The instructors and staff would like to welcome you on your new journey toward developing your yoga practice. With continued practice it will be self evident that you have discovered the most powerful physical development and personal growth instrument on earth. In your first few classes you will begin to realize many of the countless benefits of a consistent practice of yoga.
At Sunstone Yoga our instructors are dedicated to seeing each individual develop their practice. Each instructor has been certified to teach yoga and demonstrates the qualifications necessary to be registered with the Yoga Alliance at the highest teaching standard of 500 hours. This means they have completed over 500 hours of comprehensive training in techniques, teaching methodology, anatomy, physiology, yoga philosophy, ethics and lifestyle. Not only have our instructors taught thousands of students, they are dedicated students themselves. Each instructor has a personal practice that includes thousands of hours of dedication. They understand what it is like to be a student and will assist you in your journey toward a rewarding and fulfilling practice. Any of the instructors are available to assist you personally with a private lesson, and our commitment to your success includes incentive programs like Sunstone Yoga Focus Wristbands™ and Get Paid to do Yoga™ to keep you motivated through the ups and downs of your new practice.
The following tips and guidelines have been assembled to assist you in developing your practice:
Take full advantage of your first 10 days. After your first class try to return the next day. Your first class will awaken your body and returning quickly will allow you to practice with an open and receptive body. Most students find their second class to be much easier than their first. As you become familiar with the postures you will be much more relaxed and easy in your practice. For this reason try to come at least 4 or 5 times in your first 10 days. The more you come in the first 10 days the more you will feel the physical, mental and emotional benefits of your new journey.
Be fully hydrated. Drink at least 2.5 liters of water each day throughout the day in addition to replacing the water you lose during class. A good rule is to drink an additional 2.5 liters in a short period after class. There are pauses in class where you will be able to drink water but if you start class dehydrated it is impossible to catch up.
Replace your electrolytes. The sweating you do in the heated room will cause small amounts of electrolytes – the electrically charged minerals sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium – to be lost from the body along with water. Losses are greatest in beginners; training improves electrolyte retention. If you notice that you are feeling over-tired or getting a headache during or after class then try taking an electrolyte supplement. Electrolyte STAMINA is an excellent product for both electrolytes and trace minerals. It is a “fizzing” mix that you place in your water.
Come to class on an empty stomach. Most people find that they need to leave 2-3 hours between their meal and class. However, if you find you need a snack try a piece of fruit or something light about an hour before class. With time you will discover for yourself what is best. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different routines.
Focus on yourself and be as still as possible between postures. With practice your ability to focus and be still will improve. This will advance your yoga practice tremendously and reduce your struggle physically and mentally. Extra movements waste energy and take you out of your practice.
Learn to be comfortable with perspiration. Wiping sweat is distracting to your practice and to the stillness of the entire class. Removing perspiration also GREATLY increases your water loss during the class. Perspiration is normal and you will adjust to the sensation of having it on your body.
Be aware that your actions affect everyone. Although you should be focusing solely on your individual practice, you should be aware that the entire energy of the room is dependent upon your participation. Your stillness, focus, and thoughts affect everyone. If you notice someone struggling or lacking focus, then don’t allow your practice to be disturbed. In doing so you will help them to develop the focus you demonstrate. Getting frustrated with yourself or others is contrary to developing your yoga practice.
Please stay in the heated room for the duration of the class. While it is tempting to think about the cool air on the other side of the door, it is better for you if you stay in the yoga room. If you feel light-headed or nauseous, then please sit or lie down. There is nothing wrong with missing a posture while your light-headedness or nausea subsides. If you absolutely must leave the room do so quietly and respectfully, and please return as soon as possible.
Developing a yoga practice is a continuous journey; it is not an overnight process. No one is going to judge you or criticize you. Other students are too focused on themselves to notice you. As long as you give your best effort, and attempt all the poses as instructed, you will get as much benefit out of your practice as a student doing the same posture with a greater degree of flexibility, strength and balance. Your instructor may, from time to time, and always in a respectful and supportive manner, offer a suggestion or an adjustment that will carry you deeper into a posture. As you continue your practice you will become more comfortable with yourself and your personal yoga journey.
Every class is different. Let go of any preconceived notions and enter each class like it is your first class. Your body is different every day, and it is normal for the class or certain postures to be easy one day and difficult the next. Please do not be discouraged and think that something is wrong if you have a difficult class. Often your best class will be followed by your worst and vise-versa.
Emotions from your practice are normal. You may feel angry or happy and even laugh or cry in class sometimes. Through yoga you will discover that the body, mind and emotions are connected. By entering the body through yoga you may find that you stir up strong emotions. Tears may flow, laughter may come, or anger may swell. Nothing is wrong and the emotions will soon release from the body. Sometimes you will have an idea of what the emotions are about, but whether you do or do not try not to ruminate on meaning, lose your stillness, or stop your practice. Yoga is cleansing on many levels.
Unusual experiences and sensations are normal during your practice. Many people experience flashes of light, electrical impulses, or unusual body sensation in certain postures. These are all normal. Old injuries may also re-emerge as aches or dull pain as you are working through those injured areas. This is part of the healing process, and if you learn to listen to your body you will quickly be able to distinguish between the pain of re-injury and the sensation of stretching. Overcoming fear is a milestone that everyone must face as they develop their yoga practice. (Always check with your doctor if you have medical concerns.)
If you have been sick then take it easy your first class back. It is very normal to feel nauseous and dizzy when you are recovering from being sick. This is especially true if you took medication. Your first class back should be approached slowly; don’t rush or push. Lie down if you feel dizzy. Although your first class back will likely be uncomfortable it will often speed up your recovery.
Arrive a few minutes early and stay for the entire class. Entering class constantly late or leaving before class is over is very disruptive and disrespectful to others, and also to your nervous system. If you do arrive a few minutes late, take a breath and enter the room slowly and quietly. Take your mat off the rack with both hands and find a spot in the room that is respectful to others. Consider being prompt as a part of your practice.
Relax at the end of class. Learn to completely relax at the end of your practice. Final relaxation is a critical part of your practice. You have stretched muscles, compressed organs, and sent an uncountable amount of information to the nervous system. Allow the body to recover and the nervous system to integrate the information it has received. This can often be the hardest part of your practice. If you learn to relax after class you will also learn to relax outside of the studio. Conversely if you are finding it difficult to relax after class this is symptomatic of a problem relaxing outside of the studio.
No shoes in the yoga room. Please don’t wear your shoes into the yoga room. Take them off before entering and leave them either in the change room or outside of the door.
Never bring your mobile phone into the yoga room. This doesn’t mean turn off the ringer, because sooner or later you will forget. It would be best if you left your mobile phone in the car. If you can’t be out of touch for 90 minutes this is indicative of an imbalance in your life. Learning to let go for 90 minutes will greatly improve your practice and your life.
See you in the studio!