Here are some frequently asked questions that should provide you with all the information you need to get started on your journey. If we’ve missed anything, please feel free to contact us.
Yoga is an ancient art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind and spirit.
Many people think yoga is just stretching. While stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body through developing both strength and flexibility.
This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect alignment. The poses are a constant, but the approach to them varies depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained.
The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being by making the body strong and flexible and improving respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal system functioning.
Hot yoga is simply yoga practiced in a studio heated up to 38°C and 40% humidity. This heat cleanses the body and warms the muscles allowing a deeper stretch and more flexibility. The combination of heat and postures are specifically designed to give a comprehensive workout to the entire body. In each workout, muscles, ligaments and tendons are warmed and stretched. New students are often surprised at how fast their core strength is built and the amazing vibrant health that is rapidly achieved through a regular practice.
Internal organs and glands are gently massaged and the heated room ensures that participants will sweat, helping them to flush toxins out of their system. In this intense cardiovascular workout, fresh, oxygenated blood is brought into to every part of the body, cleansing and rejuvenating the entire system.
The result is a workout like no other. One that has been embraced by thousands of people ranging from sports enthusiasts, to people suffering ailments, to those who just want to stay fit.
Of course! Every class at Breathe is suitable for everyone, presenting challenges for beginners, intermediate and advanced students alike. We are proud to offer both heated and non-heated classes, allowing us to make yoga accessible to EVERYONE (we offer pre-natal, parent & baby, kids, family, seniors, yoga therapy and yoga for cancer survivors). All levels are welcome to come to each and every class. However, if it is your very first time, we suggest the Beginner class in the non-heated studio or the Foundations class in the heated studio.
If you have any health concerns or injuries, or if you are pregnant, we recommend consulting your doctor prior to attending any yoga classes. Please also inform the instructor prior to class.
All that being said, many health conditions have been improved through regular yoga practice. In fact, some doctors now prescribe yoga as a form of physical therapy. Remember yoga heals and strengthens the body and its systems, and is especially beneficial to the immune system.
Some specific health conditions that can be successfully treated with yoga include:
Bring a large water bottle (we have a filtered water filling station available for your use). To ensure the safety and comfort of our yogis, we do not allow glass bottles anywhere on the premises. BPA free water bottles & electrolytes can be purchased in studio.
Bring a yoga mat, a yoga mat towel such as yogitoes and a hand towel for class - it can get pretty sweaty! If you don’t have a yoga mat or yogitoes towel, we sell them in studio.
Props such as yoga blocks and straps are optional, but highly recommended. Props can help students practice asanas and pranayama more effectively, efficiently and at ease. Available for purchase in studio.
Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move and stretch easily. Stay away from anything too baggy, as you will probably find yourself upside down at some point. Shoes and socks are not worn in class. We recommend either yoga wear or shorts and a tank top.
Come with an empty stomach. We recommend not eating a heavy meal for at least 3 hours before class.
If you are starting yoga for the first time, it is important to know your boundaries. If you were not a runner, yet decided to run a marathon, you would train and build up to it. Look at yoga the same way. While it's important to try to improve upon your practice, it's equally important to recognize that yoga is a process. You build at the pace that suits you. Don't run the marathon on your first try!
Many find their first couple classes to be the most challenging. Often this is because it’s new and unfamiliar. You will find that you will learn the postures quickly and become familiar with what to expect. Come with no expectations - just a light heart, open mind, and a well-hydrated body. Most students feel amazingly detoxified and relaxed after their first class.
However, as with any form of exercise, different conditions and situations require a period of acclimatization. The benefits of yoga are immediate and as it becomes more familiar (within 1-3 classes), you’ll forget about all the other factors and begin to focus on your yoga practice. Many of us even come to crave it, increasing our practice from once or twice a week to everyday, feeling a void when we don’t practice regularly.
This is perfectly normal, especially for the beginner. The most important thing to do is to breathe deeply, pace yourself, do the best you can, and rest when you feel the need (lie in savasana or child’s pose for as long as is necessary to feel back to normal). Do your very best to stay in the hot room once class begins. Leaving the room can sometimes increase feelings of sickness or anxiety. Most people respond better by simply lying down and focusing on deep breathing. Learn to listen to your own body and take care of yourself in class. Yoga is a personal journey and each and every one of us attending class is probably in a different place and at a different level. Drink lots of water before class to make sure you are well hydrated. A headache is a symptom of dehydration and holding your breath. Feeling tired or wiped out after class is a sign that you need to breathe more in class.
Any amount of practice is beneficial, however, if possible, you should come to class a minimum of 3 to 4 times per week for maximum benefits. It’s especially beneficial to practice hot yoga as much as you can as a beginner. This will help your muscles develop muscle memory. Each time you practice, muscles are built and conditioned and your skeletal structure is properly aligned.
It does not take long to see the results of hot yoga. Depending on the frequency of your practice, results occur in as little as 2 weeks, with a regular practice of 4 classes per week. Remember every body is different and unique, as are the results.
It's important to understand that yoga is not about flexibility. This misconception keeps many people from coming to yoga class. Yoga is about stretching your spine and body in all directions. From the very first class you will learn the concept of "trying the right way", enabling you to receive the benefits of each pose according to your own ability.
Most people are inflexible or become inflexible over time. Muscles and joints stiffen from under-use, which often occurs as we age. Many jobs require long hours of sitting or bending. This can compress and disfigure the spine while causing muscles to conform to this incorrect alignment. Yoga helps to alleviate stiffness and creates flexibility, keeping the spine supple and in correct alignment. If you are not flexible, that’s more reason to begin yoga practice.
Yes! Regardless of your fitness level, yoga can be challenging. Muscles are toned and strengthened and all of the body’s systems are brought into balance. With consistent and dedicated practice you will lose pounds and inches. Hot yoga and unheated power flow classes burn a minimum of 600 calories.
We are proud to offer non-heated classes that are accessible to everyone, including pregnant women, kids, seniors and even cancer survivors. In order to help us keep the studio a zen and calming environment for everyone, we have some kids guidelines. See the next question to view.
We do not permit anyone under 14 years of age to attend drop-in classes at Breathe - we have many kids programs to accommodate them. Teenagers 14-17 years old may attend provided their waiver form is signed by a legal guardian. Practicing in the hot studio under the age of 14 is not permitted due to the fact that sweating keeps the body from overheating. Sweat glands generally do not mature until puberty.