What is Yoga?
There is a myriad of information out there about what yoga is. Here’s an easy to digest list to give you some of the main points:
- In Sanskrit, yoga means ‘union’, or to yoke together. E.g. the coming together of the mind, the body, the spirit and the breath.
- Yoga is not a religion. Whilst the roots of yoga can be traced back to Hinduism, there are now a wide variety of disciplines which have no religious connotation whatsoever. It’s up to you how spiritual or religious you want your practice to be.
- Without the breath work (pranayama), yoga is just making shapes on a mat. Without the breath, it’s just exercise.
- The posture work (asana) is just one of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The other seven limbs are concerned with spiritual and mental well-being, and should be practiced in conjunction with the posture work in order to achieve the state of samadhi. Samadhi being when we truly achieve yoga, a union between the mind, the body and the spirit.
I’m new to yoga. Where should I start?
What sort of exercise are you looking for? Do you want to relax? Do you want to sweat? Do you want to find out about the spiritual side of yoga as well as the physical practice?
What classes do you offer?
We have a number of different types of yoga classes, from Ashtanga to Gentle Years, daily Vinyasa Flow classes and kids yoga at the weekend. You can find out more about the yoga classes we offer here.
What can yoga do for me?
It doesn’t matter if you are young, old, stiff, infirm, wheelchair bound, a former gymnast or have never done any physical exercise before. Yoga is definitely for YOU! There are so many options out there now for classes, that there has never been a better time to get along to a class and start finding out what it’s about. Try different teachers, different styles, pick and choose until you find a teacher that you love. And that’s when yoga really starts speaking to you, when you find a teacher you trust and feel safe with.
Physically, you can expect yoga to strengthen and tone your body, and to improve your flexiblity. Your posture will improve. You might lose weight. You might find the age-old niggles in your body start to feel better. Maybe your lung capacity will increase as a result of the breath work we do. You will definitely feel more confident about yourself.
Mentally, you become calmer and more able to focus. You find an equilibrium with your emotions. The big highs and the big lows that we all get don’t happen so frequently, or as dramatically.
You can check out the types of yoga we teach at Great Malvern Yoga and read about our teachers here. Don’t worry if our studio is not for you, we’re very lucky that there are plenty of other yoga teachers in Malvern and further afield in Worcestershire!
What should I bring?
We are living through “unprecedented” times right now, therefore we cannot share our yoga equipment with you. At the very least you need to please bring your own yoga mat. If you have blocks and a strap, please bring those too. For those students practising with us on Zoom, cushions and your dressing gown cord will suffice!
Whether you are taking part in our yoga classes online or in the studio, please always have some water with you. You can become dehydrated during yoga.
Finally, a blanket or a throw for final relaxation.
What should I wear?
Generally we wear leggings and vest tops or t-shirts. Layers are good, then you can peel them off as you start to get warm!
Yoga is practised with bare feet, so no need for socks.
It is always a good idea to bring a warm top to put on at the end for final relaxation (savasana). We also have lots of blankets in the studio for you to get really snuggly.
Can I eat before class?
Please try not to eat for at least 2 hours before you come to class. It is also a good idea to make sure that you are well hydrated.
Do you offer private classes?
Yes, please contact the individual teachers about private classes.
Do you have a place where I can change clothing?
Yes, we have a small bathroom where you can change if you need to.
What if I am running late?
Different teachers have different policies for late comers. However, if the studio door is closed that means class has started. If you can’t hear voices that means we’re relaxing – please don’t enter the studio during meditation because it disturbs everyone. It is a good idea to wait until you hear the teacher start speaking and then you may enter quietly.
What about parking?
You can have 2 hours free parking behind the Wilko store if you have a MHDC parking permit, otherwise it costs £1.40 during the day and £1.50 in the evening.
You can have 3 hours free parking in Waitrose.
There are numerous time-restricted parking spaces in the streets immediately around the studio.