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Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga
(portions contributed by the editors of Yoga Journal)
What is yoga?
year old, time tested, practice of
yoga is comprised of stretching and breathing exercises designed
to attain liberation. It enables you to gain bodily and/or mental
control thereby improving your physical health as well as your mental
2. How do
I clean my yoga mat?
Although there are now a large variety of yoga sticky mats on the market most
comprised of a pvc vinyl material. These yoga mats can/should be cleaned by using
warm water and a grease cutting soap. The mat can then be towel dried or air
dried. Yoga mats should be cleaned prior to initial use and then every so often
- depending on use. Mat disinfectant sprays can also be used and are strongly
recommended if multiple people are using the same yoga mat.
How do I find a good yoga teacher?
Finding a good yoga teacher is like finding a good doctor or
hairdresser-you have to ask around and then try out a few different
don't know anyone who does yoga, look in the Yellow Pages under "yoga" and
then make a few phone calls. Ask questions. Is the yoga being
taught vigorous or gentle? What is a good class time for beginners?
Should I bring anything, like a yoga mat, or is that supplied?
How much is each class? Where was the teacher trained? (Most
should have 200 to 500 hours of training.) How long has the
teacher been instructing? Before you begin yoga, consult your
let your teacher know if you have any health problems.
4. What are
the benefits of yoga?
The health benefits of yoga are just beginning to be investigated
by the mainstream medical community. Initial trials have shown that
yoga can help people with asthma, cardiac risk factors, carpal tunnel
syndrome, arthritis, and more. Some
of the benefits of yoga include:
stress by giving you peace of mind
your strength, flexibility and energy
relief from back and neck pain
with weight loss
your muscle tone
your posture, balance and concentration
your cardiovascular system
your digestion and overall health
5. Can kids
Pilot studies have consistently shown that students who learn to
meditate or practice yoga do better on tests and are more successful
at school in general. Small children who practice yoga show develop
their physical and neurological skills and improve their self esteem.
Yoga can benefit kids just as much as it helps adults. It can increase
their flexibility, strength, coordination, body awareness, and
With school, sports, peer pressure, and demanding social activities,
a kid's world can be stressful. Yoga can help relieve the stress
encourage relaxation. Many yoga studios have yoga for kids or "Mommy
and Me" programs. If you're familiar with yoga and planning on
teaching it to your kids at home, you're not going to be able to
mimic an adult
class. Kids love to move, play, and talk, so be sure to incorporate
all three when creating a home practice.
6. Is Yoga Just
If you think yoga is just the latest fad then consider this...
Americans said they regularly do yoga, meditation or other stress
reducing excercises (Wall Street Journal / NBC poll).
yoga classes can now be found at many fortune 500 companies
including Oracle, Intel, JPL/NASA, Sony, HBO, Apple, IBM, Citibank,
GM, AT&T, GE, Toyota, Pepsico, Dole
doctors and insurance companies, such as Blue Shield, now
and cover yoga for patients with heart disease and asthma according
to U.S. News & World Report.
- Over 65%
of traditional health clubs are now offering yoga in their activities
according to IHRSA.
- Major media such as Harper's Bazaar, W, Health, InStyle, Los Angeles Times, Talk, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, ABC, CBC, CNN, and NBC have had extensive yoga coverage.
Let's just say
that if the age-old practice of yoga were to disappear, it will
have been the longest lasting fad the world has ever seen!