"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim.

The better your practice, the brighter the flame."

--B.K.S. Iyengar--

 

 

 

What is yoga?

 

The word yoga, from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as 'union.'  It is a method of discipline to unite mind, body, and spirit. 

 

Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.

 

 

What is asana?

 

Asana in sanskrit means seat and refers to the postures used during the physical practice of yoga. 

 

 

What Does Hatha Mean?

 

The word hatha means willful or forceful. Hatha yoga refers to a set or sequence of asanas designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones. The postures are also designed to open the body so that energy can flow freely.  Attention to our breath is another aspect of hatha yoga; this attention helps us to still the fluctuations of the mind and be more present.

 

 

How often should I practice yoga?

 

A yoga practice of only one hour a week will be beneficial.  But I would recommend a practice of 2-3 times per week for one to one and a half hours.  But we all have to start somewhere and if you can only do 20 minutes a session, that's a good start. 

 

 

How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?

 

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. The physical practice is just one aspect of yoga and even with the physical practice one still connects the movement of the body and fluctuations of the mind to the breath. The connection of mind, body, and breath allows us to direct our attention inward improving our ability to reduce our attachment to habitual thought patterns.  Through yoga practice you will get a stronger and more flexible body and mind.

 

 

I'm not flexible - can I still do yoga?

 

Yes.  You do not have to be flexible to do yoga.  In fact, yoga will help improve your flexibility and mobility.

 

 

What do i need to do yoga?

 

You do not need anything but a body and mind. But you may want a yoga mat and a towel.  You may want to wear comfortable clothing like a pair of shorts or leggings with a sports bra, tank top, or t-shirt that is not too loose.  You do not need shoes; yoga is performed in bare feet.  In time you may want your own props like blocks and a strap.

 

 

Why should I refrain from eating 2-3 hours prior to a session?

 

You may be twisting, bending forward and backward, and even going upside down (inversions) and these movements may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. If you have a fast digestive system then eating a light snack 30 minutes prior to a session may be appropriate. 

 

 

How long have you been practicing yoga?

 

I began practicing yoga in 2000 when I was a collegiate football player.  Gaining muscle mass for my sport meant losing flexibility and losing speed.  I was not happy with the way my body felt despite having a great level of fitness.  I despised stretching, but found some yoga videos with yoga master Rodney Yee, and decided to give them a try. With only practicing 20 minutes several times a week I could feel a difference. 

 

It was not until years later that I took my first class while living in Philadelphia.  After that class I knew yoga would be a part of my life and it has been ever since.

 

I have practiced under many teachers and have been exposed to differing styles throughout the years.  I bring a little from each to the way I practice and teach.

 

 

Where did you learn to teach yoga?

 

In 2012, I was certified to teach yoga when I received my 200-hour teacher training from YogaWorks in Costa Mesa, California.

 

 

What style of yoga do you teach?

 

My style of yoga is a mixture of ashtanga, vini-yoga, and Iyengar (YogaWorks method). I bring my knowledge of anatomy and rehabilitation to my teaching to ensure each practioner is safely aligned.  I also add a hint of humor to each session.