Haven Wall

Which Classes are Suitable for People New to Yoga?

Yoga is more than a few postures.  It encompasses learning new languages, philosophies, concepts, and awarenesses.  Moreover, the postures often demand that we use our bodies in ways that are very different from sports and other physical activities.  So even if you think you are physically prepared for a more advanced class, we recommend grounding your practice with the fundamentals.  Foundational classes like YinGentle Hatha or Restorative will give you the opportunity to learn essential postures, common sequences and strong alignment in an environment of friendly support.  Our front staff and many teachers are always happy to help guide you in the right direction when signing up for classes.  Always remember that yoga is both an opportunity to connect with others AND an intensely personal pursuit.  Once you have an understanding of yoga fundamentals, we encourage you to experiment with different instructors and classes to discover those that speak to you.

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

Physically, a regular yoga practice is one of the best things you can do for your body.  It stimulates muscles, nerves and organs in ways that many other forms of exercise cannot - releasing tightness, reducing strain, improving circulation, strengthening the immune system and supporting healthy digestion.  And don't be fooled by the hushed voices and (occasionally) soft music in the studio - yoga can provide a deceptively intense workout, with serious strengthening and fat burning power.  Yoga is more than a great workout.  It can also have a profound effect on your emotional state, improving concentration, increasing confidence and helping to quiet a busy mind.  And for stress related symptoms such as insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and depression - there's simply nothing better you can do.

Do I Have to be Flexible?

No.  Every body is different - some people are born flexible, and some of us have to work at it.  Fortunately for the less-bendy types, yoga is one of the safest, most effective ways to coax tightness out of body.  Whether you are a long distance runner with tight hamstrings and quads, a desk jockey with tight shoulders or an ex-gymnast for whom limberness is a lifelong pursuit, a regular yoga practice will help you explore the spaces in your body and strive toward the ideal balance or strength and flexibility.


What Should I Wear and Bring to Class?

Wear comfortable, breathable clothing with some stretch in the fabric.  You do not need yoga-specific workout clothing, but fabric with moisture wicking properties may be helpful.  Some classes may include the option of inversions, so if you are wearing a loose shirt or shorts, consider your undergarments... or be prepared to have others do so.  It's best not to eat for at least an hour before class.  Bring water and a hand towel, as you are likely to work up a sweat; yoga mat towels are not required, but can also be helpful as you and your mat start to "glow".  If you don't own a yoga mat, you may purchase or borrow one at our studio.

What Should I Expect From My First Class?

Like any class, your first yoga class will be the combined experience of several factors: where you are physically and emotionally at that moment, your instructor, and the unique community of students.  Yoga is organic, so try to remember that your practice will be a gradual, ongoing exploration, and every day... every pose...will be different.  One day you may experience a sweet physical opening; on another, a profound emotional awakening.

If you go slowly and listen to your body, you will eventually learn when you are pushing yourself too hard, and when it is time to challenge yourself.  Above all, the most important thing to remember is to keep coming back to your breath.  During unfamiliar or challenging situations, breathing deeply keeps us present in the moment - which is at the very heart of what yoga is all about.

We welcome students age 16 and up to our drop in classes. If you are under 18, please bring a guardian to sign our consent form.