Below is a series of common questions people ask us that will give you some useful information.
I’m very unfit, can I do yoga?
At its essence yoga is for all levels of fitness. Like with many forms of exercise you just work within your limits, listen to your body and don’t over exert. Over a short space of time you will notice an improvement in what your body can do and with regular practice you will experience a rapid improvement in your yoga fitness.
I’ve never done yoga before what classes should I attend?
All styles of yoga are beginner friendly and with the exception of a number of our classes, all classes at Akasha are beginner friendly. Simply tell your teacher your experience level and they will guide you through. However we do understand that some people may want to be in a class with people at a similar level and so we have some foundation classes and beginner courses. These classes will take the time to teach you in more detail each posture and what it’s doing to your body and are great for laying the foundation of your yoga knowledge. You may also want to set up a 1-on-1 session with a particular teacher to concentrate on the learning the basics. For information on beginner workshops keep an eye on the events page.
I am overweight, can I do yoga?
Through a regular practice the physical benefits of yoga will improve your cardiovascular system and increase muscle mass by burning fat so it will help you lose weight. In addition yoga also has psychological benefits that will reduce stress and therefore help manage many eating disorders that can lead to weight gain.
Is yoga for men?
Considering that yoga was used to train Indian warriors it seems to be one of the most ridiculous questions that gets asked constantly. Yoga is for everyone.
I exercise regularly & am very fit so I don’t need yoga, do I?
Not so. Yoga is one of the few exercises that works every single muscle and joint in the body. There are few practices that pay such detailed attention to the entire body. However, if you want to get fit at swimming, you have to go swimming, if you want to be fit at running you have to get out there and run. Yoga alone will not make you fit at these sports if you don’t do them already. However if you are fit at other sports then you will find a huge benefit from yoga. Studies have shown that the breathing techniques and postures in yoga not only increase muscle strength but increases the muscles ability to absorb oxygen from the blood and therefore increases muscle endurance while practising another sport. Some sports don’t pay as much attention to the every area of the body as much as yoga and can leave certain muscles tight. The flexibility exercises in yoga help loosen these areas and increase the length of the muscle. Certain levels and types of yoga are very cardiovascular based and will get your heart pumping and since it is a practice where you get out what you put in, if your fit already you will get a very good workout. In fact many professional athletes practice yoga like Ryan Giggs, who partly owes his long career to his yoga practice.
Am I too old to do yoga?
You get out of yoga what you put in. So if you are elderly and don’t have such a dynamic range of movement you can still do yoga, you just do what you can do. Since yoga is essentially movement and breathing, when you get older keeping moving, and obviously breathing, is even more essential. So you are never too old for yoga. In fact the oldest yoga teacher in the world is 97, check out this article, Oldest Yoga Teacher turns 97.
I have a joint problem can I do yoga?
Yoga is very good for a number of joint problems and in the long run can solve many of these problems however great care must be taken when deciding to partake and a consultation with your doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor should be undertaken. The teacher must also be made aware of any such problems or injuries so they can guide you through any modifications you may need.
I have a health condition I can’t do yoga?
Similar to the answer above, if you have a particular health issue which you think will hinder your ability to take part in yoga, talk to us. Many health issues, even debilitating ones can be improved with yoga. Classes can be adapted to suit your needs and modifications can be made to ease your practice. We even have MS sufferers participating in our classes and the feedback from them has been very positive.
Which yoga should I do?
Refer to our Types of Yoga page for info.
I’m pregnant, can I do yoga?
Women who are in their first trimester are advised not to practice yoga at all, if you decide to you do so at your own risk. It is better to attend tailored pregnancy classes for students in their second trimester. Pregnant students with an existing practice may wish to come along to regular classes but as they are not pregnancy classes, it’s at your own risk and you must ask the teacher first.
Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is not a religion. Although yoga has its roots in Hindu culture and there are parts of yoga philosophy that are connected to Hinduism and Buddhism your every day yoga practice is a physical and spiritual practice which is centred around you. The only devoting that goes on is to your highest self and your inner teacher.
Why is there chanting?
This is one of the many reasons the previous question gets asked. Chanting is a meditative practice that is incorporated in to some types of yoga and some of our classes. One of the primary reasons for chanting is to focus the mind on a single task and therefore filtering out background noise of everyday thoughts. This enables you to focus and centre your mind so you can concentrate on your practice. There’s no point trying to concentrate on your yoga when all you can think of is work. There is also a more tangible reason to chanting and that is the sound itself you create. Sound can be a very powerful healing tool and can take you to an amazing state of stillness and increased sense of positivity. How many of us can say we have felt good after singing a song, same principle. But there are also physical effects, studies have shown that the vibration created from chanting can actual stimulate the vagus nerve which runs the length of the body and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which aids the ‘rest and heal’ response of the body. Not all of our classes chant but most will have a meditative practice of some sort. And remember if you’re in a class that has a bit of chanting, you don’t have to join in, you can simply sit quietly.
What should I wear?
There are specific yoga pants out there but essentially anything that is comfortable and flexible is fine. For men again there are specifically designed yoga pants and shorts that are designed to be thin and flexible without being tight to the body like female ones but again anything that lets you stretch and is comfortable. It is advised to practice yoga barefoot but if you are more comfortable wearing socks that is fine but make sure you buy yoga socks that provide some grip.
How much does it cost?
Please refer to the Pricing and Passes page for info.
Do I need to bring anything?
We provide all the mats and support props you’ll need but if you want to bring your own that’s fine too. All mats and equipment are cleaned on a regular basis. You may want to bring some water.
When should I arrive?
We suggest arriving 5-10 minutes before the class. You may come earlier if you wish, say from work etc, but then you may have to wait outside if there is a class still in progress. If there is, please be as quiet as possible.