Dear Interested Yoga Student,
Welcome to yoga! It’s wonderful that you have an open mind to learn about something new.
Yoga may be new to you, but it actually is a very ancient science, thousands of years old. The beauty of yoga is that it can be applied to our hectic modern-day living. Having been a student and teacher of yoga for over 20 years, I have had the opportunity to see how yoga truly benefits its students in his or her own personal way.
Often the first obstacle to practicing yoga is to not truly believe that you deserve the time to practice. As I tell my students, your body does so much for you that it deserves some special time to rejuvenate so that it can better serve you and you can better serve others. Don’t wait until your body is in pain, though that is when people often begin yoga.
Some people may not have tried yoga because of their misunderstanding that they must be extremely flexible. The primary purpose of yoga is to promote mental well being by connecting the mind and body together. Success in yoga is measured not by one’s flexibility, but by one’s willingness to make the union of mind, body, and spirit.
Through the years of teaching yoga I have found that the primary need of my students is to relax and release stress and tension. The medical world is now saying that 98% of our illnesses are stress related. For these reasons I have developed yoga style called “Restful Yoga.” In Restful Yoga I encourage the students not to feel any competition, not among the class members and not even within one’s self–it’s all about doing what is right for you at the moment. I talk the students through easy-to-learn stretches, asanas, deep breathing, and relaxing exercises, while emphasizing that they work at their own pace and level. The student then leaves feeling stretched out, restful, and rejuvenated.
I encourage you to take a session or at least one class to see if yoga may be something that will benefit you. Try yoga–you may do it the rest of your life!
Information Sheet for New Students
Congratulations for taking time in your busy life to come to yoga class. You should feel very good about your decision to learn about yoga. Yoga is so rich in what it has to offer. It’s about the mind, body, and spirit. In this class we will focus on relaxing, breathing, and stretching. This will release stress and tension allowing your mind, body, and emotions to become better so you can better meet your daily challenges. Go slowly and concentrate on the way you feel.
I have been practicing yoga since 1975, when I took a yoga class at the YWCA. Since then I have taken other classes and taught yoga in Asheville, NC, Palau (Micronesia), and Frankfort. I have compiled the following information to better prepare you for yoga, and I also highly recommend either borrowing or buying a book on yoga. There are also lots of videos available.
Relax and enjoy! Yoga may be something you will practice the rest of your life.
Preparation Before Class
1. Bring a mat or towel (if you want)
2. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes.
3. Remove any jewelry that may get in your way.
4. It is best not to eat at least one hour before doing yoga; two hours is better.
5. If you have any health concerns please let me know. It is best to have a physician’s permission to take yoga if you have any major concern.
1. Use this time wisely and well.
2. Let go of all thoughts and worries. Simply begin to watch. Shift from a thinking mode to a feeling-sensing mode.
3. Everyone is different, so let your body guide you in deciding whether you should stretch more or less, hold the posture longer or shorter, and so on.
4. Never risk injury by forcing your body into a position or by straining to go further than you are presently able. It is only when your muscles are relaxed that they will stretch and allow you to advance in a posture.
5. Be patient and take your time, but challenge yourself and simply persist. When you truly listen to yourself, you are your own best teacher.
6. Immerse yourself fully in what you are doing as you are doing it.
7. The three stages of an asana are: (1) coming into the pose, (2) holding it, and (3) coming out of it.
8. Once you are able to relax in a pose, you can adjust your position to achieve a greater stretch.
9. Yoga breathing is an exercise that also takes practice. As you inhale and exhale, don’t overdo it, but be persistent.
10. Whenever you need help or have a question, please ask me either during class or after class, or call me.
11. If you miss a class, you can make it up by attending any of the other classes that are offered during the session as long as the class is not full (please call in advance).
12. CLASS SCHEDULE: If you are making up a class call before class
[Current schedule here]
1. You may want to keep a journal.
2. I have recorded a tape of my yoga class so that students can practice at home. CD is $8.00 and tape is $6.00
3. Practice yoga as often as you can. The more you practice, the more change you will experience.
4. Remind yourself daily to relax, breathe deeply, keep good posture, think positive thoughts, take time to be still and quiet, eat healthy foods, be happy, and smile.
5. When you practice yoga, you don’t just exercise your muscles. It also aids in healing your body by making you balanced, strong, flexible, sensitive, energized, and relaxed. Yoga also trains your mind to concentrate. This combination of body and mind culminates in the experience of stillness and peace.
6. Join me for our annual spring, summer, and fall retreats at Leeland Valley.
7. Yoga gift certificates are available.