Stepping into a studio for the very first time can be INTIMIDATING. We totally get it. You may only know of yoga from what you have seen online – or worse, from INSTAGRAM! Our classes are NOT like that. Trust us. We want to make everyone as comfy as possible when they come in because we want you to love yoga as much as we do. With that in mind, we put together some information for you, our new warriors, so that you can have a bit of a heads up on how our classes really are. The main point though is that you just arrive with an open mind and heart and prepare to have tons of fun with us!
- Class Structure. Most of our classes are 60 minutes long. Although some may be 45 minutes depending on the venue. Our structure is always the same. We give about 10 minutes prior to our start time for everyone to arrive, sign in and then to get settled on their mats. During this time, Shelah is greeting everyone and checking in to see if anyone has any issues that she needs to be aware of. We begin each class with a 5 – 7 minute warm up. The warm up is filled with breath work and light movement of our main joints. This is super important so that you can actually spend a few moments hearing any signals that your body may be sending you. Then we move into the work portion of our classes. Depending upon the needs and energy of the class, this can vary from lots of deep asanas or focusing more on flow and movement. Every class is different! About 20 minutes before our class ends, we move into cool down mode. This usually is made up of some more intense breath work, restorative poses and nice gentle release work on our mats. Then you are guided into what most consider the best part of class – Savasana (final relaxation). We will lay or sit on our mats in peaceful contemplation. You are never required to close your eyes (or even lie down if you aren’t comfy with that.) But we do ask that you respect this mindful time and spend this time quietly with as little movement as possible. At the end of class, Shelah will lead you out of final relaxation and we offer some group breaths before class is dismissed. (We promise, if you fall asleep during final relaxation, we will wake you up when we dismiss the class.)
- Shoes. Yoga is practiced barefoot. We spend a lot of time on our feet, spreading our toes and focusing on gripping our mats. You won’t need a pedicure for our class but if you have had your tootsies cooped up in shoes all day, you may want to give them a quick rinse before class. Don’t forget that lotions and oils can make them slip on your mats.
- Clothing. Comfort is of the utmost importance in yoga class. You will most likely be bending in ways that are new to you. You won’t want to be wrestling with waistbands, flopping shirts and undergarment straps in the middle of class. Wear clothing that will allow you complete freedom of movement and that you are comfortable in. Most of our students find that (for ladies) yoga pants or shorts and a tshirt work very well and (for men) shorts and a tshirt. You WILL sweat and we don’t care if you are color coordinated. Honest.
- Mats. Bringing your own yoga mat is not required. Shelah always has extra mats for borrowing or you are free to work out on a large beach towel.
- Talking and social hour. We practice in a very casual and fun atmosphere but you should know that this is not the environment of all studios. (just ours) We encourage giggling, moaning and groaning during asanas however, gossiping with your neighbor can be very distracting to the other students. Please keep the big conversations for before or after class.
- Scheduling. As we have mentioned, we are a very casual atmosphere. We would much rather have you at class than worried about getting held up in traffic and being 5 minutes late. We do ask that if you are going to be slipping in late, please do so as quietly as possible. Try to position your mat toward the back of the class so that your settling in won’t be disruptive. If you enter class late and find us in the middle of a series of movements, please take a moment on your mat to breathe and join in at the top of the series rather than jumping right in and being unbalanced. Shelah will be happy to quietly direct you where it is safest to join in our flow. Please, please, please try to plan to be in class for the entire time rather than cutting out early. Leaving early makes you miss one of the best and favorite parts of class – Savasana & Meditation. This is the time that we focus our minds back to our body and give ourselves a moment to be thankful for our practice. Cutting out early is not only disruptive but also disrespectful to the instructor and yourself.
- Touch. Shelah is a hands on instructor. She has been trained to offer adjustments that help students go deeper into poses and to assist students should they not feel comfortable in a pose on their own. For students who may not be familiar with yoga, this hands on approach can be somewhat startling and much different from a typical group class setting. If you would prefer to not be touched or adjusted during class, feel free to gently let your instructor know that it makes you uncomfortable.
- Water. We do not usually have formal water breaks in class. Recognizing that all of our bodies are different, we encourage people to bring water and keep your bottles next to your mat. Drink as you need to throughout the class. Hydration keeps your muscles happy and keeps your breathing much more comfortable.