“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.”
What is yoga?
Yoga in Sanskrit means “yuj”: to yoke or union. This union refers to the connection between breath, body, and mind. Yoga is estimated to be around 5,000 years old. Most contemporary forms of yoga have roots derived from the writings of an Indian sage named Patanjali who compiled the Yoga Sutra around 2,000 years ago. This is a collection of 195 verses or aphorisms that includes the eight limbs of yoga (also known as Raja Yoga.) These limbs include: the yamas (external disciplines), the niyamas (internal disciplines), asanas (yoga postures – which is the limb that most people today associate with yoga), pranayama (breath regulation), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (enlightenment, liberation, immersion, absorption).
What does Vinyasa mean?
Vinyasa has its roots in sankrit; “Nyasa” meaning to place and “vi” meaning in a special way. Therefore vinyasa means to place in a special way. Classes include an intentional sequential flow of movement linked with breath. Classes always include setting an intention for one’s personal yoga practice and are encouraged to take steps to achieve their goals.
Is yoga a religion?
No, it is not. Yoga is a philosophy, science and art that comes from India and is estimated to be 5,000 years old. It is meant to work alongside any belief system.
How is yoga different from other forms of fitness?
Yoga is much more than a physical practice. We invite an awakening of dormant energies throughout the body, mind and spirit. Through the steadying of the mind within the practice, we learn quite a lot about ourselves, our attachments and our avoidances. With true compassion, we begin to let go of negative mental patterns and self-imposed limitations that may prevent us from feeling connected to present moment. You will likely see an improvement in strength and flexibility, you may even lose weight, but we don’t consider these to be our primary goals.
How often should I practice?
Come take a class and see how it goes, you will likely feel a difference after just one class. It is a truly powerful practice. Consider 2-3 times/weeks to start. Remember the more you practice, the more a difference you will feel. If you find yourself short of time, 15-20 min. at home is better than nothing.
I’m not flexible. What if I cannot touch my toes?
All the more reason to start a regular yoga practice! After all, we all have a first time for everything. If you wanted to learn French, the instructors wouldn’t assume you know how to speak the language in the first class. Our talented instructors are compassionate guides who look forward to helping you learn this new language of the body!
Why is chanting included in some classes?
Chanting is unique to certain schools of yoga. At Leela Yoga we believe in the healing qualities of sound and vibration. It is not a religious element. Yet we do respect all religions and encourage you to use the practice of yoga to enhance your personal belief system. We have no dogma here. You’re welcome to chant and you are welcome not to chant. Sometimes, it’s just nice to sing for the heck of singing, tone deaf or not!
What do I eat or drink before class?
Try not to eat two-three hours before you practice. We twist the body and turn it upside down and bend it forward quite a lot. If you do need to nourish yourself, consider a light healthy snack.
What do I wear and what should I bring?
Wear something easy to move about in like sweat pants, leggings, or shorts, Nothing too loose otherwise you’ll be adjusting it a lot. And nothing too restrictive so that you can move easily. Wear what feels comfortable and what can handle sweat. One thing you should not wear is a scent. Make sure you shower and remove perfumes or colognes. Don’t worry about footwear since we practice barefoot. Please remove your shoes inside the doors. Consider bringing water and a mat of your own. However, we do have both available for purchase at the studio.
Should I pay and sign up for classes ahead of time?
It is nice to know who is coming to class but at this point it is not required.