We bent over backwards (and quashed our irrational fears) to answer these curly queries, because it's time for less umming and more OMing. Whether you’ve been practicing yoga since 2008 or it’s your resolution to start, these nuggets will put your monkey mind at ease – yes, you are doing it right – thanks to Anneriek, one our staffer’s favourite yogis with 20+ years of teaching, chaturanga-ing and running her own yoga retreats behind her.
Is it meant to feel like this?
In short, “YES” says Anneriek. And the long? We don’t really move in our full range of motion but rather we shorten the front of our body when sitting (guilty) and on our phones (guilty x2). Only occasionally do we twist, especially since rear view car cameras made our neck-craning-while-reversing redundant. That’s why yoga – in all its side stretches and backbends – feels the way it does. “Your body will open up with regular yoga classes”... this yogi doesn’t break her promises. Even just once a month, she adds, is beneficial.
Which yoga pose is best during your period?
Each of us is unique – what works for Anneriek (a restorative spot of yin yoga), might not work for you. But! Her hero pose is a 5 minute reclined butterfly over a bolster, and she avoids poses that place pressure on the belly. It’s only natural to slow down and reflect during your ‘moon phase’, so don’t dispute your inner voice.
What should one never bring to yoga?
A competitive attitude. “Delve inwards to find acceptance of who you are and where you’re at.” Leave comparison and judgement at the door; yoga is never about being the most flexible in the room.
What should I be eating or drinking pre-yoga?
Traditionally yoga is practiced early in the AM, so in a perfect retreat-like paradise you would have only sunk a glass of lukewarm, lemon-infused water. However, PM classes are a) ubiquitous these days and b) a great post-work de-stress, so our seasoned yoga instructor suggests eating no later than 2 hours before practice. If like us, you can’t wait, snack on something that sits well, like a banana and be sure to keep hydrated before, during and after yoga, especially in a heated or strenuous flow-style class.
What's meant to happen after class?
You’ll be floating on a cloud amid unicorns and rainbows – PSYCHE. “If only”, laughs Anneriek. While yoga is all about suspending expectations, hopefully you’ll leave the mat feeling relaxed and balanced. Setting an intention (before or even after class) keeps you connected to your needs, she offers. More deeply, Anneriek hopes you feel an appreciation for your mind and body, and are more aware of any negative thoughts.
What does “OM” at the end of class mean? Should I participate?
Your yoga teacher may have invited you to join in chanting this sound post-savasana. But Anneriek assures us, we needn’t chant OM – the vibrational sound which created the universe – if we’re uncomfortable doing so. It’s thought to not only help you to express yourself better as it opens the energy in your throat, but is considered the quickest path to enlightenment.
To freshen up your yoga kit, try printed tights, fitted tanks, a mat, and a newly illuminated mind. Go on, get OM with it.