Why is it best to NOT drink water during yoga?
We encourage you to drink before and after practice, but not during. We are creating internal heat to aid in burning through blockages and transforming ourselves and drinking water literally puts out the fire! Reaching for the water bottle can also become a habit that gives you an “out,” an escape, a way of moving out of intensity instead of staying with it and allowing the intensity, the heat, to create change. Certainly there are always exceptions and it is important for each practitioner to pay attention and make choices based on his or her individual needs. For example, if you have a dry cough or a cold, then it may help to take some water.
Why do we always roll to the right side when we come out of Savasana (relaxation pose)?
Partly it’s easier to coordinate a mass of people, who have their eyes closed, by moving them all in the same direction so there are no collisions! And also there are different energies related to each nostril. When you lie on your right side, your left nostril is up and therefore more dominant. The left side is considered more receptive, being related to the right side of the brain, and it assists in maintaining any relaxation that was cultivated in Savasana. If you wanted to assist with digestion, which is a more active function, you would lie on your left side so your right nostril would be dominant.
I’m hypoglycemic. What & when should I eat before coming to class?
Ideally it’s best to practice on an empty stomach (to not eat 2 hours prior), however it’s also important to pay attention to your own system. If you’re blood sugar is low, eat something light like fruit.
What do I wear?
Wear clothes that won’t distract you by either being too loose or too tight.You may have your head upside down (though the biggest inversion we do is Half Shoulderstand) & having your shirt fall off would be distracting! We practice barefoot in order to activate the feet—to learn how to stand with the feet instead of on them.
I’m a complete beginner – what is the best class for me to attend?
The Basics 1 Series was created for all those people who insisted they couldn’t do yoga because they couldn’t touch their toes or they were the most inflexible person ever. Second to Slow Yoga, this is the slowest paced class & will provide you with the tools we use in the rest of the classes.
Am I flexible enough?
It’s best to start where you are & work from there without getting caught up in comparing yourself to others. If you’re concerned, start with one of the foundational Core practices–Slow Yoga or Basics 1.
Why don’t we do headstand or handstand?
While classics of yoga, these postures can be dangerous for modern folks who haven’t yet built the strength in the core & arms to take pressure off the neck vertebrae. As a teacher, it’s difficult to monitor everyones safety. We build strength by doing the semi-inversions of Down Dog, Bridge & Half Shoulderstand with integrity instead. These postures also invert the flow of blood & give the organs & bones a release from gravity.
Why do we remove our shoes at the door?
Taking off your shoes helps keep the space clean. It’s also a gesture of respect & of shifting from one part of your life into another.
I’m Jewish/Catholic/Buddhist/Atheist. Is yoga a religion?
Yoga is a philosophy, a science and an art, but it is not a religion. There are ties to several religions—Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism—and there are schools that are tied into religions, however MYOGA is a practice of inclusivity, not exclusivity.
Why do we start with a mantra? What is it?
In a similar vein to taking your shoes off at the door, mantra at the start of the practice enables you to create a space, an intention, for the practice. It’s like setting the table for dinner versus eating over the sink—you’re letting yourself know what you’re doing & doing it respectfully! All of the mantras are explained & entirely voluntary. Initially there is often hesitation or resistance to opening your voice into strange sounds in front of others. From Sanskrit, manas means mind & tra means to traverse, so one way of translating this word is to say, “I’m going out of/leaving my mind!” In other words, we have an opportunity to let go of the busy-ness of the small mind that gets into judgement & limitation while the largess of Self, or spirit, says, “go, you can do it!” & there’s something bigger than these niggling worries.
What do you mean by “spirit”?
The Latin word spiritus gives us the English words inspire & expire—to breath in & out. A core recognition of spirit in MYOGA is the focus on breathing practices or pranayama. How you breathe is how you live. Breathe deeply, live fully! So in MYOGA we take a decidedly spiritual approach & this means nothing more esoteric than paying attention to & cultivating how alive you are, how much you breathe into & inhabit yourSelf & your body, moment to moment.
What do I need to bring?
If you have a yoga mat, by all means bring it! Then you know that what’s on it is you’re own. Likewise with eyepillows—bring your own if you have one. Otherwise, there are mats & eyepillows, blankets, blocks & straps at Powa Centre.
Can I come to Powa Centre early?
Yes! Please do arrive in time to start on time. And if it’s your first time, arrive 10-15 minutes early to get oriented & fill out the health forms. The door is always open 15 minutes prior to start time & often the teacher is there even earlier so you’re welcome to try the door or contact the teacher if you’d like to come spend some time meditating, with your feet up the wall, or perusing the library.
Do you have changing facilities?
There is an area out of view with shelves for storing your personal things & changing. If you’re more private, there is one toilet & also a curtained area that you may change in.
How big are your classes?
Maximum class size is 15 people. This makes it possible to feel supported by the teacher & also encourages the community feeling of the classes.
Is there parking around Powa Centre?
Marion St. generally has spaces open, though after 6pm weekdays & weekends are trickier to find space so give yourself time to do that. The city rates of $4/hour apply between 8am & 6pm (8pm on Fridays). There is also a covered car park on Marion St & this is $4 for the whole day on weekends.
Payment options or methods?
At the moment, there is no eftpos at Powa Centre. You may pay by cheque made to MYOGA, by cash or by bank payment (for this last option, please contact us for banking details). Unlimited Class Passes are possible for the committed student while concession rates and barter are available if money is a bar to practicing.
Why are the mats set up in a circle?
Melissa has a thing with hierarchy! Working in a circle engenders community, makes it possible for the teacher to see everyone at a glance, & means you’re less likely to be looking at someone’s backside while practicing!