Frequently Asked Questions about Yoga

You're not alone. We are asked a lot of questions about Yoga. Yoga is definitely one of the most misunderstood practices. If you can't find the answer you are looking for here please feel free to send us an email. We are always more than happy to answer all your Yoga questions. Click here to read Meditation FAQ

 

What does Namaste mean?
Namaste is the word used at the end of almost every Yoga class you attend, but what does it mean? It literally translates to "I honor you" or "I respect you". It is a sign of respect and commonly used as a "generic" greeting, a lot like Aloha in Hawaii, to say hello, goodbye, how are you, etc.
What are there poses called "warrior" in yoga?
It is believed you need to kill or attack bad habits to bring in new good habits so the warrior poses are said to do this that... allow room for healthy good habits to begin.
Is Yoga a Religion?

No Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is however in some religions, but religion is never in Yoga. Yoga is often defined as "unity between mind, body, & spirit". So it makes sense that some religions decided to include Yoga as a recommendation to their followers. Yoga is universal and all about your personal needs. If you choose to include Yoga in your religious practice you have that right, but there are plenty of Yoga Instructors that will teach Yoga without adding religion to the practice.

Explained in these two articles Article 1 Article 2

Here is a funny (& false) article about Yoga that was posted in 2003 by a Baptist Church in Iowa. "Yoga, a religion for sex addicts"

I slip on my mat sometimes in class. Am I doing something wrong?

This can be caused by many factors. This happens most often with newer mats. When a mat is less than a few months old it is typically too smooth to prevent slipping. The best way to correct this is to leave the mat outdoors in the sun, preferably when it is windy. The sand and grit in the wind with help reduce the smoothness of the mat. If you are in a region that this does not work, then try buying a very fine sandpaper and rubbing it in circles around your mat.

Other reasons for slipping are leaving your socks on (socks should always be removed prior to class), using lotion on your hands and/or feet prior to class (wash your hands and/or feet with soap, no lotion prior to class), using soap or some mat cleaners to clean your mat (consider using a Yoga Mat Towel and wash the towel instead of your mat or after you clean your mat follow the steps above to reduce the smoothness).

My mat slips around on the floor. How do I stop this?
If your mat is actually slipping on the floor take it back to the store and get a refund. Some of the more inexpensive mats sold at the popular discount stores will slip or severely curl on the ends during your practice. This is very dangerous and it's better to find a mat at a different store. Locally you can usually find decent inexpensive mats at TJ Max. See our information on the type of mat you should purchase including thickness on our What you Need page.
I can't even touch my toes will I ever be able to do Yoga?
A lot of people who start Yoga can't touch their toes. Yoga is not about comparing your body with what everyone else is doing. Touching your toes is a common landmark people use to determine their flexibility, but it is not necessary to be that flexible. You want to make decisions and goals that are best for you and your body. Some people will never touch their toes and that's ok, but if you want to be flexible enough to do it stepping into a Yoga class is a good start.
I have a knee injury. Can I do Yoga?
You should always consult with your physician prior to beginning Yoga or any physical activity. You should also speak to the Yoga instructor to make sure they are trained properly to handle your injury. Almost all of the poses in Yoga can be modified to protect from additional injury. There are also several poses that have been known to aid in the healing of some types of injuries. Above all listen to your body. If it feels unusual or uncomfortable always listen to your body before your instructor. It is ok and common to stop and come out of a pose if something is bothering you.
I just started Yoga & my foot cramps up during every class.
It is common to begin Yoga with foot cramps in every class. Typically the muscles are tight & not used to all the stretching & flexing. Typically you can eat a banana or drink coconut water (water, NOT milk... typically found in health food stores) before & after every Yoga class for the first few weeks until the cramping stops during class, then switch to a banana or coconut water after class to replace potassium & electrolytes needed. (A good balance of potassium, sodium, & magnesium will keep your body in good health)
What is meditation?
Meditation is one of the 8 limbs or branches of Yoga. You can read more about it on our Meditation page or our Meditation FAQ page. It is typically easiest to learn how to meditate with a guide, but if that's not an option there are books and videos... If you don't use our services to guide you and run into issues there are great meditation teachers around the world to assist you.

 

 

Samantha teaching Syleena
on a Wilderness Yoga Hike at
the trail up Mt Rose