Here are the answers to some of the questions we are asked most often - but if your question is not answered here, just ask!
Do I have to have prior yoga experience?
Absolutely not! We welcome first-timers and beginners! Our instructors take special care to answer any questions you may have and to make sure our new yogis participate safely.
I'm not very flexible - does that mean I can't do yoga?
No! Flexibility is not a prerequisite for yoga. In fact, participating in yoga will increase your flexibility, over time.
What if I have an injury or other health condition?
Please tell your instructor if you suffer from any health condition or have any injury that you believe may impact your yoga practice. We ask that you err on the side of disclosing problems to your teacher so that (s)he can make the best modifications to accommodate your needs throughout your practice.
What if I am pregnant?
Congratulations, mama! PLEASE let your teacher know if you are carrying a little one inside. Prenatal classes are an option, but we are happy to welcome our mothers-to-be to our other classes! While most of our gentle programs will be safe for expecting mothers and unborn babies, we will make modifications to certain poses in order to safeguard baby throughout your practice. We do not recommend that expecting mothers attend overly strenuous or vigorous yoga practices.
As an expecting mother, you can expect that we will help you find comfortable positions in place of lying flat on your back, to avoid the risk of impeding blood supply to the uterus. We will make sure that the shapes your body takes in postures allow plenty of room for baby - we do not want to compress or squish baby at any time! We also will eliminate and/or greatly alter twisted poses in order to avoid placing pressure on baby or the placenta. You may be given modifications to some poses to avoid unnecessary strain, pulls, joint dislocation or other injuries. And you will be provided with a little extra support as needed during balance poses since baby can shift one's center of gravity. Finally, you should never attend hot or "warm" yoga classes or restrict breathing by holding your breath before or after inhale or exhale. Steady breathing is too important for baby!
I am nervous that my weight might affect my ability to practice yoga - can a person be too overweight or underweight for yoga?
No. Yoga is meant for everyone and all bodies are different. Poses can be adapted as needed to provide a fulfilling practice for everyone. Body acceptance is a wonderful side effect of the self-love that results from practicing yoga!
What should I wear?
For private yoga lessons and small group classes, most students choose to wear comfortable clothing, such as leggings, t-shirts, sweats, etc. Most students choose to practice with bare feet to avoid slipping during practice.
For outdoor excursions, such as hikes, paddles and camping trips, you should dress appropriately and choose suitable footwear for the activity and the weather, depending on the time of the year. Additional information will be provided to you before your activity.
For Yoga Equina classes that do not involve equines, students may wear the same type of clothing they would wear to any other yoga class. For classes that include animals, it is strongly recommended that you wear some type of riding pant and boots and bring a helmet along.
Do I have to take my shoes off?
Yes, we ask that all street shoes remain outside of our yoga spaces. This shows respect and makes for a clean floor, which is important since much of our practice is done on the floor. Storage space will be provided for your shoes and any other belongings you may have brought into the studio with you; however, you should not bring any valuables into the studio as we cannot be held responsible for their safety.
What should I bring with me?
If you have your own yoga mat, please bring it with you. If you do not, don't worry about it! We have plenty of mats, blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets for students to borrow. Some yogis like to bring a yoga towel to place on top of their yoga mats and/or hand towels to take care of perspiration. You also should bring a refillable water bottle with you and a small snack to eat after class, as you may be hungry.
Should I eat before class?
It is best to refrain from eating for approximately 2-3 hours before practicing yoga. Some yoga poses involve bending from side to side, bending over and other positions that may be uncomfortable if undigested food remains in your stomach. If you are hungry before class or struggle with hypoglycemia, it is okay to eat a small snack such as a piece of fruit, yogurt, a handful of nuts or something similar. Please drink plenty of water before, during and after class.
I've heard that yoga teachers touch students, but I am uncomfortable with that - what should I do?
At some point near the beginning of your class or lesson, the teacher should ask students to indicate if they do not wish to receive hands-on assists during class. Most teachers will ask students to raise a hand or give a thumbs-up while everyone is in a face-down position, to provide privacy for anyone who wishes to not be touched.
How often should I practice yoga?
This is a personal decision, as you will feel the benefits of yoga even if your practice is limited. However, the more you practice, the more benefits you will reap! Students are encouraged to begin practicing at least once per week. It is suggested that, if you wish to further your practice, you gradually increase the number of times you practice each week. The duration of each session doesn't necessarily need to be a full hour. 15-20 minutes every day is better than 2 hours once per week. Please note - if you choose to practice on your own, away from an instructor, be careful and please be mindful of your alignment to protect against injury.
Where do yoga hikes, paddles and camping trips take place?
In New Jersey, we are fortunate to have access to so many beautiful natural resources! Our outdoor adventures take place at locations throughout the state, including the extensive trails of the Wharton State Forest and the Pine Barrens, various state parks and the Delaware Water Gap.
What do I need to bring on my hike, paddle or camping trip?
We will send you all of the information you need for your event via e-mail, including a packing list!
Does Yoga Mandala sell gift certificates?
Yes! You may purchase gift certificates in any amount at any time. Gift certificates will expire one year from the date of purchase. The gift of yoga is a wonderful way to share your love with friends and family on birthdays, for the holidays, for teacher gifts or other special occasions!
Does Yoga Mandala accept credit cards?
Yes, you can pay for any service or product that Yoga Mandala sells with your credit card via Paypal.