Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What do I wear to Yoga?
Comfy, not too baggy, breathable clothes. You do not need “yoga pants” just track pants are great, you will find that if the pants are calf length, than it’s easier to do standing poses. Wear tops that are not too baggy so that when you bend over or go upside down you don’t eat your t-shirt.
Eating before yoga:
Yoga is best done on an empty stomach.
How do I stick with my yoga practice?
This is the question that is on everyone’s mind. Most people, in fact everyone I have met, needs to have a teacher to keep it up on their own. Yet, most people can’t fit more than 1-3 yoga classes in their week at the most. Yoga is best done a little each day rather than one class a week. To start to get into a regular habit, use a DVD that really inspires you or, and I have found this to be the most effective, schedule time with a Yoga Buddy. Agree to meet at a specific time and make it an absolute contract with back up times when schedules get tight. Follow a DVD together, and plan to teach each other one pose at the end. Teaching a pose is the best way to learn it. The first time my heels hit the floor in downward dog, I was demonstrating it, I couldn’t believe they were down!
Is Yoga Aerobic? Will it burn body fat?
No, ……and yes, kind of. Yoga is not aerobic, unless you do a flowing practice that is very challenging, like power yoga and ashtanga yoga where you don’t stop to hold poses and use a lot of arm strength and core strength. Even then, it is unlikely that your heart will be in the training zone (needed to challenge your body enough to make your body burn more calories and raise your heart rate).
And, Yes, it will burn body fat and make you more lean. This is not because it is aerobic (for most people) but because you will have the tendency to eat better foods because you will actually crave them. You will also have a tendency to eat less calories because of this and become more sensitive to foods that work better for your body. Anyone I have known that has started and stayed with yoga lost body fat and became leaner. When you reduce your body fat, you are more muscular by ratio and this raises your metabolism. This means your muscles are being used and toned and you reduce their shrinking (atrophying) which often happens with aging (yet is not natural, like many people think). When you keep your muscle fibres firing actively through the various movements that yoga provides, you can feel like you can do many activities and often can without feeling stiffness or overuse. This means you may go for a long, long walk with a friend and not have stiff calves the next day. I love to run, but only do it occasionally. Sometimes I do it for 3 days in a week when I get the running fever and I never suffer from shin splints or stiff muscles because of my practice. Having scoliosis, I never was able to run without keeping up my mileage or I developed knee problems. Now, I can go for an hour run when I haven’t run for 8 weeks or more. Also, I have absolutely no back pain in my forties. When I was in my twenties, and didn’t do yoga, I had daily back pain.
What is yoga good for?
I don’t mean to be an evangelist, (God, those people scare me) but the real question would be: What isn’t yoga good for:
Since I personally fall into all those categories, and I have stayed with practicing yoga, then I can truly say, you can Here’s what yoga is good for, in all honesty, it is good for almost everything, I cannot think of something that yoga is not good for.
Here are the top 40:
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