What is yoga?
The word yoga derives from the Sanskrit word yuj, meaning ‘‘to yoke, or unite,’’ a root that gives rise to the popular translation of yoga as ‘‘union.’’ More broadly understood in a modern context, yoga is a set of principles and practices designed to promote health and well-being through the integration of body, breath, and mind.
What are your prices? How do I pay online?
How do I renew my class pass?
Should I bring my own mat?
Yes. Most students are more comfortable on their own personal mat. The studio offers mats to students with a $5 rental fee; this fee covers the cost of sterilization/cleaning for the next user.
Why did I get two email reminders about renewing my class pass?
The class passes expire on a certain date and/or when all the classes are used up. There are two auto-emails that go out, one that lets students know the expiration date is near and one that lets students know they are nearing the end of the number of classes they purchased. Make sure to use all of the classes on the pass before the expiration date so that you don’t lose them!
Where can I find and/or print a schedule of classes?
Does Namasté accept People’s Health?
Yes! People’s Health members are welcome to attend regularly scheduled yoga and Pilates mat classes. Please register with People’s Health to use our facility for the month. You will need to bring your People’s Health number with you to sign-in for class, and also the “New Student Info” form (available for download.) Please note that People’s Health does not cover WORKSHOPS or special events.
What are some of the benefits of yoga?
Yoga increases flexibility, strength, endurance and balance; it improves posture, increases lung capacity, reduces stress, calms, improves concentration and reduces or eliminates of mood swings. Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate, and a slower heart rate can benefit people with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Yoga has been associated with decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as a boost in immune system function. Yoga also benefits those with chronic medical conditions, relieving symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower back pain, hypertension and arthritis. Clinical trials on yoga show health benefits for pregnant and menopausal women and those who suffer with eating disorders, insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
See what others have to say about the benefits of yoga:
There is no shortage of those who sing yoga’s praises. Visit the education menu on our website, updated with new and interesting information we find about the benefits of yoga. Visit us at the studio and listen to our students after class: some will even tell you that yoga can help improve marriages and relationships! The only way to know for sure what yoga can do for you is to try it.
What’s the difference between yoga and Pilates?
While Pilates works the whole body, the main focus is on the core muscles (abs, lower back, and stabilizing muscles). Yoga is a complete holistic system for overall health and well-being.
Yoga includes everything from physical postures, personal hygiene, and a healthy diet to premeditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques. The most advanced forms of meditation and self-realization are also a part of yoga. Yoga originated in India nearly 5,000 years ago; today, nearly 16.5 million American adults in the United States practice yoga.
Depending on your fitness goals, you may choose to practice yoga or Pilates independently or combined. While there are certainly differences between yoga and Pilates, each complements the other well for a total fitness routine.
When should I begin my Prenatal Yoga/Pilates Practice?
Everyone agrees that staying active and exercising while pregnant is the best way to maintain a woman’s health and fitness and prepare her for the often strenuous and challenging rigors of childbirth, but starting a prenatal exercise program can be daunting. In the first trimester (conception to 3 months) women often experience extreme fatigue and varying degrees of nausea or “morning sickness” (which is absolutely not confined to mornings.) Most healthcare providers and prenatal fitness experts will agree that women should listen to their bodies and rest during this transitional period. In general, women tend to feel like resting — not exercising — during the first trimester and this can be a bit disconcerting to those who were previously quite active.
In the second trimester, many women feel guilty and/or concerned that they haven’t exercised in 2 or 3 months and are intimidated to start prenatal yoga or Pilates.
The number one rule to any prenatal activity: “If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it!”
Prenatal students should start very slowly with 15 minutes once or twice a day and see how that feels for a few days. The prenatal body changes quickly and daily, so the things that felt great before pregnancy might not feel great now. Every woman is different. Listen to your body.
As long as a woman has no complications with her pregnancy and has gotten the okay from her doctor or midwife, anytime is a good time to start prenatal yoga or Pilates. Although this typically occurs at the beginning of the second trimester, some women can exercise during their first trimester or not start until the third trimester.
Pregnancy is a great time to reconnect with your body! Approach prenatal yoga and Pilates mindfully and pay attention — your body has much to tell you!
How often should I come to yoga class?
