What are Iyengar Yoga classes like?
In Iyengar Yoga, we don't follow a script, or practice the same poses in every class. Instead, every week a teacher designs a class plan, which consists of a sequence of poses that have a theme or an objective. In a course, which extends from 6-16 weeks, the teacher introduces new poses each week, and new ways to keep the practice of previously studied poses moving forward in a stimulating and inspiring way. Every class ends with a resting pose, so when you depart you will feel calmer and refreshed.
Can I really do Yoga?? I am really stiff (weak, old, overweight, out of shape…) and can't even touch my toes!!!
Yes, you can do yoga even if you are not flexible! And, you will become more flexible if you practice yoga regularly. In the beginning classes we modify many of the classical yoga poses and use “props” like belts, blocks, blankets, chairs, and walls, etc., to help everybody, whether stiff or weak, (young or old, fat or thin, fit or out of shape) develop strength, flexibility, and mental quietude in a safe and supportive way.
I have a bad back (neck, knees, shoulder and …). Can Yoga help me?
Chronic skeletal pain is an epidemic in our modern world and is often caused by bad posture, poor body mechanics, and an imbalance in the muscles supporting the joints. In Iyengar Yoga we emphasize "postural alignment," where we balance the action of the muscles in every yoga pose to support the back, neck, knees, and other joint areas so as to encourage health and healing. We also integrate conscious breathing into the yoga postures to help release deep, chronic stress and tension that can be an unidentified cause of chronic pain.
I have done Yoga before at the gym and other places, but always seem to hurt myself!
Accidents can happen anywhere. However,our goal in an Iyengar Yoga class is to teach students how to practice in a safe and systematic way. It takes years of rigorous training and extensive testing before an Iyengar Yoga teacher is certified, so you will be studying with a knowledgeable and experienced teacher. Friendship Yoga is not a gym where you come to do a "yoga workout," but more like a school with a curriculum; where you come to embark on a path of lifelong learning.
I want to take yoga at Friendship Yoga but I can’t commit to the same class time each week. Can I buy a punch card and drop into any class that fits my schedule?
We do require you to sign up for a specific class or classes so the teacher can get to know you and your individual needs and be able to help you progress week by week. But we also have a very flexible make-up policy. If you miss a class, you can do a make-up in any other class during the same 12 or 16 week session. If you are going to be gone for al week, you can make up before or after your absence and come 2 times in the same week.
Can I just "drop-in" to a class and see if I like it?
If you are totally new to yoga or Iyengar Yoga, we recommend that you drop in to one of our first 2 weeks of classes.(Week 1 is free). After that we will have already covered enough course material that a new student will slow the progress of the other students.
What are "free INTRO classes" and when are they offered?
The free classes are for people who with no previous yoga experience, Iyengar Yoga experience, or are new to Friendship Yoga. It's a great opportunity to come and try a class, meet our dedicated and enthusiastic teachers, and experience yoga in a professional studio. The free classes are offered 4 times a year—during the first week of the course—and you can choose from several times.
Do I have to bring my own mat?
You are welcome to bring your own mat, but we also have mats and all the other "props" you'll need, free of charge.
When will I know that it's time to move on to the next level of classes?
We usually recommend that you start at the INTRO level and then consult the teacher as to whether you are ready to progress to Level 1. Many repeat INTRO once. After moving on from INTRO, some people prefer to stay at the Level 1 for several years—which is totally okay—while others prefer to move on to the next level more quickly. The more you practice at home, the faster you will be able to progress to the next level. Please check our recommended prerequisites for each class level, (see Class Descriptions) and also check with your teacher to see if you are ready for the next level. There is no hurry . . . this is life-long learning.