Here are a few common questions I get from my students. 

Maybe you’ve been meaning to ask these questions too, or you know someone who hasn’t started yoga yet because they have these questions. Please feel free to share this blog with them! 

Q: What should I bring to yoga?

A: I highly suggest bringing your own yoga mat versus renting a mat (for sanitary reasons) and also because most rental mats tend to be slippery. Also, an eye pillow is a wonderful luxury during the final resting pose, Savasana, when the eyes are closed. If you are attending a class where props are not available, two blocks can greatly enhance practice. A refillable water bottle is always a good idea. Consider bringing layers during season changes— socks, sweaters, etc. And if you are attending a special workshop, a journal and pen might come in handy.

Q. What type of yoga mat would you recommend?

A. It really depends on your specific needs. I usually recommend the Manduka Black Mat. It has a lifetime guarantee and once it’s been washed a couple times, there’s very minimal sliding of the hands in downward facing dog. The Manduka is also very thick if you have sensitive knees and it comes in a variety of lengths to accommodate taller yogis. Another option is Jade. This mat is the ultimate “no slide” mat. It’s thinner and lighter than the Manduka, therefore, travels easier (Jade even sell slightly smaller/thinner “travel mats”). Make sure you do NOT leave a Jade mat in the sun. It will lose it’s sticky integrity and it’s only use will become keeping the groceries from sliding around the trunk of you car. By the way, both of these high quality mats are sold at The Yoga Loft of Bethlehem! 

Q. What kind of clothing should I wear for asana (physical yoga) practice?

A. It’s best to wear comfortable, form fitting clothes so the teacher can see your alignment in poses. Perhaps the mention of “form fitting clothes” might be a turn off for some, but remember that yoga class is one of the few places in life that strictly encourages non-judgement. It is a place to get to know buy xenical orlistat 120mgyour body better and practice self-acceptance. Also, in poses where your head is below your hips, you wouldn’t want a loose fitting shirt falling down around your neck! 

Q: What does “OM” mean?

A: In yogic philosophy, Om is the original vibration that brought the universe into existence. However, try saying that to someone and then wait for the look on their face! I often describe Om to my students as an opportunity for all of us to join our voices together (unity) and contribute a positive vibration to the world (everything exists on a vibration so we are amping up the good feels). Students rarely speak during a yoga class, so this is a way to vocalize a bit. And if you’ve ever tried Oming a few times in a row, you have probably experienced for yourself what a sincerely calming affect it can have on the brain and nervous system.

Q. Why is drinking water discouraged during the physical yoga practice?

A. We are supposed to build internal heat and not cool down while practicing. The stomach should remain empty throughout the practice. Otherwise, blood rushes to the stomach rather than the muscles, and could also cause of a feeling of nausea. Do your best to stay away from heavy food and drink two hours before practicing. A few sips of water beforehand and throughout are okay, and on really hot days, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. *If you are pregnant, none of this applies. Drink as much water as you need to throughout class. 

Q: What does “Namaste” mean?

A: Namaste has many meanings, however, my favorite is, “The light in me sees and honors the light in you.” This light that we are referring to in the yoga room is the sense of ourselves that is truthful, loving and whole— the part of ourselves that exists in every being, that makes us the same, thereby connecting us to everything. 

Do you have any questions for The Writing Yogini? Leave them in the comments sections of this post and I’ll answer them in a future post! 

Thank you for reading! ~ Megan