allow you to stay still, alert and comfortable for meditation. Meditation is the practice of focusing the mind. Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has a proven 30% benefit for back function over usual care – see Backs page

Why is yoga good exercise?

30 mins of moderate exercise is recommended for adults most days. Yoga improves energy and stamina. It gives strong, toned muscles, improves posture, confidence and appearance. It also improves mental health and reduces risks of heart disease, stroke or osteoporosis. Yoga is an ideal exercise -it is enjoyable, inexpensive, balanced, non pollutiing, works every muscle and cell, can be done regularly, is low impact, can be done in groups or alone, requires little space or equipment, is understandable, interesting, safe, gives gradual progression, is non-competitive, benefits body, mind and spirit, and is appropriate to the individual who keeps in control.

What sort of yoga do you teach?

Hatha yoga, which is mainly postures, breath awareness and relaxation. I am trained by the British Wheel of Yoga. Each week I choose a theme. Examples are Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs, energy, strength, breath expansion, concentration, balance, sleep or the time of year. Themes are often chosen in response to requests by students. I have a special interest in Low Back Care and healing/Ayurveda the medical background to yoga.

What do people say about your classes?

See the Quotes page.

Are there levels or exams for your yoga students?

No. Yoga is not competitive as flexibility and balance vary over the day. Be an uncritical witness with attention in the present. Good yoga is done with relaxed concentration.

When are yoga exercises not recommended?

In the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and first 5 weeks postnatally.
If a posture causes pain or makes you feel dizzy.
If you are unsure, consult your doctor.

How should I prepare for a class?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing e.g. a track suit.
Do not to eat for an hour and a half before. Exercise is not advised on a full stomach.
Bring a mat if you have one. 14 can be borrowed or are £15 to buy.
Tell the teacher of any health problems on a medical form.

What should I remember when doing yoga?

Breathe through the nostrils.
Exhale and relax when moving downwards, or into a stretch.
Keep breathing soft and even, particularly when holding a pose.
Work in bare feet to avoid slipping and for better awareness.
Think positively, focus on exhaling into tight areas and try to keep your back long.
Sit if you feel dizzy.
Tell the teacher if you need a modification, or just rest.
You choose how long to keep a pose.

How do prices work?

The first class is pay as you go. Then either pay in advance for the next 6 weeks of class times (or until end of summer term in July). If you know you will be away, you can let me know in advance and will not be charged. You may pay for one class and then make up the difference at the second. You may also pay as a drop in. A £1 surcharge applies to paying weekly as drop in. Concessions are £1 per class off.

Do you teach private lessons?

Yes. Private yoga plans are £40 per hour at Grange Street, Fulford Road or £175 for 5 hrs. £45 if I come to you for a private lesson within York’s ringroad. £100 per 75 mins (or £8 per person whichever is greater) for Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs group classes. For other group prices please enquire. I also teach In Service Training Days for teachers of yoga.

I do Wii Fit Yoga, is this OK?

Yes, Wii Fit has its benefits. Combining this with learning yoga with a teacher improves alignment, ranges of movement, toning and general fitness. Going to class will also teach more about the reasons why certain postures and breathing practices may be of particular use to your needs.

Any other questions?

Ask me questions. Yoga is long-term project assisted by regular practice. You decide what works for you. Even 5 minutes of mindful practice daily will improve your life.

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