What is yoga?

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to bring together, attach, or to harness. It also means “union” and refers to the binding of the powers of body, mind and soul.  Yoga aims to help us control, balance and bringing together the intellect, the emotions and the will to enable us to look at life in all its aspects positively and clearly.

The Indian sage Patanjali (a doctor, grammarian, and master of yoga) is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into a philosophical guidebook, called the “Yoga Sutra”, an estimated 2,000 years ago. It outlines the “eight limbs of Yoga” including asana (postures), pranayama (breathing) and dhyani (meditation).

Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation in order to obtain enlightenment.


How will yoga and yoga dance help me?

Yoga  and Yoga Dance has many preventative and rehabilitory cures and benefits over the mind and body.

  • Tone and lengthen muscles and burn fat
  • Builds core strength and overall fitness
  • Express yourself from the inside out and the outside in
  • Improves stamina, concentration and relaxation
  • Allows us to be more present, aware and positive
  • Strengthens the spinal cord and recovers back aches
  • Improves muscular and skeletal conditions, digestion and elimination
  • Regulates glands and endocrine system (hormones)
  • Improves heart conditions
  • Stimulates blood circulation
  • Recovers breathing disorders
  • Relieves symptoms of IBS
  • Decreases cholesterol & diabetes
  • Maintains blood pressure levels
  • Inspires and motivates
  • Improves balance, posture and alignment
  • Injury prevention and rehabilitation
  • Boosts the immune systems
  • Reduces stiffening and increases flexibility and strength of the muscles and joints
  • Boosts energy levels naturally
  • Eases depression and releases stress, anxiety and fatigue
  • Detoxifies and cleanses our organs
  • Frees the spirit
  • A drugless high
  • Boosted self-esteem and self-respect
  • Balances the body, mind, emotions and spirit
  • Connects you to your true self and universal source

To name a few!


 Is Yoga a religion?

Yoga is not a religion, it is a universal philosophy that welcomes every religion, race, colour and creed.  Yoga has also been described as a science that began in India about 5,000 years ago.

An Indian doctor, grammarian, and master of yoga called Patanjali, wrote many threads and books, one of which we refer to still today as the “Yoga Sutras”.  These provided a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body in order to achieve Samadhi: perfect union of the individual soul (atma) and the Supreme Soul (Bhagavan).

Yoga sometimes refers to and connects with other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, however, it is not necessary to study those paths in order to practice Yoga, neither is it necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga.


What if I have never studied Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Dance or Ballet before?

Beginners to yoga, pregnancy yoga, and ballet are completely welcome. Classes are for all ages, and fitness abilities from athletes to exercise or dance virgins!


What should I Bring/wear?

Bring a water bottle.

Wear clothes you are comfortable to move and stretch in, nothing restrictive.

Bring a warm top for the warm down and relaxation section.

Bring some socks for Ballet Fitness and Ballet Yoga.

Matts are provided however please feel free to bring your own as this is often nicer, more hygienic and easier for your development especially if you are on a course.


I have an injury, bad back or knee problems, is yoga suitable for me?

Nicky strongly recommend you seek advice from a health professional before starting up Yoga but in many cases, it can be a safe way to exercise.

In Yoga we practice body awareness and continuous breathing so you’re less likely to strain something. Also there are no violent movements, so gentle stretching combined with strengthening of the muscles around the problem areas can be very beneficial.

It is your responsibility to tell your teacher of any injuries or medical issues that may be relevant before practicing Yoga and keeping them updated throughout the course as there may be some postures that aren’t suitable for you or that need to be adapted.

By attending Shine Yoga Dance classes, you understand your own body’s challenges and take full responsibility for your own practice.


Can I do Yoga when I’m menstruating?

Doing yoga whilst on your period is a very personal decision as each woman experiences her cycle differently. Some prefer to take the time to nurture themselves at home, whilst some find a slightly more gentle and restorative Yoga class is actually beneficial because it relieves cramping, swelling and headaches.

However it is generally recommended not to practice inversions as this can reverse your flow. The choice is yours, however always make sure your teacher is aware so they can help you adapt some of the postures.


I’m pregnant, can I do Yoga?

Yoga during pregnancy is very beneficial, however it is not recommended you practice for the first 12- 14 weeks as there is an increased risk of miscarriage. Wait until you have had your 12-14 week scan and had the all clear from your doctor or midwife before commencing any pregnancy yoga class.  It is best to attend a specific pregnancy class where the postures and breath work are specifically adapted to your needs.


Can I eat before the class?

It is advisable to avoid any food at least 2/3 hours before a class. If you are still digesting a meal it can make you feel very sick and will inhibit you from receiving the full benefits of the practise.

If you have a fast metabolism or simple feel too hungry try eating a light snack like a piece of fruit or a yoghurt no later than 40 minutes before class.