Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yoga?

Yoga is the pursuit of balance, happiness, or equanimity. The word Yoga means "union" in the Sanskrit language, and comes from Indian philosophy.

What are the benefits of Yoga?

Practice of yoga bestows upon the practitioner: a firm body, steady mind, and a benevolent spirit.


  • Strength - yoga postures (asanas) tone every part of the body.
  • Endurance - regular dedicated practice increases the capacity to do work.
  • Flexibility - a youthful ease is maintained or re-established through correct stretching.
  • Posture - as tone and flexibility are balanced, an erect and effortless posture is achieved.
  • Tremendous energy - improved glandular functioning and deep relaxation leaves you refreshed.
  • Health - a consistent and positive state of well-being is experienced when the body and mind are balanced.


  • Concentration – (regular practice of the yoga postures (asanas) deepens and extends concentration.
  • Emotional stability - contact with one's “Self” gives perspective to life, and insulates the mind from disturbances.
  • Peace - stillness in the body, tolerance in the mind and absorption in the Self generates an abiding state of peace and tranquility.


  • Wisdom – persistent, alert practice of yoga develops knowledge that flowers as wisdom.
  • Freedom - physical health, mental equanimity and wisdom lead to the experience of freedom in daily life.
  • Integration - regular exploration and connecting of our physical, mental and intellectual layers leads to a state of integrated harmony.

Can yoga actually make you fit?

In a word: yes. In one of the first studies done in the United States that examines the relationship between yoga and fitness, researchers at the University of California at Davis recently tested the muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness, body composition, and lung function of 10 college students before and after eight weeks of yoga training. Each week, the students attended four sessions that included 10 minutes of pranayama, 15 minutes of warm-up exercises, 50 minutes of asanas, and 10 minutes of meditation.

After eight weeks, the students' muscular strength had increased by as much as 31 percent, muscular endurance by 57 percent, flexibility by as much as 188 percent, and VO2max by 7 percent—a very respectable increase, given the brevity of the experiment. Study coauthor Ezra A. Amsterdam, M.D., suspects that VO2max might have increased more had the study lasted longer than eight weeks. In fact, the ACSM recommends that exercise research last a minimum of 15 to 20 weeks, because it usually takes that long to see VO2max improvements.

"It was very surprising that we saw these changes in VO2max in such a short time," says Amsterdam, professor of internal medicine (cardiology) and director of the coronary care unit at the U. C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. He is now considering a longer, larger study to authenticate these results.

I am older and stiff. Can I do yoga?

Yes. Yoga can be very beneficial for aging gracefully and bringing back lost flexibility.

I have a young child. What is the minimum age that a child may practice yoga?

Children should be at least 13 years old before attending regular classes.

I have a back/knee/neck, problem. Can I come, and will this help me?

Depending on the severity of the problem and the assent of your doctor, you may be able to attend regular classes. Also speak with the instructor before coming. While many people who have been afflicted with these kinds of ailments report that they feel better after regularly practicing yoga, we can not guarantee that you will feel better.

I have some disease. Can I come?

Depending on the severity of the problem and the assent of your doctor, you may be able to attend regular classes. You should of course not be contagious. Speak to your instructor before coming.

I have cancer. Can I come, and will this help?

Yoga does not cure cancer. However yoga may help you to feel better during and after chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Depending on how serious your cancer is, and with the assent of your doctor, you may be able to attend regular classes. Again, you should speak to the instructor before coming.

I have never taken a yoga classes before. Is this class the class for me?

Yes, the level 1 Hatha Yoga class is for people with little or no experience in yoga. This class is also designed for individuals who have some experience as well.

What do I need to bring?

We recommend that you wear clothing that is easy to move in, such as loose fitting sweat pants, leggings, T-shirts, sweaters, etc. It helps to dress in layers so that you can easily stay comfortable. You should also bring:

  • A bottle of water;
  • A blanket (may be nice during relaxation at end of class)
  • A yoga mat will be provided for you during regular weekly classes or you may wish to bring your own.

What is a Level 1 Hatha Yoga class?

The Level 1 Hatha Yoga class is an introduction to the basics of Hatha Yoga postures and Asanas (breathing exercises). We teach more than 50 yoga postures, with slight modifications, to encourage a happy healthy body and mind. Basic breathing techniques are also included to complement the postures and relax the body/mind.

An article published by Johns Hopkins states:
"Over 75 scientific trials have been published on yoga in major medical journals. These studies have shown that yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity that also has important psychological benefits due to its meditative nature."

Do I need to check with my health care provider before taking the classes?

Level 1 Hatha Yoga classes are gentle, safe and complement any lifestyle. It is always a good idea, however, to discuss your exercise program and/or your participation in a yoga class with your doctor, in case of concerns or body/mind illness. Generally, participation in a yoga class will provide positive health results.

How large are the Level 1 Hatha Yoga Classes?

Class sizes differ depending on location. Classes are available in small groups (4 - 5 students) up to as many as 15 or 20 students. Individual, personalized classes are also available.

Call or email us for more specific information.

Yoga is increasingly popular as a means of exercise and fitness training. However it needs to be recognized more by health care professionals for a complement to conventional medical care rather than just a trendy leisure activity. Over the last 10 years, research studies have shown that the practice of Hatha Yoga improves strength and flexibility and may help control such parameters as blood pressure, respiration and heart rate, and metabolic rates.
(source: Raub JA. Psychophysiologic effects of Hatha Yoga on musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary function: a literature review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 8 (6): 797-812, Dec 2002.)

I am really out of shape. Are you sure this class will be OK for me?

Yes, this class provides a positive, supporting atmosphere to participate in a yoga class for people of all sizes, shapes and athletic conditioning.