Q: Do I need to be fit and healthy to go to yoga classes?
A: Please let Lorna know of any health conditions or injuries that you have so that she can adapt the postures for you accordingly. Check with your doctor before embarking on any new physical activity.
Q: I’m not very bendy – can I still go to yoga?
A: Yes! Yoga will help improve your flexibility.
Q: I’m very self-conscious – are your yoga classes for me?
A: Yes. Everyone is welcome in my classes. Yoga is non-competitive and we aim to focus on ourselves and not worry about what those around us are doing. There is no such thing as being “good” or “bad” at yoga. No-one looks like Madonna! If you’re worried about being in a class situation, you can try one-to-one yoga sessions with Lorna instead.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear loose, or stretchy comfortable clothing; leggings, or shorts and a T-shirt. Yoga is done in bare feet, but socks may be worn at the start and end of the class. Also, bring a blanket for the final relaxation.
Q: Do I need any special equipment?
A: No. All you really need to get hold of is a yoga mat if you’re planning to practice regularly. But Lorna will lend you one initially (please ask in advance!) Mats can be bought cheaply online and at some supermarkets. Blocks and straps can be useful for some people, but Lorna will lend you some, or advise you to buy your own if necessary.
Q: I’m pregnant, can I come to Lorna’s classes?
A: Lorna’s classes are not suitable for women in their first trimester of pregnancy. After 12 weeks, those already experienced in yoga may join a general class after checking with Lorna beforehand. She will adapt poses for you.
Q: Can I eat before yoga?
A: Avoid eating a meal less than two hours before a class. A light snack may be consumed up to an hour beforehand.
Q: I’d like to try a class, but I don’t know anyone. Will I feel intimidated?
A: No! Classes are friendly and welcoming, so don’t worry about coming along alone for the first time. People make friends through yoga (and occasionally even meet their future husbands and wives!)
Q: I’m overweight. Is yoga for me?
A: Absolutely, yes. Yoga is for all shapes and sizes.
FAQs about yoga in general
Q: What is yoga?
A: Yoga is an ancient practice, dating back around 5,000 years and originating in India. It is a technique for spiritual development, aiming to unify the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union, ” or “yoke.”
Q: How is yoga different from Pilates and Stretch classes?
A: Yoga goes beyond the physical poses you see people holding. The poses are one aspect of this ancient practice. Ultimately, yoga is about calming the mind. Part of this involves connecting the mind to the rhythms of the breath and the body, balancing the subtle energy centres, and taps into universal energy too.
Q: Is Yoga religious?
A: Yoga is a spiritual practice that, I believe, can be enjoyed by people of any denomination, without compromising their religious views. It is a misconception that yoga is religious, or linked to any one religion. However, some religions do prefer followers not to practice yoga.
Q: There are so many forms of yoga on offer, it’s confusing! Which is best for me?
A: As yoga grows in popularity, new types appear all the time. I suggest trying a few classes and seeing which you like best. I teach a traditional form of yoga called Hatha Yoga. I usually link the poses together to create a flowing sequence or vinyasa. I call these classes Hatha Flow; they can be done at any level.
Popular forms of yoga
Iyengar: a very precise form of the practice where poses are held for slightly longer, this is excellent for honing in on correct alignment. Developed BKS Iyengar.
Desikachar (Vini) Yoga: A slower, more gentle yoga, devised by the late TKV Desikachar.
Ashtanga: A dynamic, flowing practice using a three-set series (although few people go past the Primary Series). This was devised by Sri Pattabhi Jois in Mysore. You may hear the term Mysore Practice, which refers to a disciplined Ashtanga practice.
Vinyasa: Flow yoga, deriving from Ashtanga but without the set series. The teacher normally sets their own sequences.
Bikram: A 26-pose practice performed in a room heated to a sauna-like 40 degrees C. Devised and patented by Bikram Choudhury.
Yin Yoga: Holding a few poses for several minutes to help release deep into tissues.
Restorative Yoga: A soothing practice involving relaxing into gentle poses with the use of props where appropriate. Extended relaxation, but no sleeping, please!
Kundalini Yoga: Very different from the other forms described here. Its focus is to activate the kundalini energy, which lies at the base of the spine, through movement, dynamic breath-work, specific chants, and sometimes diet. Traditionally practiced in white.
Power Yoga: a strong flow class that does not stick to a rigid routine.
Hot Yoga: a spin-off of Bikram that does not use the 26-pose set.
There are many more forms of yoga, some with self-explanatory names (aerial yoga, partner yoga, chair yoga…). All Yoga practices involve a focus on the breath, as well as movement. Some classes of all forms of yoga may involve chanting, meditation, and dedicated breathing exercises.