Are you getting ready for your first yoga class?
At Balance Within Mind Body Soul we want everyone’s experience to be a comfortable one – whether it’s your first class or your 100th class. Yoga can seem intimidating at first, especially if it’s new to you. You’re not the only one who has felt intimidated so don’t let that keep you from giving it a try.
We want to give a heads up a few things to prepare yourself for before you come in, and just to make you feel more comfortable about trying yoga for the first time.
What is the studio like?
The yoga studio is a beautiful healing space that adds so much to the experience of a yoga class with lots of natural light, has a welcoming and homely feel, many have commented about the lovely ‘feel’ of the space. We are a friendly studio that greets everyone with a sense of community, diversity and integrity. The goal at balance within is to offer a safe space for everybody to experience the many benefits of yoga and meditation our kind and compassionate instructors come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a diversity of teaching styles.
Where do I park?
There is parking for 2 cars is available in our lot to the side of the building with lots of on street parking available on Beckwith or Albert street, be mindful of where you park, respect our neighbors please do not park in the House of Fong parking lot.
I’ve never taken a yoga class before. How do i start?
Yoga can be practiced by individuals of all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels. Beginning your personal yoga practice is easy. a gentle Yin or restorative practice is a great place to start, listening to your own body and being able to modify the poses to meet your needs and level. At balance within, we are committed to providing all beginning students with accessible classes in a welcoming environment.
All the classes are geared for beginners and the instructor will ensure that you are comfortable and understand how and why you are doing a posture. If there is an exercise you do not understand, do not hesitate to ask your instructor to clarify and remember to listen to your body
What should I wear?
You don’t have to walk in wearing the latest yoga gear, but you will want to wear clothing that isn’t going to weigh you down, get in the way or make you feel constricted. Stretchy clothing that allows for a wide range of motion. Dress so you can sit, stand, cross your legs and lie down. You’ll want to avoid shorts cut with wide legs. . Wear layers so you can remove a layer as needed, and then put them on again for relaxation as your body cools down.
Do I need to be flexible to attend yoga classes?
Absolutely not! Yoga is definitely for you! This is one of the most common misconceptions that prevent people from coming to yoga classes. If you could touch your toes would you need to do more yoga? the goal of Yoga is not to be able to touch your toes! our body types, ages and experiences are all different and the key is to practice for YOUR body type in a safe and healthy way, if you have tight muscles, yoga is just the thing to loosen you up!
The point of yoga is not to show off how flexible you are, but rather to become more flexible over time while enjoying yoga’s many other health benefits. Many athletes are now realizing the importance of balancing their activities with stretching, break through your current limitations….you won’t only achieve a higher degree of flexibility, but you will also develop a deeper body awareness and so much more! It has been said it is not about being able to touch your toes but its about what you learn on the way down
Are their prerequisites for attending class?
There are no pre-requisites to starting your practice other than to have an open mind all of the classes offered at balance within are a personal, non-judgemental and non-competitive practice. . Regardless of your current flexibility, fitness-level or age, through time and dedication you will develop the strength and skills required to be physically and emotionally healthy. You will be amazed how quickly your flexibility will improve many of us spend our day sitting down at work or engaging in repetitive motion that shortens muscles. Practicing yoga enables you to lengthen your muscles and release built up toxins.
All that matters is that you try, and you’ll reap the rewards. Relax, have a little fun and enjoy!
What do i need to bring for yoga or meditation class?
First and foremost, bring your good intention positive attitude and open mind 🙂 remember yoga is not a competition, we are all at our own level, and should focus only on our practice and listen to our bodies to decide how far we push ourselves. You are trying something new, so don’t be hard on yourself your first few classes. Yoga takes a lot of practice to master and even the most trained yogis are learning each time they practice.
- A mat if you forget we have extra we also have mats you can purchase.
- A water bottle to stay hydrated during your practice. Water is also available at the studio!. .
We provide all other props that may be needed for your practice, such as bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps
How often should I come?
Yoga is amazing….even if you only practice for one hour a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. You will soon see and feel an amazing transformation within and without as a new awareness develops and the physical, mental and spiritual changes happen more rapidly.
Simply do what you can and don’t fret about it this is supposed to be relaxing and fun! Chances are, you will likely find that after awhile your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself practicing more and more.
How do I pay, and what forms of payment do you accept?
Please check in with individual instructors/practitioners as to what method of payment they accept
Do I need to check in before class, make a reservation for class, or can I just show up?
Reservations are required for all classes.
Please book with the instructor running the class directly
What if I have an injury or condition that might affect my ability to participate?
If you have a specific medical condition or injury please consult your doctor first and inform your instructor before class begins. Yoga can help you to heal more quickly and safely from a recent accident, injury or surgery.
