10 Most Asked Yoga Questions For Beginners

11 November 2018

The expert in anything was once a beginner – Helen Hayes  


Why should I start yoga?

There are so many reasons why yoga could benefit you. If you’re very active i.e. playing sports or high intensity workout’s, yoga is a perfect way to allow the muscles to stretch and repair (depending on the style you choose). Another reason (among many) that I am such an advocate for yoga is the mind, body connection.

Your issues are in your tissues. Yoga gives you the key to unlock emotions you’ve perhaps been suppressing. Through stretching out specific areas of the body you allow prana (energy) to flow through the body more easily.

But above all of this yoga allows for relaxation. At the end of each yoga practice there is Savasana, 10-15 minutes where you simply lie on the floor and allow yourself to relax, soak in the practice and breathe into your body. Aside from the few minutes before sleep, very few of us rarely relax which means we are not able to put our bodies into the rest and digest mode which we need to be healthy.

Do I need to be flexible before I start yoga?

You would not believe how often I get this question! NO. When I first started yoga I could barely touch my shins let alone my toes. Flexibility comes with time. Trust me when I say, no one is judging you for it. I teach yoga and there are still times where I’ll say to my students – ‘Right, I can’t do this but I’m going to talk you through it because I know some of you have the flexibility needed’.

Flexibility is so important because the physical practice of yoga is about longevity. Don’t be fooled by these yogi’s using their hypermobility to slip into the splits on instagram – they’ll have hip problems in a few years I can assure you. You want to build flexibility in a safe and strong way, so that you’re controlled and supported. Unfortunately, this takes time. Be kind to your body and try to let go of expectations.

What should I wear to a yoga class?

Each to their own, but I’d always suggest something that is tighter fitting because the last thing you want to worry about is your top falling over your head when your hands are already slipping on the mat.

Shorts, leggings, tank tops are all fine – you don’t have to invest in the latest kit. But do remember to bring some water. A jumper/ socks for Savasana is also a good shout as your body temperature drops.

Do I need to buy a mat?

Many, if not all, yoga studios will have mats available so you don’t need to buy one.

That being said, if you’re looking for a good one I love my Liforme mat because it has incredible grip, I’ve had it for over two years now and it’s still as good as new. I have the travel one which is a little bit thinner and as the name states, easier to travel with!

Another incredible brand is called Yogi Bare – we use them at the studio I teach in and they’re brilliant. Fantastic grip and nice cushioning for when your knee is down. But more importantly, Yogi Bare has eco conscious values and partnerships with environmental charities. In a world where everything seems disposable it’s important to support brands who take Corporate Social Responsibility seriously.

What are the different styles of yoga?

There are many many types. The most common styles of yoga I’d say are Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Jivamukti. Then there are multiple other forms of these such as Rocket Yoga, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Aerial Yoga… The list goes on and on!

I’d definitely suggest having a research into each style to see what works for you.

Personally, I would say the most powerful yoga you can do is Restorative. Don’t be confused, restorative and yin are very different. Yin takes you to the edge of comfort and teaches you to breathe into the posture (asana) to increase flexibility and stability. While restorative is effortless, it allows the body to rest and digest. To heal muscles and let the physical body come to a place of relaxation. Which to be honest, I think we could all use!

What if I don’t know the pose names?

I really worried about this before I took my first yoga class and I had no need to. Your yoga teacher may say a pose name but they will then talk you through the cue’s i.e. ‘preparing for lizard – place your left foot on the outside of your left wrist’.

You’ll pick up the names in no time – but until then wait for the cues and don’t be afraid to come out of the pose and take a look around, it’s your practice at the end of the day, you need to feel comfortable.

What does ‘Namaste’ mean?

In the East it is a simple greeting which broken down means ‘I bow to you’. However, in the spiritual form it means ‘the light in me, sees and respects the light in you’. It’s often used at the end of yoga practice as a gesture of kindness and love to those around us.

Why do people ‘OM’?

OM is the universal sound of all that is and all that ever will be, it is one with consciousness and a connection to the divine. It represents the sound of divinity of the past, present and future. Often we Om at the beginning and in class to connect with each other and the universe on a spiritual, energetic level.

What are the best online yoga classes?

Online yoga classes are great if you don’t have the £ that month or if you feel like your flow inspiration is running low, they’re also brilliant for beginners who want to learn more after their classes. I follow the below online channels and love them for their authenticity and flows:

How do I choose the right class for me?

I think the question to ask here is, ‘what do I need this week?’

If you feel that you need a weekly work-out to build strength then something like Rocket Yoga is perfect, if you’re looking to heal maybe try restorative and if you’d like a combination Vinyasa is a good way to go. If you get a membership to somewhere you love – do try all the yoga classes on offer. Your wants/needs will vary from week to week so take them into account and listen to what your body is telling you.

I hope that was helpful, for any more questions as always, feel free to drop me an email.

Nicole ♡