What is yoga?

The word yoga means “unity” or “connection” in Sanskrit. Simply put, the goal of the practice of yoga is to unite body, mind, and spirit. There are actually eight limbs of yoga, and the physical practice of yoga (what most people think of when they think of "doing yoga") is only one of the eight limbs. At Tell City Yoga Center, we provide a well-rounded experience of yoga that goes beyond just physical postures.

I’m new to yoga. What should I expect from my first class?

For your first class, plan to be at least 15 minutes early so that you can meet the teacher, fill out the necessary forms, and become familiar with the space. (Even beyond your first class, always arrive at the studio a few minutes early.) If you have any physical limitations or injuries, the teacher can help make sure you’ll be comfortable and have the necessary modifications to get the most out of the class. Don’t be afraid of not knowing what to do: the teacher will guide the class through every step, so all you have to do is listen to the instructions and prompts. If something feels too uncomfortable or causes pain, ease up. In yoga, always listen to your body.

What should I wear to yoga?

Wear comfortable, breathable clothing that allows your body to move freely. Make sure your garments are not so loose that they will get in your way. It’s best to remove all jewelry—especially any dangling jewelry—and watches prior to yoga. Do not wear perfume or cologne to yoga class. Yoga is practiced barefoot, and shoes are removed upon entering the yoga studio.

Why must we remove our shoes upon entering the yoga studio?

There are a few reasons why shoes are not worn in the yoga studio. One of the principles of yoga is "saucha," or cleanliness/purity, and removing shoes upon entering helps maintain a clean environment for practicing yoga. Dirt or other material from shoes can be a safety or hygiene issue, given that yoga is done on floor mats in bare feet. But on a deeper level, removing your shoes before entering a space is a gesture of respect. Think of removing your shoes as the first step in the ritual of yoga.

What should I bring to yoga?

If you have your own yoga mat, you’re encouraged to bring it. You may also bring a yoga towel and a bottle of water. The studio provides a range of yoga props, but if you prefer to use your own, you can bring those as well. If you have your phone with you, please make sure it is silenced or turned off and completely put away (in your bag, coat pocket, or a cubby) during class.

Can I leave class early?

Leaving class early is discouraged. If you know ahead of time that you’ll need to leave for some reason, inform the teacher at the beginning of class and plan to position yourself near the door or some other location that will cause minimal disturbance to other students when you leave. If you have an emergency that requires you to leave before class is over, signal to the teacher and exit quietly.

Do I have to be flexible to practice yoga?

Flexibility is definitely not a prerequisite for practicing yoga, and if you feel that you’re inflexible, that is all the more reason to practice yoga! During a yoga class, you will always have options, and modifications are always available. Find what feels good in your own body.

I prefer hard-core workouts. Will yoga be too mellow for me?

If you tend to prefer hard-core, active workouts, then those types of activities should be part of your fitness routine. BUT, we all need balance between both vigorous (yang) and calming (yin) activities. If you have trouble calming your body for more mellow activities, yoga can help you with that.

I have an overactive mind. Will yoga be too mellow for me?

Yoga and meditation are the perfect antidotes to an overactive mind. If you find that it’s difficult to calm your thoughts or slow down throughout the day, yoga can help you cultivate stillness and focus.

How do I know which type of class to attend?

We recommend beginners attend a hatha class to start out. If you have medical issues or injuries that may significantly prohibit movement (or you’re stressed and in need of major relaxation), a gentle yoga class is a great choice. If you have some experience and are looking for a more active class, you may enjoy vinyasa. If you’re not sure, feel free to contact us with questions.

What if I can’t do a pose?

Your yoga instructor can always provide modifications and different options for a pose. Also, you’re never required to do anything that doesn’t feel right for you. Sometimes people stress about what others will think of them during a yoga class—don’t worry about this! In yoga, everyone is focused on their own practice. And, it’s a completely nonjudgmental space, so if you feel like you’re struggling, know that you’ll be met with compassion.

Do you offer hot yoga?

No. If you want to sweat, we recommend trying a vinyasa class.