Frequently asked questions…

What is yoga?

Yoga is a collection of practices, including meditation, breathwork, physical postures (asana) and spiritual exploration that originated in India thousands of years ago.  Today, yoga is practiced in many forms across the world, and often focuses on the physical aspects.

The word “yoga” traditionally is thought to mean “union”, which reflects the union of breath and movement which occurs when we practice yoga. This idea of union extends to the deeper connection with the body, mind and self that is achieved with regular practice.  This self-awareness can then have a positive impact on our relationships with others and the world around us.

My own practice and teaching endeavours to not focus solely on the physical aspect of yoga, although I appreciate that this is the main reason to bring many people to class.  Through encouraging an intuitive approach with connection with the breath and body, specific breathwork practices and meditation, I hope to provide students with a holistic practice that represents what yoga is truly about.

What happens in a yoga class?

Please arrive 5-10 minutes before the start of the class if possible.  The studio is on the first floor – you can remove your shoes and leave them on the shelves outside. The bathroom is on the second floor.  Please turn off all mobile phones and smart watch notifications for the duration of the class.

We will usually start either seated or lying down and spend a few minutes relaxing and becoming aware of the breath, before moving on to some mat based movements designed to awaken and mobilise the spine.  This will then transition into some simple flowing standing sequences and static postures, which will gently develop strength, balance and mobility, whilst using the breath to move mindfully and comfortably. Following this we will move back to the floor for some seated postures, before finishing with a short breath work practice and then relaxation (savasana).

What do I wear?

You can wear whatever you feel comfortable in that allows you to move around freely, including being able to lift your arms above your head without any restriction.

Most people prefer to wear leggings, shorts or loose trousers.  I would suggest bringing a warm layer for relaxation at the end of the class.

It is usual practice to remove socks for at least the standing postures to ensure that you don’t slip on the mat.

What do I need to bring to class?

Nothing – all equipment is provided.  A warm top to wear for the relaxation at the end of class is a good idea.  You are welcome to bring a drink.

Can I eat and drink before class?

Please feel free to drink fluids as you would normally before class.  It is usually recommended not to practice yoga on a full stomach – a light meal 1.5-2 hours or a snack 30 mins before are the standard recommendations – however everyone is very individual and so you might need to see what works best for you.

I’m not flexible, can I still do yoga?

Absolutely! Only a small number of people are naturally flexible and being flexible is not a prerequisite.   Yoga helps improve flexibility if practised regularly; however this isn’t necessarily the aim.  Mobility, strength and balance are equally, (if not more) important, and these will also improve with regular practice.  However, given that yoga is far more than a physical practice, you can be a very experienced and dedicated yogi without being particularly flexible at all- awareness, acceptance and compassion are far more important qualities to cultivate than flexibility.

I run/play sport/go to the gym -should I exercise before or after a yoga class?

Either is fine – it will depend on personal preference and what works best with your schedule.  A yoga class shouldn’t normally leave you too tired or sore to do other exercise afterwards, should you wish to do so, and will complement any other activities.

I have an injury/limited mobility, can I still do yoga?

Definitely.  “If you can breathe, you can do yoga”, as the saying goes.  The practice can be adapted to suit individual needs and requirements, and I offer options and modifications to make the practice as accessible as possible.  My class at Chorlton Health Hub is in the studio on the first floor and so would require individuals to be able to climb a flight of stairs unaided.

If you have significant difficulties with mobility and aren’t sure if a class is suitable please do get in touch in advance to discuss.

Private sessions can take place in your own home and are specifically designed to suit the individual, and can be an excellent option for those with more specialist requirements.

At the start of your first session with me I will ask that you complete a short health questionnaire.  This is confidential and ensures that I am aware of any factors that may affect your safety whilst participating within the class.  If you prefer to speak to me outside of the studio room rather than writing this down please let me know.

I do my absolute best to ensure that my classes are safe for all, however I also ask each individual to take responsibility for their own bodies by recognising if a posture or exercise may be having a negative physical or emotional effect, and not taking part in any aspect of the class that may cause harm in any way.  Please do make me aware if any issues arise during the class and let me know if you have any questions.

Can I take part in the class if I am pregnant?

Yoga is usually safe during the second and third trimesters, however I do not offer pregnancy focused classes – if you are pregnant please contact me to discuss if my classes would be suitable for you.  I can also recommend some excellent pregnancy yoga teachers .