Warrior pose, Janet Abel a Hampton Roads, Virginia based Yoga Alliance registered instructor, La Yoga Loca, because life gets crazy

FAQs About Yoga

Sitting Eagle Pose, Janet Abel a Hampton Roads, Virginia based Yoga Alliance registered instructor, La Yoga Loca, because life gets crazy

Isn't yoga against my religion?

There is nothing in yoga that contradicts the precepts of any religion. Actually, yoga complements the goals of any spiritual tradition. Yoga means union. We can think of that as union with our source - whatever we see that source to be - and also as union with our true selves (the divine within us). Yoga helps us to clear the clutter and to clarify our mind so we can be more aware of the connection that was there all along. It is customary to end a yoga session with the Sanskrit word "Namaste," which means "The divine within me honors the divine within you." It reminds us to seek all that is good and light and true in ourselves and in others. This, as I see it, is what religion is all about.

Is it Hatha Yoga?

Yes, any yoga that involves movement is Hatha yoga.

What style of yoga do you teach and where did you get your training?

I teach a flowing style of yoga called Vinyasa Yoga (or Flow Yoga), a derivative of Ashtanga Yoga. Some famous yogis who also teach a flowing style of yoga include Barbara Benagh and Shiva Rea, as well as Tracey Rich and Ganga White of the White Lotus Foundation, where the founder of Yoga Fit received her training.

Because my yoga instructor/mentor, whom I greatly admired, had received her training from Yoga Fit, I wanted to follow suit. It was a long and rigorous process, with many nights of soaking sore muscles in the tub, but it was also very positive and uplifting. Yoga Fit combines ancient yoga wisdom with the new wisdom of modern sports science. The Yoga Fit program is registered with the Yoga Alliance and is the only yoga teacher training program approved by IHRSA (International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association), ACE (American Council on Exercise), and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).

There are many different styles of yoga and many differet teaching methods within each style. I have had inspiring teachers who were not registered and terrible teachers who were registered. You just have to listen to yourself and go with what feels right.

Is it a beginner class or an advanced class?

Students of all levels would be comfortable, and the poses are adaptable to provide the desired intensity.

I have never been to a yoga class. What will it be like?

The classes are friendly with a non-threatening atmosphere. The lights are low and the background music is soothing. I will invite you to let go of everything outside of class, of any competitive thoughts, of any judgments. This is your time to relax, renew, and reconnect to your source and to the strength that is within you. Think of it as your yoga sanctuary. Think of it as your still point in a turning world.

It is my job to demonstrate and describe the poses. I am here to make you comfortable and to give you confidence in yourself. It is your job to listen to your own body. It is up to you to set your own intensity. The most important thing to remember is that it should never hurt. We do not force things, we relax and allow things to happen. We begin where we are.

I've already tried yoga and I didn't like it.

When I first started yoga, my teacher told me to "give it a chance." It may take several classes before you begin to feel the difference in your body. Once you feel it, though, you will be hooked. Also, it is important that you find a teacher (and a class) with whom you are comfortable. I would be honored if you chose me to walk awhile with you along your yoga path.

Will it hurt?

Yoga is never supposed to hurt. The instructor will not hurt you, and you will not hurt yourself if you do not push too hard. The poses are adaptable to your particular level.

What if I am not flexible?

The poses are adaptable. We make the poses fit your body as it is. You do not have to be anything other than what you are right now.

What if I do not feel I could sit still that long?

There is no sitting, there is flowing movement.

What should I wear?

Comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement, but keeps you covered without overheating. (An example of what not to wear is a big baggy t-shirt - it will cover your head and not your body during inversions.) Do not worry about shoes; we will be barefooted to avoid slipping. Jewelry can get in the way, so keep that to a minimum.

What should I bring?

A yoga mat, a towel, a bottle of water, and an open mind.

I am pregnant. Can I still come?

Yoga and pregnancy go well together, but it would be better to be in a separate pre-/post-natal yoga class.

I love the music in class. What is it?

After much searching, I chose the following music to use most often in class:
• Truth by Mantra Girl
• The Elegance of Pachelbel by Michael Maxwell
• Passion Flute by Stephen DeRuby
• Dream Chants of East and West by Cynthia Snodgrass
• In the Arms of Love by Ottmar Liebert
• Shamanic Dream by Anugama

I’m interested in learning more. Are there any books you can recommend?

The following materials have proven very helpful to me in my quest to learn more:
• Yoga Journal and Yoga International Magazine
• The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
• The Living Gita: The Complete Bhagavad Gita and Commentary by Sir Swami Satchidananda
• Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by David Coulter
• The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Yoga by Joan Budalovsky
• Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates
• Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi

Are there any videos you can recommend?

When I practice at home I prefer to put on some music that inspires me.
Truth by Mantra Girl or Shaman by Santana are my favorites. I do not use videos for my own practice, but sometimes I do watch them to get new ideas. I highly recommend Yoga Flow: A Basic Practice for Everyone by Jeff Martens. It can be ordered from his web site at innervisionyoga. It also might be useful to check out various yoga DVDs from your local library to see what you like before making a purchase.