Our classes explore the classical meaning of “yoga” – meaning to “yoke or unite the body, mind, & spirit.” This ancient tradition states that the overriding goal of yoga is to “calm the fluctuations of the mind,”
Where are you located?
A. In the historic town of Snohomish, Washington at 707 Pine Avenue — Google Us!
Q. I would like to know more about yoga.
A. Yoga is an ancient practice that is both an art and a science. The purpose is to bring health and a calm self awareness, so one can live a full, productive, and compassionate life.
The word “Yoga” can be translated as “to unite” or “to bind.” There are countless ways to practice yoga, but the goal is to establish harmony and balance in the individual’s body and mind. The benefits of Yoga accrue over time, where we get stronger, more flexible and balanced at every level of our being and can experience and express our wholeness – our unity.
Yoga is practiced through a set of physical exercises, mental techniques, and ethical principles that align and tone the body – and help to quiet the mind.
Q. What do you mean – yoga is a science?
A. Yoga teachers are trained in knowledge of the body and the mind, including anatomy, physiology, and neurology. The science of yoga brings understanding to the interrelationships between our muscular-skeletal structures, respiratory and vascular systems, lymph and hormonal systems, and our nervous system. This systematic interrelationship is explored, validated, and nurtured through the poses, the breath work, and developing more inner awareness.
Q. And the art of yoga?
A. The art is to be found in the creative linking of poses, the dance with life energy, and what we can call poetry – the visual and verbal language of yoga. These create beauty and harmony and invite inspiration.
Q. What about the ethical principles?
A. Briefly, they are practicing non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing, moderation, generosity, purity and cleanliness, gratitude, self-discipline, a willingness to study and grow, and devotion to your higher purpose. A number of books have been written on this subject, and we encourage further exploration.
Q: My doctor has recommended that I try either yoga or Pilates to alleviate soreness in my back. I think I would be classified as a beginner. What is the best class to start with?
A: Yoga will help you in both stretching and strengthening your back and building back supporting core muscles. Yoga incorporates Pilates style core work in many of the poses, and has been very successful in alleviating back pain.
Q. I’m new to yoga and want to start practicing right away. What are the best classes?
A. Please know that you will be welcome at any time to join any of the DROP IN Gentle or General Yoga classes that are ongoing. The Gentle Yoga classes especially are good for beginners or people wanting a slow and nurturing style of yoga.
Q. I am 52 years old, and pretty out of shape, but I heard that yoga would improve my sense of well-being. Am I too old to start?
A: Karen, our senior teacher, started yoga when she was 50…that’s 33 years ago, and she’s stronger, more flexible, and is having more fun now, thanks to the many benefits of yoga. So we encourage you to start NOW….we practice kindness and advocate self-care…not competitive yoga, so you can feel better and be healthier at any age.
Q. I know that I am not flexible, and can’t begin to touch my toes. What can I do in yoga?
A. There are thousands of physical poses – some really easy, and others more challenging. Yoga is geared to the individual and is not competitive, so you simply do what you can and let go of comparing your body to someone else. Everybody is different and we kindly honor, accept, and support those differences through modifying poses, and over time encouraging muscles and connective tissue to tone and release. We also take resting periods where appropriate throughout our yoga practice, and ask that you bring awareness to your breath. If you spend an entire class breathing mindfully, no matter your body’s position, you will have a very beneficial experience.
Q: How often do you have classes?
A. We have classes, seven days a week. Check our schedule for a list of classes, and to sign up HERE.
Q. I’m interested in stress reduction. What classes do you offer?
A. The purpose of every class is to settle the mind. This is done through attention to the body and to the breath. Gentle Yoga classes are the best for stress reduction. They are slow-paced and focus on moving gently while paying attention to our breath. The poses and the deep breathing gently massage the body from the inside out, creating a peaceful mental and physical state that supports healing and a calm presence.
Q. Do you offer “Hot” yoga?
A. We offer a few energetic yoga classes but the temperature is never over 80 degrees. We feel this warmth creates a safe and supportive environment, where you will get a full and vigorous workout, but won’t be overly stressed – mentally or emotionally. These classes will challenge you but still encourage you to be safe and to feel good. We feel that the hot yoga temperature of 104 degrees is not conducive to peace of mind for most of our students. In most of our classes, the temperature is in the 70 to 75-degree range, and in the summer we have air conditioning to moderate room temperature.
Q. I heard that yoga is a religion. Is that true?
A. Yoga is an ancient Indian science and art – over 2,500 years old. It is not a religion as there is no Bible, holy book, or god worshipped. Most yoga practitioners find that it can enhance one’s religious beliefs. Its purpose is to bring health and self-awareness to the practitioner’s life so one can live a full, productive, and compassionate life. The simple ethical principles of yoga, similar to the Golden Rule, support your peace of mind and living with grace – and humor. The practical wisdom of Yoga is found in multiple wisdom traditions, and people of many faiths find that yoga nurtures them. There are countless books and articles about yoga that you may find enlightening.
Q. How much does a class cost?
A. One DROP-IN class is $ 18, but most people buy a class package that discounts that price. There is a New Student Special – two weeks of unlimited DROP-IN classes for $50, and you will find several other discount opportunities. Also, families, seniors over 65, and students will get a 10% discount. Get the details are HERE.