It may be useful to arrive early to discuss your issues with the teacher, who will suggest ways to modify the practice or work with the injury safely, or may suggest that the class is not suitable until the injury has healed.
What if I am pregnant?
As with any new exercise it is not recommended that you take up something new whilst pregnant. However, if you have been practicing yoga regularly (for at least 6 months) then there is no reason not to continue with some modifications from your teacher. Please inform your teacher to enable them to work with you.
What if I am too old?
You are never too old! If the mind and soul is willing. We have many seniors who enjoy practicing yoga due to the gentle and attainable classes that we provide.If you are kind and gentle with your body and do not push it beyond its limits. Having an instructor be able to guide you a safe practice offering help and advice and modifications for your particular body type is key.
Is there any reason why I cannot do yoga?
Always check with your doctor if you have a concern
I am feeling under the weather, should i still come to yoga?
Feeling sick is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong and that we may need to slow down. A regular yoga practice strengthens the immune system and helps to fend off colds and flu, but once you are already sick it is important to rest, drink plenty of fluids and only practice very gentle yoga poses at home.
Can my child come with me to a class?
If you wish your child/teen to attend, they are allowed provided that they will behave quietly and don’t cause disturbances.
The classes that we provide require that we are in poses very still and quiet for an extended amount of time if that is something your child is unable to do, regular classes might not be a good fit and they might be more suited to one of the kids programs we provide
I already work out at the gym, do I need to go yoga?
Although many forms of exercise provide a wonderful physical workout, only yoga can also claim to be a therapeutic system that helps heal injuries, improve chronic illness, and balance mental stress.
What style of class should i try?
We offer a variety of classes and recommend that you try a few different classes and teachers; your preference for style of class and teacher can be very personal. All the classes at the studio are a gentle relaxing and restorative style of Yoga.
Should I eat or drink before I come to class?
You should come to class on an empty stomach but not hungry. Do not eat just before class as we will be bending and twisting your tummy and internal organs! Everybody is different; some take longer to digest food than others. You will soon find out how long before practice you can eat. We suggest you leave at least 2 hours between eating and practicing yoga, but if you’re ravenous have something light like water based soup/ fruit/ juice. Come to class hydrated, it will make your practice much more enjoyable.
What is “mindfulness”?
Its a big buzz word right now, Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, with self-compassion, awareness and openness. It is a way of taking charge of your life and a way of doing something for yourself that no one else can do for you as you work with your own stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life.
I have heard that yoga is spiritual….do i have to be religious to practice yoga?
Yoga can be a very spiritual practice for many different people; however, yoga is not a religion, it is a philosophy that began an estimated 5,000 years ago. The word yoga means to unite or join. There are people with all different religious/non religious beliefs who practice yoga, all over the world. If yoga has a belief system, it’s simply to become more connected to your body.it is also not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga. No matter what your beliefs are you can practice yoga it is universal….just another positive and amazing fact about yoga!
What is a yoga class like at balance within mind body soul?
All our classes are a gentle yoga practice. Each teacher has their own method, classes begin with an opening connection, warm-up stretches and an awareness of the breath (pranayama). Teachers lead the class through a series of postures (asanas), according to the class level. Postures are usually presented with more and less challenging options so that everyone can be comfortable. Some classes use props like straps and foam blocks to help establish alignment. Class ends with several minutes of rest and meditation.
Are there ever class cancellations?
We do our very best to honour our posted schedule but we are in Canada and occasionally have to cancel classes due to weather if there are winter storms or extreme low temperatures/freezing in the forecast.
Do you have specials or hold special events?
Yes, we recommend that all students receive our e-mail newsletter, to stay current on holiday closures, schedule changes, registration periods, pass discounts, and special events. You can sign up for our newsletter on our website or in studio
All of us here at Balance Within Mind Body Soul want you to have the most enlightening experience whenever you’re attending classes or events, we want to give a heads up a few things to prepare yourself for before you come in, and just to make you feel more comfortable about trying yoga for the first time.
- Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to find parking, sign in and familiarize yourself with our facilities. Classes begin promptly & are subject to room capacity.
- Please remove your shoes upon entering our space and leave them in the designated area to help preserve our floors and keep the space clean.
- Meet your instructor, ask any questions you may have let know about injuries or conditions that might affect your practice,
- Fill out the registration waiver form. If it’s your first time to the studio, consider filling out the online waiver at home to get yourself set up before coming to the studio. It will save you time when you arrive. Yoga Registration Form new student
- All students must sign-in at the front desk
- If you are bringing your purse/cell phone into the practice room, please ensure both ringer and vibrate is turned off as this can be very disruptive. Please silence/ turn off all cell phones and stash them with your belongings before entering studio. You’ll get the most out of your class if you aren’t distracted. Give yourself permission to be ‘unreachable’ for 60-90 minutes.
