About Yoga

What is yoga?

Yoga is a philosophy (a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline) that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. People of any/every belief system can practice yoga; it is not a religion. Yoga has many different meanings worldwide, but Westerners are most familiar with Hatha Yoga. This type of yoga uses physical postures or positions called asanas (pronounced ah-SA-nahs) to achieve health benefits. In general the poses consist of standing and balancing poses, twists, and forward and backbends, as well as relaxation and breathing techniques.

Will yoga help me with {fill in the blank ailment}?

There is a saying that “yoga cures what ails you.” By practicing yoga poses, people increase their flexibility, strength, stamina, and balance. Aside from the physical benefits of yoga, many individuals will find that stress is released and concentration is improved. Many students experience some of these benefits after only one class, but with regular practice the benefits can be astonishing.

Do I need to have special clothes?

Nope! Just wear stretchy, comfortable clothes you can move in.

What should I bring to class?

Please bring a towel, blanket, or yoga mat to class. Most studios have mats and props to rent or borrow; check out the studio’s website for details.

What happens during a yoga class?

Every teacher and studio will be different – come to class with an open mind and find out!

Can I eat/drink before yoga?

It’s best to have a stomach that is neither too full nor too empty.

I’m not sure which yoga style to try…

Just as there are many styles of dancing, there are also many styles of yoga. Some yoga is physically challenging and athletic, while other styles focus on relaxation and meditation. Some of the most popular yoga styles that you will find in Sacramento include:

Ashtanga (Power Yoga) – Ashtanga is a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. Ashtanga practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement (or “flow”) from one pose to the next.

Bikram (Hot Yoga) – Bikram yoga is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room, which allows for a loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to cleanse the body from the inside out.

Gentle Yoga – A softer form of yoga with a more restorative focus. Students will develop body awareness, learn basic poses, and discover their natural breath. A great style for stress relief and rejuvenation.

Hatha – Hatha is a very general term that refers to a wide range of yoga styles, many of which have been given other names (such as Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Ananda, Kripalu, Sivananda, Viniyoga, and so on). Hatha Yoga is a branch of yoga that focuses on physical health and well-being and recognizes the body as the vehicle of the spirit.

Iyengar – Students focus on symmetry and alignment, using props — such as straps, blankets, wooden blocks, and chairs — to achieve postures. Each pose is held for a long period of time, rather than moving quickly from one pose to the next.

Kundalini – Kundalini emphasizes breath in conjunction with physical movement. This ancient form consists of active postures (asanas) combined with specific breathing techniques (pranayama), hand and finger gestures (mudras), body locks (bandhas), chanting (mantras), and meditation.

Restorative – Restorative yoga is a restful practice that uses props (blankets, blocks, straps, etc.) to support the body so that you can relax into poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching.

Vinyasa – Like Hatha, Vinyasa is a general term that is used to describe many different types of classes. Vinyasa, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses called Sun Salutations, in which movement is matched to the breath.

Yin – A quiet, passive practice that focuses on deep, long stretches that release the connective tissues and joints. Yin poses are held for several minutes, adding a quality of stillness and introspection to the practice.

Even within the different styles of yoga, however, teachers will have their own presentation style and will emphasize different aspects of the yoga they teach. (Sacramento FDOY gives you a unique opportunity to try out a variety of yoga styles and teachers!)

Ready to give yoga a go? Check out the Sacramento FDOY class offerings!

 

Sponsors

It's All Yoga
Padme Yoga Center
Morris Terry
REI
Rise Yoga Studio
Luna Bar
Morris Terry - FDOY Discount
The Yoga Practice
sacyoga.com
WellBEing Resource
Asha Yoga
Dana Gray Open Heart Design
Sacramento Yoga Center
Sacramento Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga Folsom
Bikram Yoga Lincoln