Q. How often do you recommend going to a yoga class?
A. We recommend practicing three times a week, although some people come only occasionally, and others come every day. The more consistently that you practice, the more you will feel the benefits as you build strength, become more flexible, and learn techniques for stress reduction. So, come as often as you can. You will find that yoga is time well spent and will support you in all of your daily activities. This is especially so if you are stressed with too many things to do. Taking time for self-care is yoga.
Q. I’m pregnant and want to try yoga. Do you offer pre-natal classes?
A. Yoga will really help you both during and after your pregnancy. We do not offer specifically pre-natal classes, as we don’t have enough pregnant women in our Snohomish population to fill a class, so we welcome you into our Gentle or General Classes. You will be well cared for there and will be advised on approaches to the poses that will accommodate you wherever you are in your pregnancy.
Q. My two boys, ages 7 and 9, are interested in yoga. Do you offer classes for kids?
A. Sometimes we offer summer classes just for kids. During the rest of the year, we do not specifically have kids’ yoga classes. But, if your boys can stay calm and engaged in an adult class, you are welcome to bring them with you to class. You will get a 10% family discount for any family members.
Kids over 12 can come to yoga without an adult. Our experience is that older kids can usually stay present and follow directions without the need of a supportive parent.
Q. My daughter loves yoga and wants to have a Yoga party.
A. We love hosting yoga parties. Just call Karen at 360-568-1000, and we can schedule a time when we don’t have other classes. We can also arrange for a teacher for you if you want one. Typically, we charge $50 per hour to rent our beautiful studio where we have a small kitchen and two bathrooms as well as the practice space.
Q. How many men come to your classes?
A. About 25% of our members are men, so the number of men in any class can vary. Often men find the flexibility and stretching aspects of yoga – as well as the stress reduction – the most beneficial. Many athletes use yoga as part of their training. Yoga can also be used to build strength to deter athletic injuries, and to help heal if you are suffering injuries or illness.
Q. I’m looking for a meditation class. You used to offer that; will you again?
A. An integral part of the path of yoga is to support and encourage a meditative mind state throughout your practice, and to give you skills to find more peace of mind throughout your life.
This inner work of yoga creates mind fitness while we become more fit physically. We would love to teach a regular meditation-only class but need at least 8 participants to hold a class. If you bring at least 8 friends, we will be glad to accommodate you. Also, check our Sunday workshops, as we often bring in meditation teachers – Dr. Joel and Michelle Levey come several times a year. They are world-renowned, very lovely, and wise…so do join us when they come to the studio.
Q. I am very overweight and want to try yoga for weight reduction. What classes do you recommend?
A. Yoga may not help you lose weight, per se, but will make you more aware of your body and your needs. If you try the more energetic classes, you will definitely burn calories and sweat, but often a slower-paced class will give you more personal insight into your eating habits, your “self-talk”, and the feelings in your body. This knowledge can help you in moderating your diet and your level of physical activity.
Q. I have arthritis and my friend has fibromyalgia. Her nurse practitioner suggested yoga. Can it help?
A. There have been countless stories of the benefits of yoga in lessening the impacts of chronic diseases. A number of factors support these findings.
First, we know that movement is essential to move fluid through the body, especially the lymph which is the source of our immune response. We also know that mild exercise stimulates and calms the nervous system, and reduces the stress response that causes inflammation. Also, yoga lowers blood pressure and shifts our hormonal responses so that we generally feel better. When our body feels better, our minds are more likely to be at ease, and the pain cycle is interrupted.
Q. I injured both my knee and shoulder in a skiing accident, but there are no broken bones. I’m afraid to try yoga, although a friend recommends it.
A. If you are recovering from injury or illness, the prescription is to practice gentle yoga that will allow you to move with care. Gentle stretching is especially effective in bringing more oxygenated blood supply to those injured parts and reducing inflammation. Yoga will bring more fluid to the joints, build strength and stability, and reduce the buildup of scar tissue. All of these benefits will help you heal and restore your range of motion.
Q. How many people are in a class?
A. With the DROP-IN classes, we are never sure how many people will drop in that day, although people do often register from their home computers. Typically, a DROP IN class will vary in size from 8 to 18. We will teach a scheduled class even if just one person is there, so you may get lucky and get special attention.
With any of our SERIES classes, we need at least 8 registrants to hold the class. Also, our Special Events classes on Sundays require at least 8 participants. And, we offer private instruction by appointment.
Q: Do you offer Pilates classes?
A. We do not offer specific Pilates classes. However, every yoga class incorporates a number of core exercises that one would recognize in a Pilates class. The founder of Pilates was very influenced by yoga, so there is a strong correlation, and you will definitely build more core strength in our yoga classes. You will also find that the depth and wisdom of yoga will bring more peace of mind.
Q: What should I wear?
A. Just wear comfortable clothes….stretch pants are best, or shorts. Layer a T-shirt over a tank top. That works well, or wear a sweatshirt if you have a tendency to run cool. We set the temperature of the studio at about 72 degrees…sometimes a bit higher. We typically work barefooted….your feet will be so happy to let those toes breathe. We also work on a yoga mat, so your feet will not slip. We have rental yoga mats, and we sell yoga mats as well as lots of other yoga supplies….even T-shirts.
Q: What does NAMASTE mean?
A: This is a Sanscrit form of greeting. “Nama” means to bow, “as” means I, and “te” mean you. Namaste means “I bow to you.” With the hands in a prayer pose, and with a bow, this spoken word indicates honor, gratitude, respect, and an understanding that we are connected in a heartfelt way. It is typically said at the end of a yoga class but can be said as a greeting as well.
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