This post is based on the most frequently asked questions that people email me about. It will help give you a quick breakdown of the general things you can expect when you come to Yoga Hertford.
You may be completely new to Yoga or you may have been practising Yoga for years, nevertheless; every class is different. Every teacher is different. We even bring a changed version of ourselves to each class!
Do I have to book a place?
Not yet! Although Wednesdays are gradually getting busier,right now (March) there is enough space to just show up. It does help for new starters to email me to let me know they are thinking of coming in case the room is full and also to let me know of any special requirements or injuries.
If you like to have more space then Friday is worth considering. As the rest of Hertford larges it up (!) you can save money, wake up after a restful deep sleep and not have a hangover! As it is the end of the week this class is oriented toward collecting our energy and bringing a fresh outlook to the weekend. This can be dynamic or a slower pace.
What should I eat before a Yoga class?
Before you come to either a class on Wednesday or Friday it’s advisable to have a light snack, maybe some fruit. Fruit is faster to digest and will give you a little sugary boost to get you going. I usually have a small-ish fruit smoothie about an hour before the class. Fruit digests faster than most processed solid foods too.
We could be practising inversions or twisting which is why I’d advise not to eat a heavy meal. Imagine holding a lateral twist after eating a pizza. It would be uncomfortable as your intestines will be full. You probably would get more out of the experience with this little adjustment.
Will I need a Yoga mat?
If you have one please bring it along, but there are will be some mats and cushions laid out for you. Most people find it a challenge just sitting on the floor so a small cushion can go a long way to make your experience more enjoyable. I find that if I don’t have to fight my body to maintain an upright posture I can turn my focus to breathing and channeling my awareness.
There are chairs available. People sometimes feel shy about taking a chair but there is no reason for this. I’d rather you were comfortable and anyway everyone else is busy with their own experience so it’s totally cool to take a chair. If you have a cushion that you normally use for meditation then I’d say bring that with you too.
Yoga mats can be purchased at cost price (cheaper than if you were to buy them in Hertford). The mats at class are bought wholesale which is why they’re cheaper.
What to expect during Yoga in Hertford
We normally begin with a breathing mediation. This is an opportunity to focus oneself and leave the narrative of the day behind. The classes are secular, we seek to explore inside for meaning and opening the mind by delaying judgment and centering on the moment at hand.
We then warm the major muscle groups and joints to prepare for the rest of the class. If the orientation of the class is to prefect a standing balancing pose like balanced Half Moon, Ardh-Chandrasana then it would make sense to target ankles, knees, hips as well as hamstring and core muscles.
The focus is always on the breath first. Form comes later, before we hone our technique we must learn to reattach the mind and the body. The breath is a great gift that each of us has and will help to bring about this yoking, union, yoga.
Class will finish either with a seated meditation or Shivasana. Shivasana involves laying on your back and consciously relaxing the body. It is a balm that will soothe and help you reap the full benefits of all that we have practiced together.
After the class
Avoid unnecessary chatter or turning to your phone. You’ve just spent the last 90 minutes quietening yourself, so why not wait and listen to see what comes up from within that inner space? You might be surprised.
For anyone that would like to; there is an opportunity to sit and discuss the class (there are free tea and biscuits). This is your chance to ask the reasons behind an instruction, or maybe to sit in meditation.
Something that I love and found helped take my practice to new heights was chanting. Realising that it’s not for everyone, chanting hasn’t been introduced so far. But after the class has finished and if you’d like to there is an open invitation to give this a go.