5 Things Your Yoga Teacher Secretly Wants You To Know

1.  You don't have to be "good enough" to do yoga.

There is no level of competency that you have to be at to start yoga.  Pick the class that's best for your current level of physical fitness and just do it!  If you're a beginner, go to a beginner's class!

2. Ask us questions!

We are here to help and would rather you ask us all your questions than you feel lost at a class or in a studio - alignment, etiquette, dress, mats, whatever you need - ask!  Just ask at an appropriate time ;)  Not during savasana! 

3. We understand that sometimes you need to leave early, but seriously, savasana IS the best part!

It really is.  It's the part where you work on the mind and clearing out our mental "junk."  So try not to skip that part if you can!  If you need to leave early, leave before everyone gets savasana - there's nothing worse than someone disrupting everyone else's peace at the end of class. 

4. There is NO "full expression" of the pose

Poses are as unique as individual bodies are.  The variation of the pose that is safest for your body IS your full expression of the pose. Listen to the cues of your teacher, we want you to practice safely for your body. And most of what you see on Instagram isn't safe....

5. Make friends with & be mindful of your neighbor!

One of the best parts about going to a studio is making new friends! Don't be afraid to say hello and start a conversation - unless your studio encourages silence before class (Yoga Story encourages community).  Connection to others is a big piece of a yoga practice! This also means that if class is getting full, make room for your neighbors, be mindful of cologne/perfume/body odor (especially in a hot class) & don't be afraid to be close to each other! It's good energy :)

 


Three Things You Need to Know About "Calorie Burn" and Yoga

I get asked a lot of questions about Yoga - especially as it pertains to the physical body.  Since asana (the physical postures) is directly related to the physical body one of the top questions I get asked is...."How many calories will I burn???"

The traditional yoga teacher would shake their heads and tell you that yoga should not be reduced to exercise and probably make you feel guilty for daring to ask such a superficial question of such a spiritual and ancient practice.  Well, I'm not one of those teachers....so here's the real answer!

1) Calorie burn varies greatly from person to person.  What you burn in one class will be very different than what the person next to you burns based on a few variables - age, weight, gender, level of physical fitness (how hard your heart has to work) and current ability to effort (e.g., I often burn more calories when my body is tired, not a good thing!).  Your body will also burn calories at a different rate for cardiovascular heavy activities (such as running) vs. resistance and strength style activities (such as body weight or lifting workouts) - both have great benefits!  Using a heart rate monitor helps you determine your specific calorie burn for exercise.  So all those Instagram pics of people's calorie burn in different types of exercise classes - doesn't mean anything as it pertains to you.

2) The more efficient your body becomes at a certain type of exercise, the fewer calories it will burn doing that type of exercise.  This is a good thing! Your body responds to the healthy stress of exercise and gets stronger!  

3) A lot of times, we want to know our calorie burn because of weight management.  It's not always best to have huge calorie burns (again, this varies on the person) - let me explain!  Your body needs a certain number of calories to function each day - to respirate, digest, pump your blood, basically to survive.  Let's say this number is 1300 calories a day.  That means you need to eat 1300 calories a day.  Let's say you burn 700 calories doing specific exercise.  If you are trying to lose weight, you'll need to eat back at least a portion of these calories so your body can perform the functions it needs to perform.  However, if you burn 700 calories, your body will signal to you that you just did some major work and you need to eat!  Runners call this the "rungries." So, if your goal is weight management, it's can be more helpful to burn a smaller amount of calories and focus more on proper nutrition and the right calorie INtake for your body.  

Weight management is more than just calories in and calories out.  The level of stress, your ability to cope with stress, quality of sleep and quality of nutrition has a big hand in a person's health and yoga has been found to help with many of these things! But I will leave you with this - your health is so much more than your weight. You are so much more than your weight.  Weight has only a small slice of the health picture, and it will not be your lasting legacy. Your tombstone will not read, "Here lies Jane. She finally got rid of those extra pounds."


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