FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

- How many times per week should I practice?

Consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Many of our students have developed a consistent practice by practicing 3 times per week.

- Is it true that yoga at The Mat can be fun?

Yes! We have the best teachers who help make yoga fun and interesting. You'll learn something new in every class, and many times you'll laugh, too. When you walk into our lobby, you will see our ball pit - that can give you an indication of how much fun we like to have as a community. Join us for more fun and community every quarter on the 3rd Friday of the month at 6:30pm for our famous Karma Yoga Happy Hour! It is an hour-long flow class followed by fun and fellowship.

- How can yoga help me?

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Yoga can hardly be called a trend. Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.

- Where do I start?

All classes are appropriate for beginners. Most students begin with a Gentle Flow class and begin to try other classes after they feel comfortable in Gentle Flow. Be sure to look at the Class Descriptions page in order to learn more about each class type.

- Do I need to bring a mat?

You can bring your own mat or you can rent one for $1. We also have a selection of yoga mats available for purchase in a variety of colors.

- How can yoga help with strength?

Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous than others. Practicing one of these styles will help you improve muscle tone. But even less vigorous styles of yoga, such as Iyengar or hatha, which focuses on less movement and more precise alignment in poses, can provide strength and endurance benefits. Many of the poses, such as downward dog, upward dog, and the plank pose, build upper-body strength. This becomes crucial as people age. The standing poses, especially if you hold them for several long breaths, build strength in your hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles. Poses that strengthen the lower back include upward dog and the chair pose. When practiced correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.

- If I am late for class, will I still be able to attend?

We have a strict policy at The Mat to start and end class on time. We do this out of respect for our clients and your schedules. Once class has begun, we close and lock the front door for safety. If you are running late, please join us next time! *sometimes unforeseen circumstances will delay the start of a class. Please accept our apology for this and know that we normally start and end on time.

- How does yoga help with flexibility?

When some people think of yoga, they imagine having to stretch like a gymnast. That makes them worry that they're too old, unfit, or "tight" to do yoga. The truth is you're never too old to improve flexibility. The series of yoga poses called asanas work by safely stretching your muscles. This releases the lactic acid that builds up with muscle use and causes stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. In addition, yoga increases the range of motion in joints. It may also increase lubrication in the joints. The outcome is a sense of ease and fluidity throughout your body. Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. That includes ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheath that surrounds your muscles. And no matter your level of yoga, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility.

- How can yoga help with posture?

With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength. That's because you're counting on your deep abdominals to support and maintain each pose. With a stronger core, you're more likely to sit and stand "tall." Another benefit of yoga is the increased body awareness. This heightened awareness tells you more quickly when you're slouching or slumping so you can adjust your posture.

- Is this hot yoga?

We keep the temperature of the yoga rooms regulated between 80 and 85 degrees. We like the room to feel warm but not hot.