Tips for Students New to The Yoga Ground
If you are new to yoga we suggest starting with our Beginners, Restorative, Gentle, or Yoga en Español classes.
Wear comfortable workout attire.
Know your body. If you need food before you workout, eat. If eating before moving doesn’t feel good, don’t. But DO drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Arrive 15-20 minutes early so you’ll have time to park, sign-in, and get settled before class.
There is a municipal parking lot - the “Abe Lando Lot” - behind the studio that can be accessed from Washington Street (84 Washington), Main Street (273 Main), and Kling Street (23 Kling). You can also park in the elementary school lot across the street at night and on weekends. The municipal lot has meters that typically aren’t working… but if they are, it is 25 cents per hour.
We provide mats for $2 rental, or bring your own.
We sell water for $1. We have a filtered water system from which you can fill up your own reusable water bottle for free.
Upon entering the studio, head over to our front desk to sign-in and/or sign our waiver. You can sign our waiver online by creating an account here. But please still check-in at the front desk before every class.
Please let the teacher know if you are dealing with anything physically, mentally or emotionally that might effect your practice.
Please let your teacher know if you prefer not to be touched. Some teachers give hands-on adjustments and we understand that not everyone likes these. Letting your teacher know will allow them to give you verbal cues, and allow you to relax without concern.
No cell phones are allowed in the yoga studio.
If you are new to yoga, please do not put your mat in the first row. This way you can look at other students if you are confused about a pose.
Once you enter the studio space, please keep your voice low or be silent.
Again, no cell phones please.
Yoga is a process. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
“No pain, no gain” has no home here. Listen to your body. If it is uncomfortable, hold it. If it hurts, don’t. Hurting your body is the antithesis of yoga.
A teacher once said to me, “listen with your ears, not your eyes”. Because many of our classes are open-level, some students might be doing different variations of poses. Listen to your teacher and their directions and you will know where to put your body.
Though you may need to look at other students while you’re learning your poses, please know everyone was a beginner once! No judgement on your mat, towards yourself or others.
When all else fails, remember to breathe. If you exhale when the teacher says inhale or vice versa… no worries. Just breathe.
Stay hydrated! You don’t need the teacher’s permission to drink some water.
If you feel tired, it is OK to rest and sip some water during class. We try to encourage people to try to stay in the yoga studio to avoid distractions. That being said - take care of yourself. If you need to leave the studio, no one will stop you!
Don’t skip savasana! The final pose of class is laying on your back with your eyes closed in rest. For some people this is the most uncomfortable part of class. Some people might think it is a waste of time. Everything you do in your yoga class leads you to savasana. Please don’t leave early.
If you left a puddle of sweat around your mat, or of water around your water bottle, please wipe it up.
If you rented a mat from us, wipe your mat down with the mat spray provided in the studio and leave your rented mat on the floor. We will hang it to dry.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
If you loved your class, or at least liked it enough to take another, new students are all eligible for either of our 2 intro offers: Intro Week or Intro Month. These must be purchased on the day of your first free class! Click here to learn more.
Have additional questions? Contact us!
Frequently Asked Questions
On The Yoga Ground:
What is the temperature in the room?
We want people to walk into our studio and breathe a sigh of relief. In the warmer weather, that means keeping our studio at around 75 degrees by using our AC. In the winter, that means keeping our studio around 78 degrees, using added heat.
How many classes per week should I take?
This is all going to be depend on you and how you feel. We think 3-4 times/week allows students to maintain their physical and mental flexibility and see progress in their practice. However you will have to decide this for yourself. Some people can practice every day, for other people once per week feels like enough.
Will yoga help me lose weight, or, do I need to lose weight before I begin?
Baron Baptiste, a popular yoga teacher, says that yoga will help you lose whatever you need to lose. That might be physical weight. That might also be mental and emotional weight. You do not need to lose weight before you begin yoga. You DO need to be healthy enough to partake in physical activity - but health is often unrelated to the size of your body.
I’m not flexible, can I do yoga?
Yes. Yup. That is what yoga is for. You’ll be fine.
What if I have a physical injury, or mental/emotional issue? Can I still practice?
If you are dealing with anything physically, mentally, or emotionally, yoga can help. However some of our classes are more strenuous than others and it is best to get your doctor or treatment professionals’ opinion before you start any kind of physical activity. Some students prefer not to be touched in class, and we are OK with this. It is best to let your instructor know this beforehand - they will not pry for more information or judge you.
What are the benefits of a yoga practice?
Where do we start?
increased muscle strength & tone
improved respiration, energy & vitality
maintaining a balanced metabolism
cardio & circulatory health
protection from injury
improved athletic performance
increased ability to manage stress
increased patience, understanding & compassion
improved overall mental well-being
increased body awareness
relaxation for your mind & body
improved focus & clarity
improved ability to fall & stay asleep
What is yoga?
This is a BIG questions. There are a lot of definitions for and interpretations of yoga. Most teachers will tell you that yoga in Sanskrit is “yuj” which means to yoke or bind together. I interpret this to mean that yoga is the practice of binding together the physical, breath, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies that are all housed in our one being. This may also be interpreted in yoga as binding together all beings everywhere.
Another definition you might hear is found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind” This means yoga is the stillness of the mind chatter that keeps us away from the present moment.
Some of my favorite, more modern, interpretations of “yoga” are:
“Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself” - Dinabandhu Sarley’s interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita
“Yoga is the practice of getting comfortable being uncomfortable.” - Coby Kozlowski
“Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in.” - Rolf Gates
Is yoga a religion? Will it conflict with my faith?
Yoga is not a religion on its own and people who practice yoga can be of any religion. There are spiritual lessons in yoga philosophy. From what I have found, these lessons are similar across many forms of spirituality, such as do no harm, not stealing, etc.
Kim Copeland, one of our teachers who is a reverend, once said to me that yoga for her is a way of physically practicing the philosophies of her religion.
I believe you can take what you need from yoga and leave what you don’t. If stretching in a warm room makes you feel good - then great! You don’t need to take in anything more than that.
What does Om mean and do I have to say it?
Om is said to be the “universal sound or vibration” that connects all things. You might also see it spelled Aum. I’ve read about the “four measures” of Aum. A = outer world, U = inner world and M= the experience of unity. The fourth part is where the vibration of the sound dissolves into silence. This silence is described in the Maitri Upanishad as "tranquil, soundless, fearless, sorrowless, blissful, satisfied, steadfast, immovable, immortal, unshaken, and enduring."
Not all of our teachers chant “Om” and if they do, you do not have to if you are uncomfortable with it. I was once talking to my meditation teacher about how my religious father feels uncomfortable saying “Om.” My teacher, who is a Sanskrit PhD scholar, said that “Om” and “Amen” have the same root and mean the same thing. Say what you are comfortable with! Or say nothing. Up to you.
What does Namaste mean and do I have to say it?
Sanskrit words have many definitions. One meaning of “Nama” or “Namo” is to bow. My favorite way to describe what Namaste means is “the light within me bows to the light before me”. You do not have to say anything in class that makes you uncomfortable.