FAQs

Can I really do Yoga??…I am not very flexible and can’t even touch my toes!!!
Yes, you can do yoga even if you are not flexible! And, you will become more flexible if you practice yoga regularly. The great thing about Iyengar Yoga, which we teach at Yoga Northwest, is that we offer many different levels of classes from total beginners to advanced. In the beginning classes we modify many of the classical yoga poses and use “props” like belts, blocks, blankets, chairs, and walls, etc., to help everybody, whether stiff or weak, build balanced strength and flexibility in a safe and comfortable way.

I have a bad back. Can Yoga help me?
Bad backs are an epidemic in our modern world and are often caused by bad posture, poor body mechanics, and an imbalance in the muscles supporting the lumbar spine. In Iyengar Yoga we emphasize “postural alignment,” where we balance the action of the muscles in every yoga pose to support the back, neck, and knees to encourage health and healing. We also integrate mindful breathing into the yoga postures to help students release deep, chronic stress and tension that is often the hidden cause of back and neck pain.

I have done Yoga before at the gym and other places, but always seem to hurt myself!
Nothing in life is foolproof—you might step out the front door and twist an ankle. Still, at Yoga Northwest our main purpose is to help you learn how to do the poses in the most healthy, safe, and mindful way.

Yoga Northwest is not a gym where you come to do a “yoga workout,” but more like a college where you come to learn to do yoga, a practice you can take with you for the rest of your life. Our classes are offered quarterly in 10 or 12 week sessions, and each class builds progressively from week to week to help each student gain full benefit from each yoga posture. Our teachers are all Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructors, among the most highly trained and experienced yoga teachers in the Northwest, and are passionate about helping you experience all the wonderful gifts of yoga.

Can I buy a monthly pass and drop into any class that fits my schedule? I want to take Yoga at Yoga Northwest, but I can’t commit to the same class time each week.
We encourage you to sign up for a specific class or classes so the teacher can get to know you and your individual needs and be able to help you progress effectively week by week. But we also have a very flexible Make-up Policy. If you miss a class, you can do a make-up in any other class during the same 10 or 12 week session. If you are going to be gone for several weeks, you can make up before or after your absence and come 2-3 times a week.

Can I join the classes “mid semester”?
If you are totally new to yoga and Iyengar Yoga, you can still join our classes during the second or third week of the quarter and come 2 or more times a week to make up classes you missed (at the same level of classes you signed up for). If you have practiced another method of yoga and are without injury, you can join our classes “mid-semester” and also make up missed classes.

Can I just “drop-in” to a class and see if I like it?
Again, if you are totally new to yoga or Iyengar Yoga, we recommend that you drop in to one of our first 3 weeks of classes. After that we have already covered the main, basic instructions and it might not be safe to jump in midstream.

But if you have done Iyengar Yoga in other locations or are a strong yoga practitioner from another method and are without injury, then you are always welcome to drop in to an appropriate level.

What are “Free Classes” and when are they offered?
The Free Classes are for people who have never done yoga, never done Iyengar Yoga, or have never done yoga with us at Yoga Northwest. It’s a great opportunity to come and try our classes, meet our enthusiastic teachers, and experience yoga in our beautiful, peaceful studio. The free classes are offered 4 times a year—during the week between each quarter—and you can choose from 10-20 classes. You can come to as many as you like and also try different levels according to your previous yoga experience. There is no pre-registration necessary, but come early as some classes fill to max.

Do I have to bring my own mat?
We recommend that you bring your own mat for hygiene purposes, but we also have mats and all the other “props” you’ll need, available free of charge. We also sell different styles of yoga mats and mat bags at the studio.
                                    

What should I wear??
Most people wear shorts, tights, or capris and a t-shirt or a tank top. It’s advisable to not wear very baggy clothes as they may obscure the “alignment” needed to ensure a safe practice. We also have a variety of tights, shorts, and tees available for sale in our Yoga Northwest boutique.

When will I know that it’s time to move on to the next level of classes?
We usually recommend that you take a class at the same level for a minimum of two quarters so that you can become familiar with the basic poses and gain awareness of your body’s ability, balance, and breath. Some people prefer to stay at the same level for several years—which is totally okay—while others prefer to move on to the next level more quickly. The more classes you take weekly, the faster you might be able to progress to the next level. Please check our recommended prerequisites for each level, laid out in the “Class Descriptions”, and also check with your teacher to see if you are ready for the next level. There is no hurry . . . Yoga is a Life-Journey!!!

What are Iyengar Yoga classes like?
Each class starts with a short, inspiring theme of yoga philosophy, like non-violence, care, respect, honesty, contentment, gratitude, etc. that we weave through the practice of the poses. At Yoga Northwest we don’t follow a script or do the same poses each class. Instead, each teacher tailors a sequence of poses according to class level and progress, and creatively adds new poses and inspiring ways to keep the practice moving forward in a fresh, fun, and new way, week by week. In general, most classes start with centering breathing or 3 Oms to quiet the mind and tune in to the present moment. The classes progress through various standing, seated, twisting, and back bending poses to build balance, strength, and flexibility. Every class ends with a resting pose, so you leave the studio feeling relaxed and recharged!