How much do I have to practice what I learn for it to work?
answer: Yoga is like a bullet-proof vest: it can yield tremendous results, but it only works if you use it. The people who benefit most from yoga practice are those who learn to do it regularly. It doesn't need to take a lot of your time, but it does need to be regular in order to work. Your yoga practice may teach you to gently change long-held patterns in your body, breath, emotions, mind and spirit, to learn new behaviors to substitute for old habits that no longer serve you. A beginner who can devote 20 minutes a day will progress faster than someone who practices for 2 hours once a week. People who want a quick external fix, but are not motivated to to work on themselves may be disappointed.
(The next two are exclamations, not questions. I'm addressing them here because I hear them so often.)
I can't do yoga, I'm way too tight! (or old, heavy, out-of-shape, etc.)
answer: Would you need to be good at tennis or piano playing before signing up for lessons? Of course not! In learning to practice yoga we let go of self-judgement and other negative attitudes that hold us back, and begin gently where we are now. I regret that there are so many images in American media that promote the misconception that one must be young, thin, pretty and flexible to benefit from yoga practice. Don't look at that stuff (unless it inspires you). You can find a class that is appropriate for you (see next paragraph). The truth is that ANYONE can benefit from practicing. We are all individuals so our results may vary, but studies have shown that even people who are quite elderly and inactive can increase strength with exercise.
Yoga's not for me....I went to a class once and it was way too hard! (or easy, large, fast, slow, loud, hot, hard-to-follow, etc.)
answer: The term "yoga" covers alot of ground these days. There may be a world of difference between a large gym class and a small studio class and a private therapeutic lesson. Instructors vary widely in terms of yoga experience, knowledge, training and teaching skill. Yoga styles vary greatly in which aspects of yoga practice they focus on and how the class feels. And, the intentions for a class vary also: deep relaxation? vigorous exercise? gentle stretching? As students, we are all individuals with our own needs and abilities, so it must be a good match in order to benefit us. If you are looking for a class because you are new to yoga, new to classes or new to your area, you may want to check out all of the variables I just mentioned (ask questions!). Finally, visit the classes you have selected, and you will know if it's a good fit for you. If it isn't, move on, but don't give up on yoga!
I'm interested in private classes. How many will I need?
answer: This depends on many variables including your personal goals and your health condition. You will decide for yourself how long to continue. Some students learn what they want in a session or two and then transition to public classes. Most do more. Some prefer individual instruction to group classes and continue to work with me long term.