Yoga improves flexibility, balance and circulation, strengthens the entire body, and reduces tension and stress. Yoga complements any athletic sport, helping to prevent injuries and establish greater stability and range of motion. Yoga calms the mind, improves focus and concentration, steadies the emotions and opens the heart to feeling more fully alive.
Benefits derived from yoga practice vary, depending on frequency of practice:
Once or twice a week:
Modest improvement in flexibility, balance, breathing and posture; development of better sleep patterns; safe exploration of injuries; reduced stress.
Three or four times a week:
Building on the above, add significant increase in strength, flexibility, balance and energy; improved circulation and skin radiance; improved posture and breathing; stronger immune system; improved attention, concentration, memory and overall mood.
Five times a week or daily:
Building on all of the above, add even greater strength, endurance and energy; structural reintegration of your body; profoundly enhanced mental clarity, emotional stability, inner awareness; and a heightened sense of overall well-being.
Am I too [insert any of the following: old, unhealthy, large, out-of-shape] to take a yoga class?
No! Yoga is accessible no matter what your age, health condition, body type, or level of athleticism. Of course, Namasté of Metairie asks that you do the prudent thing and check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
What can I expect from my first yoga class?
Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. Yoga is done barefoot, so be prepared to remove your shoes and socks. If you do not already have one, the studio has mats that you can rent or purchase and other props that you might need are provided for your use during class. Be sure to drink plenty of water before you arrive and after class, but do not plan to drink water during class. Avoid eating a heavy meal in the hours before you arrive. Try to arrive 10 minutes early so that you can check in, get situated and let your instructor know that you are a beginner.
A typical class will begin with breathing exercises, then move into incorporating warm-up poses into the breathing, followed by more vigorous poses and stretches, and will end with Savasana or final relaxation. Some yoga positions and poses may feel strange at first; hang in there, and let your instructor guide you through.
Listen to your body; if a pose is too difficult, do the modification. In time, your body will progress to the full pose. Take breaks if and when needed. Try to resist the temptation to look over at your fellow students; this eliminates the temptation to compare the level of mastery of an advanced student to your own beginning. Remember, this is your first class! At one time, that long, lean yogi in the front was a beginner whose practice looked totally different from how it looks today. In time, and with practice, you will reach your own level of mastery and exude that same confidence in class.
If at any point you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask your instructor.
Yoga encourages you to use muscles you might not otherwise use, so expect to feel a little sore after your first class. (Clarification: you should never feel sudden, sharp or uncomfortable pain during yoga practice. Delayed onset muscle soreness is the result of physical exercise and occurs a day or two after a workout. As you begin to practice frequently, you will experience less soreness.)
I’m ready to take my first class; which class is right for me?
Please call, email or stop by the studio to speak with our friendly staff and/or instructors! We will help guide you toward a class that fits your goals and expectations.
How does a yoga class compare to my regular workout at the gym?
In the same amount of time you spend at the gym, yoga will train & increase aerobic strength, improve breathing, & feel as relaxing as a massage!
I am of the impression that yoga is just a bunch of fluffy spiritual mumbo-jumbo. Is that true?
The general trend of yoga in the United States has gravitated toward the physical practices of asana, pranayama, and meditation.
Asana consists of the physical poses and exercises that were traditionally used as a means to condition and prepare the body for deep and extended periods of meditation, which sometimes involved being seated in stillness for hours or even days. Today, asana has become an end in its own right, and the most popular form of yoga practice in the United States. Typical poses range from elementary standing, seated, and supine positions accessible to beginners, to complex and challenging articulations of the body that may be injurious without adequate preparation and strength. Depending on the level of practice and mastery, some poses may be structurally impossible for beginners.
Pranayama uses breath exercises to regulate the flow of energy (prana) through subtle energy channels (nadis) within the body. Pranayama practices to shift and balance the flow of energy and rhythmic breathing exercises that condition the respiratory apparatus and cultivate breath awareness.
Modern meditation practices blend elements of dharana (concentration) and pratyahara (sense withdrawal). Traditional Buddhist meditation techniques, such as metta (loving kindness) and vipassana (insight) meditations may also be included in the study and practice of yogic meditation. Traditional meditation practices often incorporate exercises involving the placement of attention on a drishti (focal point), which may include (but is not limited to) the breath, a chanted or thought mantra, a candle flame or the act of walking.
Strengthening poses, deep stretching, breathing and meditation are all commonly associated with yoga and beneficial to good health.