- If you smoke please do not smoke before you come to class/wear clothing that you have smoked in we spend much of the time breathing deeply in a class and if there is nicotine in the air it is toxic.
- Avoid eating a big meal right before and up to two hours before class.
- Find a spot in the studio where you feel comfortable and set up your props the instructor will guide you as to what you need.
- Meet your neighbour, strike a conversation, try to connect. We are all sharing this experience together
- Take time to slow down – it is nice to have enough time to come in and slow down before your class begins as you continue in your practice. Getting to class early can help you settle in and align your attitude with the purpose of the class., so you are not rushed while you’re waiting you can practice a pose, do a few stretches, or just sit or lie quietly, breathe, and get centered.
We would be delighted to welcome you to our beautiful studio for a yoga or meditation class. Here are some tips to ensure that your experience is a pleasure both for you and you get the most out of the classes you attend
11 tips to a great yoga practice
- Keep an open mind
in your first class, you may not be familiar with some of the names of postures and poses – and that’s ok. Remember to move at your own pace and take a break when you need to.
- Create an intention. To help you focus, you might find it helpful to dedicate your practice to a certain intention. This might be to become more aware and understanding, more loving and compassionate, or healthier, stronger, and more skillful. Or it might be for the benefit of a friend, a cause—or even yourself.
- Do your best
It’s called yoga practice, not yoga perfect. The idea is to experience your class, and not to make any comparisons to other participants of varying fitness levels in the room. The instructor will show a few options with every movement and posture. It’s your choice on what option is best for you.
- Don’t expect to be an expert right away.
Every yoga class is an opportunity to learn. There are thousands of postures and at your first class every one of them might be new to you. As you continue doing classes, poses will become familiar and eventually you’ll have a favourite pose of your own.
- Not everyone in the class is a yoga or fitness expert. You may walk in feeling intimated wondering if you’re going to be the only one in the class who feels like you have no idea what you are doing. The truth is, there are yogis in the room who practice every day but might have an off-day. Their poses might not be as good as they usually are, they may topple in their tree pose and they may need to take more breaks than usual. There are people of all different levels in our classes so don’t let your skill level bring you down. Respect your body. Practice ahimsa, non-violence on yourself first. Be willing to accept where you are, how you are today, and the rest will come in time.
- Stay present, let go of judgment and competition. When you are in the practice focus on yourself. The moment you start to watch the other yogis is the moment you lose focus – and that’s when your balance goes off, you start getting frustrated and you feel out of place.
- What if I just can’t do a pose? If you encounter a pose that you are not quite ready for, your teacher will provide modifications. The important thing to remember is that this is your practice. We foster a non-competitive environment and ask that you do only what is comfortable and feels right to you. With time, you may find that you can, indeed, master that challenging pose. Many factors can affect how flexible we are including temperature, time of day and how hydrated we are. Yoga is non-competitive. Please go at your own pace. Be respectful towards your body, never moving to the point of pain, and rest as needed. Don’t push it. Instead of trying to go as deeply or completely into a pose as others might be able to do, do what you can without straining or injuring yourself. You’ll go farther faster if you take a loving attitude toward yourself and work from where you are, not from where you think you should be.
- Don’t be afraid to take a rest Even as a pro sometimes your body just needs to rest. Listen to it – if you legs are shaking and your heart is pounding, take a moment to enjoy child’s pose and a sip of water before you start again. It’s okay – no one is judging you. Honour your body and where is on that day, not what you could do a year, month, week ago or even yesterday.
- Don’t forget the mind-body connection This is very important part of yoga is to connect the mind and body. Yoga focuses energy on breathing and using the breath to initiate and advance movement. At the end of the class, it’s common to spend a few minutes quietly breathing while your instructor verbally guides your thoughts. This can be one of the most beneficial components of the class.
- Don’t make your first class your last class Maybe your first class didn’t go so well. Maybe during your practice you were wondering why you volunteered yourself to go in the first place. Or maybe you thought yoga just wasn’t for you. Before you throw in the towel and decide to never return, try it 3-4 more times before you swear it off. The first few classes are always a little awkward and intimidating. Your body and mind needs time to adjust to it. If you give it a chance you might realize how much it does for you. Also realizing that each instructor has a different way of teaching and classes can be quite different from each other. Almost like trying a meal from a different chef the spice’s they add can make all the difference. Try various styles and teachers to find your niche.
- Lastly but most importantly, please relax and enjoy every moment. Yoga is a powerful, delightful, and transformational practice, leaving you feeling refreshed and energized. Cumulatively, the process will enrich every aspect of your life, providing balance and inspiration for body, mind and spirit. Let us know what you would like to see at your yoga studio.
The studio is open 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after every scheduled class. For an opportunity If you have questions or concerns please use this time to talk to the teacher ~ we love talking about yoga!!