1. What should I wear?
Wear something that is comfortable and lets you move easily. Something you can comfortably sit or lie down in without worrying that you’re showing anything you’d rather not show! Loose trousers and a T shirt are fine. Layers are great because as you warm up during a class you can take a layer off. During the winter its best to have something warm to put on before you leave class. You don’t want to shock your body with a cold blast after all that great work you’ve done during your class. Socks are fine for warm up and final relaxation but best removed for the rest of the class. You’ll be less likely slip with bare feet. The close connection between your feet and the ground is an essential part of yoga practice. We often talk about feeling grounded; it’s a physical state as well as a state of mind. It’s a good idea to tie hair back too. Hair can be an unnecessary distraction when it falls in the face and eyes. I have plenty of hair ties at the Zen Yoga Studio so just let me know if you need one!
2. Can I park easily
There is parking available both around the studio and on the roadside. Adjacent to the Studio there is a boatyard with additional space for parking.
3. Is there somewhere I can change my clothes?
Yes, beside the Zen Yoga Studio there is a changing room and place to store your bags, shoes and clothes. There is a screen to provide a little privacy and of course there is a bathroom too.
4. Do I need any other equipment?
No. The Zen Yoga Studio is fully equipped with yoga mats, bolsters, cushions, blocks, blankets and belts. There are also refreshments and of course toilet facilities.
5. What happens if I arrive late?
Sometimes it’s unavoidable but don’t let it upset you. The door is always open and you are welcome to join. Just be respectful of the practice that has started, quietly take a mat and whatever you require and come and join us. Give yourself a little time to breathe and ground yourself and when you start to move be gentle with yourself.
6. How long is a class?
Studio yoga classes are 1 ½ hours. Of that time about 1 hour is spent on physical movement and ½ hour on breathing, meditation and relaxation practice.
7. Will I be able to do it if I’ve never done it before?
Yes. It’s not necessary to have any experience or to be super flexible. The whole point of yoga is to develop yourself and you can start at any point in your life. We talk about ‘yoga practice’ because that is exactly what it is. In any class we are all practicing at whatever level we find ourselves at on that day. Some days we feel more flexible or able to completely involve ourselves in the practice, other days we may feel less flexible or distracted. It’s all perfectly natural. We practice without judging ourselves, just acknowledging that’s where we are.
If at any time during a class you feel uncomfortable, just stop and give yourself some time to breathe and recover. I will encourage you to ‘listen’ to your body. Sounds strange but only you can really know how you feel and part of being mindful is actually listening to your body and hearing what it is telling you. Showing respect and compassion to yourself is the first step towards being able to extend those emotions to your world.
8. Do I need to book or can I just turn up?
It’s best to book because the Zen Yoga Studio is an intimate setting geared for a more personal style of practice in a safe and comfortable environment. This limits the number of spaces available. Yoga classes are suitable for up to 9 people and meditation classes for up to 15.
9. Does it involve religion?
No. Zen Yoga is a non- religious practice. The underlying philosophy of Zen Yoga can be found in Yogacara (meaning ‘yoga practice’), the archetypal guide to Buddhist philosophy and psychology through yogic practices. Although yoga has roots in ancient Indian Hindu culture where its aim was to bring the self and the divine (as in God etc.) into union; Yoga has evolved and been influenced by many philosophies and practices since then. Sometimes the words ‘spiritual’ and ‘religious’ become confused in relation to yoga. I prefer not to use either terms. What we’re working with in Zen Yoga is Mindfulness. A state of mind where we actively practice living in the present moment allowing us to become more aware and in tune with what is happening right now.
10. Can I eat before a class?
It very much depends on you and your digestive system. If you have a full tummy or haven’t fully digested your last meal you will soon know about it during class! On the other hand if you have a fast metabolism and need to eat frequently, have a light snack like a juice or some nuts half an hour before class. I have an assortment of gluten, wheat and dairy free, vegan and organic snacks available at the studio if you have the munchies. There’s also handmade raw chocolates. We can nurture ourselves in many ways at the Zen Yoga Studio!