Ask a Unity Yogi : Common Questions and Answers
We regularly receive questions from prospective students: What to wear, studio etiquette, what to expect from one's first class, choosing a class that is appropriate for one's goals/expectations, etc. It's also common to get questions about one's personal experience in class -- "Is it normal to...?"
A few of the most common questions and answers are provided here to help new students feel more comfortable, confident, and informed as they begin their path to yoga! Feel free to submit any additional questions to us via email.
Unity Yoga Basics
Q: What do I bring to class?
A: Just a yoga mat and an open mind! If you haven't purchased a mat yet, you may borrow one of ours. Sanitizing wipes are $2 (tax included). Our staff can make recommendations for where to purchase yoga/pilates mats locally. We are an authorized reseller of premium Jade Yoga and Hugger Mugger yoga products.
Q: What do I wear for Yoga/Pilates?
A: Comfortable clothing that stretches and moves with you - nothing binding, but not so loose that it will go over your head if you touch your toes. We are a modest studio. Men are required to wear shirts.
Q: Do I wear shoes/socks in the studio?
A: Generally, no. Our studio is a no-shoe zone - you can leave your personal belongings in the welcome room, which is locked during class. Students are welcome to keep socks by their mats for relaxation pose (savasana) at the end of class. Socks are discouraged for use in standing poses in yoga unless they are specifically designed with grippy soles (e.g., ToeSox).
Q: What time should I arrive at class?
A: If you've pre-paid for your class, please arrive 10 minutes before class time to store your shoes and belongings and set up your mat. If you are a drop-in student and need to submit payment, please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled class time.
Please keep your voice low as you enter the studio.
Q: Do I need to pre-register for classes at Unity Yoga?
A: With few exceptions, Drop-In students are welcome at Unity Yoga classes. Exceptions are our "Series" and "Workshop" classes which are specially-priced, and often have limited enrollment. Pre-registration is required for Series classes (e.g., Yoga 101, 102, etc.) and most Workshops.
Q: If I don't HAVE to pre-register for classes, why should I?
A: Pre-registering for your class secures a spot for your mat! In the event that a class is "full" (20 students, 15 students for Restorative Yoga) with online registrations, drop-ins are accommodated on a case by case basis. Also, if there is a class cancellation for unforseen reasons, we are able to contact you directly if you are pre-registered. Always check the status of your class before coming to the studio.
Q: If I don't show up for a pre-registered class, do I lose my class credit?
A: Currently, our policy is NOT to deduct a class credit for no-shows. We know that life happens, but it is important that you self-cancel your class registration if you are unable to attend. If you do not self-cancel and are accidentally checked in, a credit may be deducted from your account.
Q: How do I pre-register for classes?
Choosing a Class
Q: I am completely new to yoga, where do I start?
A: We usually suggest Gentle Yoga, All Levels Hatha Yoga (Technique) and the Beginner Yoga Series (Yoga 101) as a starting point for new students. These classes have the most detailed instruction and offer modifications for all levels of fitness. See our helpful chart as a starting point.
Q: How do I know what class is right for me?
A: No two students have the same experience in yoga class! If you are honest and realistic about your intention and expectation, our skilled instructors can guide you towards the path that is right for you. We highly recommend sampling classes of each style from several of our teachers to find a "fit." It's easy to be discouraged if a class doesn't meet our expectations or fitness level - with honest feedback, we are better equipped to make good suggestions.
We developed this helpful chart to help assess your starting point and goals to find the right class!
Q: I'm pregnant. What classes are appropriate for me?
A: If you are completely new to yoga, or returning after absence and are pregnant, please attend one of our Prenatal Yoga classes for an assessment. Please note that Pilates is NOT recommended for pregnant students.
Q: Isn't yoga just stretching and relaxing?
A: Hardly! We offer a variety of styles for a well-rounded practice. Vinyasa Yoga classes are fast moving and heat-building, whereas Yin and Restorative Yoga styles are cooling, low to the ground, and hold poses for extended periods of time. If you're looking to relax without a lot of movement, Gentle Yoga and our Self Care Sunday options are great starting points.
"Is This Normal?" - The Truth About Yoga Practice!
Q: Sometimes I feel ..[physical symptom, emotion].. Is this normal?
A: Students react to yoga practice in a variety of ways. Sometimes taking time for ourself when we are "supposed to relax" actually causes tension because we think "I can't relax!" Common emotions include anger, sadness, giddiness, laughter, and even inexplicable crying. If it happens, don't sweat it! It has happened to your teachers, too! Unity Yoga is a safe, judgment-free environment and we're all about living in the present moment - allowing things to happen and moving on. Yoga is so much more than poses on a mat.
If you experience any physical symptoms (nausea, pain), please notify your instructor immediately. It is common to feel discomfort, fatigue, or mental resistance, and learning to differentiate pain from discomfort is part of the yogic path. With that said, pain is NOT tolerated in yoga practice. Never feel as though you have to "work through the pain" at Unity Yoga, or elsewhere for that matter.
Q: I don't think I am breathing right... Why can't I do this?
A: Coordinated breathing in yoga is a learned/practiced skill. When in doubt, just breathe. When we are new to yoga, we have to learn how we breathe before we can change it. Consider dropping in on one of our Pranayama and Meditation classes to specifically work on yogic breathing techniques and their application.
Q: During/after my yoga practice, I really feel like I need to use the bathroom! Is this normal?
A: This is a common complaint among new yogis (and kids!). We recommend not taking any heavy meals or large volumes of liquids within 2 hours of class start time. Stomach/GI discomfort would be expected when we have full bellies then spend 60 minutes twisting them, right? There is a restroom at the studio, so don't be afraid to use it during class.
Our teachers are supportive and confidential of any questions you may have about your experience or practice. However, we are not doctors or therapists. When we don't have an answer, we do our best to guide you toward the resource that can answer your question. Thank you for being human and understanding that we are human too! Namaste!