Frequently asked questions
What kind of yoga do you teach?
We teach traditional Hatha yoga with sun salutations, asanas, pranayama and guided relaxation. We are not interested in creating a label or subscribing to a particular "brand" of yoga. Yoga is yoga and belongs to all humanity. It shouldn't be limited by brands or patents. We do not teach Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, or Kundalini styles of yoga. Our main influences are from Sivananda, Bihar School of Yoga and Iyengar styles, though we don't usually use any props unless the student is very limited physically.
Will yoga help me loose weight ?
Yes. Many students tell us that they naturally feel less hungry after yoga class. Regular practice helps to stabilize the metabolism and regulate the appetite. When we practice yoga regularly there is a natural inclination to eat more healthy food, including less fried food and more fresh fruit and vegetables. Eating the right types of food affects the health and weight of a person. Ultimately weight loss is a question of mathematics - if you are eating more calories than you burn off during the day, then that excess will usually be stored on the body as fat.
Will practicing yoga contradict with my religion ?
No. Yoga is not a religion, it is a system for having a healthy mind and body. No religious scriptures ask their adherents not to have a healthy body or mind - in fact they suggest the opposite. Sincere yoga practice helps develop positive qualities such as love, peacefulness, kindness, caring, compassion, generosity, happiness and respect, including respect for all races and religions. The ethical aspects of yoga are common to all religions - see the 'what is yoga' link in the right-hand column for more details.
Do I have to be able to touch my toes to do yoga ?
No. Yoga is not about achieving goals, but rather about learning to accept ourselves as we are. As on any path, while a goal might give us a direction, what is more important is where we are at the moment. It is our actions in the present that will determine as to whether we reach our destination. Being flexible might help you get into some of the more challenging postures, but is no guarantee of inner peace. It is certainly possible to achieve greater peace of mind through regular yoga practice, however, that peace of mind will not depend on whether you can touch your toes or not.
Do I risk injuring myself by practicing yoga ?
No. If you are attentive to what you are doing there is no reason why you should injure yourself. It is important to listen to the messages that your body gives you. If you feel severe pain or discomfort you are probably pushing yourself too far. Certainly you should make an effort during class, but never at the cost of harming yourself. We see that through regular practice most people are capable of achieving more than they think. With a correct warm up, for example the sun salutation, and following the teacher's instructions, there is minimal risk of injury.
I have knee problems and a bad back - can I practice yoga ?
Yes. We advise that if you have any medical condition you should first have a check-up with a qualified medical practitioner. Then it is your responsibility to inform us BEFORE the class of any injury or physical limitation you have. We will then adapt the instructions to suit your condition.
Is yoga only for young people ?
No. While young people may be more flexible than older people there is no reason an elderly person cannot practice yoga. Obviously our goals will be different when we are older - we can't expect to do at seventy what we could do at twenty, but with old age comes experience and the goals of inner peace become perhaps more important. Once again we adapt the classes to suit everyone's limitations.
Will yoga make me sweat ?
Yes. This is why we ask you to bring a towel and advise that you drink plenty of water after the class. Bear in mind that practicing yoga is not about sweating. It is not a primary or even secondary goal of yoga. However it is a side effect, particularly when practised in a Malaysian climate.
Will there be any side affects if I stop practicing yoga ?
Not really. On a physical level when practising yoga you might gain in flexibility and muscle tone. Like any other physical activities, once you stop practicing regularly you may loose these gains. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise so the physical changes may be less than if you practice a more physically demanding form of activity. However, on a mental level, practicing yoga will have brought you a greater understanding of yourself and how your mind works. There is no reason why you should lose this understanding and yoga can continue to enrich your life on a daily basis even when you stop practicing asana.
How often should I practice yoga ?
As often as possible. Why not sign up for unlimited classes and come as often as you can? Many of our students take what they have learned in class and practice at home as well. We encourage this. You will make more progress if you do a small amount each day rather than just practicing once in a while. As we have said, yoga is not just about the physical aspect and the practice doesn't stop at the door of our studio - it spills over into our daily lives.
Will yoga help improve my concentration ?
Yes. This is one of the main goals of yoga.
I am overweight - can I practice yoga ?
Yes. Yoga is about going beyond the mind and the body and transcending the physical form. If you are severely overweight, then some of the postures may have to be adapted for your body type. That said, we have seen heavy students who were naturally more flexible than thinner people. As we have said above, yoga helps regulate the metabolism and may lead to some weight loss.
Will yoga affect my sex life ?
Those who engage on a very rigourous routine of several hours of asanas and pranayama every day may start to notice some changes on that level. This type of intense practice is best done in a peaceful secluded atmosphere such as an ashram. A more moderate practice will probably not produce any noticeabale differences in terms of sex-drive. In fact, since yoga develops a greater awareness of the body it may heighten the experience.