• Yoga by the Lake

What level is the class?

Most existing students have at least a few months experience.

You should expect to be physically challenged. Not in a sweaty kind of way, but you will do some work!

Students include stiffer retirees looking to maintain their health. Also marathon runners, club cyclists and pilates instructors! So it's really suitable for anyone that is in reasonable health.

Can beginners join the class?

Yes. Many beginners have integrated successfully straight into the group classes.

However I would strongly recommend Beginners attend three or four weeks of Private Tuition (which can be shared with up to two other people) first to gain a good foundation - this will make improvement much faster once you join the group.

What are the benefits of yoga?

Yoga builds strength and stamina, improves flexibility, muscle tone and posture and calms the mind. Regular practice develops awareness and concentration and promotes general wellbeing. There are numerous documented health benefits of yoga.

Do I need my own mat?

If you are a beginner and wish to try out yoga classes before purchasing a mat, Nick will provide a mat for your first two or three classes.

Regular students should bring their own yoga mat, as a minimum.  Ideally regular students should also have their own equipment and it would be appreciated if they could bring it to the class. Recommended equipment would be:

  • a cotton yoga belt
  • four or five foam blocks

and optionally:

  • a cork brick
  • a blanket
  • a bolster.

Are there any men in the class?

Yes.  There are men in the classes.

More and more men are beginning to realise the benefits of Iyengar Yoga. For instance it has been taught on a weekly basis to all of the Manchester United football team to increase overall fitness and minimise injuries in the players. England Rugby players (including one in the World Cup winning squad) have used Iyengar Yoga to help resolve injuries and the English Cricket Board also recommends it.

The postures are a challenge to all. Yoga pays no regard to colour, creed or sex: all can take part.

What should I wear?

Wear clothes that allow you to move freely. Avoid anything baggy or too long - it’s good if you and the yoga teacher can see your knees and feet. Most people wear shorts or leggings and a T-shirt.

Yoga is always practised in bare feet.

Can I eat before yoga classes?

Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach.  It is best to leave at least three hours after a main meal, or two hours after a snack.

Am I too inflexible to do yoga?

One of the great fallacies is that you need to be flexible to do yoga.  The most referred to book describing yoga (the "Bible" if you like!) is BKS Iyengar's "Light on Yoga" which describes 200 yoga postures, and nowhere does he mention flexibility.  Iyengar Yoga opens joints up keeping them healthy, and builds strong and supple muscles. A side benefit is that this leads to more flexibility.

Being inflexible is a great reason to come to yoga class.  It means you will be less likely to injure yourself and you will improve.  Don't forget, yoga has nothing to do with what other people are capable of - it is a practice for oneself.

How often should I do yoga?

As often as you like. Once you practise regularly there should be no tiredness or stiffness felt afterwards - in fact you should feel more energised.

To make progress you need to practise at least once a week.  Ideally you would come to a class and perform your own home practice as well each week.

The ideal is to practise every day. If it's difficult to find the time, frequent smaller sessions are generally preferable to infrequent longer sessions. The key is to make it a habit, for example, doing your yoga practice for 30 minutes before breakfast.

Can yoga help my injury, e.g. bad back, or other health problem?

Many students start practising with back pain, or other common ailments, and they find yoga helps.

Please ensure your discuss any injuries or health problems with Nick before you attend the class (or before the class if you are a regular student with a temporary condition). For more serious conditions, a specialised remedial yoga class may be more required.

Can I still practise yoga if I'm pregnant?

Yes, but if you have not done any yoga before, you should wait until your 14th week and attend a specialised pregnancy yoga class at an Iyengar Yoga centre (pregnancy classes are offered in Bath and Bristol).

You may join at any time up to the 28th week. Only students with Iyengar yoga experience may join after the 28th week.