New to Yoga

Have you wanted to take a yoga class but worry you wont know whats going on? Its not scary we promise! This page will help you understand some of the common terms, practices and questions new students have. We want you to feel confident with yoga culture 101. 


namaste

One of the most common questions we get is "what does Namaste mean?",  The answer is simple: it means "hello" in Sanskrit, which is an Indian language. The deeper culture context is gratitude and respect which is why it is used in yoga. Some teachers and practitioners take it a step deeper and acknowledge respect for the indwelling of goodness and light in each person. If you don't feel comfortable saying Namaste in response to the instructor, another common response is "thank you" or just bowing your head with your hands at heart center.

who is buddha?

You might notice that most yoga studios have a statue of Buddha. Who is this guy and am I worshipping him when I do yoga?  The short answer is that Buddha is like a superhero of meditation and enlightenment, not a god. The name Buddha means enlightened and he is revered considered 

what Are the pink lamps in your studio?

Our lamps are made with Himalayan salt, and the benefits range from practical to hear say. The salt is mined from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan. Himalayan Salt Lamps have been scientifically proven to be “natural ionizers,” meaning they change the electrical charge of the circulating air. Much like the freshness in the air after a storm, the salt lamps transfer negative ions and clear the air.

The more folklore but also valid theories are that they improve mood & sleep, reduce allergies and increase serotonin. Some of these benefits have been proven in animal studies, but remain personal testimonies for the time being. We like it most of all because of its warm and inviting look in our fireplace.

what is meditation?

Wikipedia defines meditation as Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

A another simple explanation is if prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening

The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which meant to yoke or hitch usually referring to attaching a cart to an animal. Later, as Indian texts further developed, it was used to describe a spiritual connection and is now translated to mean “union”.
Yoga is the union of the mind, body, breath and soul. 







What is yoga

The rise of “modern postural yoga” in the West began with Krishnamacharya in the early 1900s. Often dubbed the “father of modern yoga”, Krishnamacharya expanded upon the classic asanas to include the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) series which were adapted from Indian gymnastic exercises. Modern postural yoga has a focus in the asanas (poses) and publicized the physical benefits of yoga asana and meditation.

Many of Krishnamacharya’s pupils went on to travel the United States and brought their yoga training with them including Indra Devi, the first female yoga practitioner to own and operate a studio in the United States.

Based in Los Angeles, Devi became the “guru to the stars” and was instrumental in the popularization of yoga in modern Hollywood. Her influence helped to expand the reach of modern postural yoga in the US. The reach and diversification of Postural Yoga in the United States continued to grow. K. Pattabi Jois, another pupil of Krishnamacharya, went on to develop the Ashtanga school of yoga. His colleague, B.K.S. Iyengar developed the Iyengar school of yoga. As of 2020, there were over 55 million yoga practitioners in the United States. (https://comparecamp.com/yoga-statistics/) 

Modern Postural Yoga


Ashtanga Yoga created the foundation of the eightfold path. This path was scribed by Patanjali in his “Yoga Sutras” one of the most prevalent texts on yoga. The 8 Limbs of Yoga are 8 separate practices that together help to achieve the final goal of enlightenment.

Yamas - moral discipline. The 5 yamas are: ahimsa - non-violence, satya (truthfulness), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (right use of energy), and aparigraha (non-hoarding)
Niyamas - observances. The 5 niyamas are: saucha - purity, santosha (contentment), tapas (self-discipline), svadhyaya (self-study) and ishvara pranidhana (surrender to a higher power)
Asana - physical postures. The word asana literally means “seat”
Pranayama - breath control
Pratyahara - self-observation
Dharana - concentration
Dhyana - meditation
Samadhi - union with the highest

The 8 limbs of yoga