Starting something new can be intimidating, but don’t be scared – every body is different (note the two separate words here) and that is something to celebrate.
Below I’ll pose and answer some of the questions that yoga beginners might ask. If I’ve missed one, leave a comment and I’ll answer it if I can.
These answers relate to my Dru Yoga classes – they may be the same for other classes too but you should check with the teacher about the level of competence and physical fitness you need for their class, and whether it is suitable for beginners.
Q: I’ve never done yoga before, can I come to the class?
A: Absolutely. Everyone has to start somewhere! My classes are for all abilities and many of my students are total beginners.
Q: I’m not flexible at all. Is that OK?
A: Yes. That is a very good reason to come to yoga. All the movements and postures in Dru Yoga can be modified so that everyone can do them.
It is important though to let me know if you have any specific health problems so that I can advise you personally on what you should and shouldn’t try. Safety is paramount and I will keep anything you tell me confidential.
Q. What do I wear to a yoga class?
A. Something you feel comfortable in and that allows you to move freely. Men usually wear loose fitting trousers such as tracksuit bottoms, with a t shirt. Women often wear leggings or jogging bottoms and a vest top or t shirt. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable. You will get quite warm in class, and then cool off in the relaxation, so wearing layers is a good idea.
Q. What footwear do I need?
A. None. Yoga should be practiced in bare feet. Some people like to wear socks, but this is not advisable as you may slip. You should bring socks with you for the relaxation as your feet might get cold.
Q. What equipment do I need?
A. You will need a yoga mat, a blanket and a cushion. If you find lying on your back difficult you may like to bring an extra cushion or a bolster to put under your knees. In time you will also need foam blocks and a yoga strap, but these are not necessary for your first class. If you would like to buy a yoga mat, please get in touch and I can order one for you to purchase at the class. At some of my classes we provide all the equipment you need, or can lend you things when you first start out – have a look at the class details for more information.
Q. Is there anything else I need to bring?
A. Yes you should have a bottle of water with you. Dru Yoga detoxifies the system so it is important to drink water whilst at the class.
Q. Is it OK to eat before yoga?
A. No. It is not advisable to eat a large meal less than two hours before practicing yoga. If you are coming straight from work you may want to eat a banana or another light snack to make sure you don’t get too hungry, but wait until after the class before you eat your lunch or tea. The same goes for alcohol – please do not drink alcohol before a yoga class and take care if you do decide to drink afterwards.
Q. What actually happens at a Dru Yoga class?
A. When you arrive you should place your mat so that you can easily see the teacher without turning your head. Then sit or lie down and relax until the class starts. When the class begins we will start by activating the body and warming up, and then progress on to a series of flowing movements and traditional yoga postures, along with various exercises that will prepare your body for the postures. At the end of the class there will be a relaxation which is an essential part of the class.
Q. What is Dru Yoga, why is it different to other forms I have heard of?
A. One of my students described it like this: “Dru Yoga seems to be all about restoration and inclusiveness. Movements are slow, deliberate and therapeutic, and focus is very much on establishing a mind-body connection to enhance overall feelings of relaxation. You are encouraged to reach the stage you are able to, working with and accepting your abilities, rather than fighting your natural capabilities, trying to show off, and slipping a disc.”
Or the official line, taken from the Dru Yoga website: Dru Yoga is a graceful and potent form of yoga, based on flowing movements, directed breathing and visualisation. With its foundations set firmly in ancient yogic tradition, Dru works on body, mind and spirit—improving strength and flexibility, creating core stability, building a heightened feeling of positivity, and deeply relaxing and rejuvenating your whole being. Designed to be practised by people of all abilities, all fitness levels and all age groups, Dru is a style of yoga that can be quickly dipped into or learnt in more depth over a lifetime.
In 2005, 450 graduates and participants in Dru Yoga Courses all over the world were asked about the effects of their practice.
> 72 % found Dru Yoga reduced back pain
> 93 % experienced improved spine flexibility
> 86% enjoyed increased energy levels
> 89% experienced improved breathing with yoga
> 89% can now reduce and control stress levels
> 81% have greater confidence and self-empowerment
> 84% benefited from enhanced mood since practising Dru Yoga
> 83% felt emotionally balanced
> 91% gained peace of mind by overcoming negative thinking
For more information about Dru and its positive effects see www.druworldwide.com/yoga/what_is_dru_yoga
To find out why I teach Dru Yoga see my blog post: www.lucyoga.co.uk/my-path-to-dru-yoga-a-10-year-anniversary