1. What is yoga?
The word yoga has its roots in the Sanskrit language meaning "to unite or yoke." With a combination of asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing) and meditation, yoga helps connects the mind, body and spirit.
2. What is Pilates?
Designed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a system of exercises that encourage the mind to control the muscles. It puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing to allow adequate oxygen flow to muscles, developing a strong core or center (tones abdominals while strengthening the back), and improving coordination and balance. It can be done on the mat or equipment. Start with Pilates mat level 1 or Intro to Pilates Equipment.
3. Are yoga and/or Pilates just another workout exercise?
Yoga and Pilates are not merely exercises to make one's body fit; this is one of the most widespread misconceptions. Beyond its obvious physical aspect, yoga and Pilates are techniques to help aid in developing awareness on every level: mental, physical, breath as well as the more subtle layers of ourselves that we may not even be aware of.
4. How do you address the stigma surrounding yoga and its ties to India's religions?
Yoga is a philosophy. Yes, it's true that yoga has its roots in India and can be tied to Hinduism and Buddhism, but it can just as easily be tied to Christianity, Judaism and any other religion. Ananda Shala recognizes and honors all spiritual sides of yoga.
5. What style of yoga does Ananda Shala offer and how does it differ from other studios?
Many of our yoga classes are Prana Flow® which is a vinyasa or flowing style of yoga. The difference with other forms of yoga may be the deep connection to the breath & it's relation to energetic alignment (the way energy flows within the body) while in the flow. Typically, a Prana Flow class will offer a peak pose for the class which you will be preparing for during your class with: preparatory poses, kramas (stages of the pose), modifications for the pose & counterposes.
In addition, we offer gentle and restorative yoga – inspired by creator Shannon Paige Schneider from Om Time Colorado.
We also offer other styles of yoga defined on our Class Descriptions page.
6. How often should you practice yoga / Pilates?
Ideally, the more you practice, the more you will see results even if it is for a few minutes every day. However, we suggest listening to your body to determine how often you should personally practice.
7. My breathing does not match the teacher's cues. Am I breathing incorrectly?
No, you are not. Our teachers cue breathing in and out of asanas (poses) as a reminder to keep breathing. The breath takes time to develop just like your muscles. As long as you are breathing – that is what's important. Over time – you will begin to relax into the breath to facilitate your practice but give it time. Let the instructor help be a guide and listen to your body.
8. I have a hard time relaxing at the end of class. What am I doing wrong?
Savasana or deep relaxation is one of the most important asanas (poses) in yoga. The reason yoga was created long ago was to allow the body to relax in meditation. Do not feel frustrated if thoughts arise in the mind as this is what your mind is designed to do – to think! It takes time to find and settle into the spaces in between the thoughts. If you feel tense or uncomfortable in savasana, please let your teacher know so he/she can provide props for the next time.
Still have Questions / Concerns?
We want you to feel 100% safe beginning a yoga or Pilates practice. Please feel free to call or email us with any questions you still have.