Below are some of the frequently asked questions we get at the studio. Click on each question to read the answer.
What is your COVID safety protocol? Do I have to show proof of vaccination or wear a mask?
We continue to follow CDC guidelines for COVID, including masking. As of March 7, 2022, masks are optional when community levels are "green" or "low"; they are required when community levels are "orange" or "high" before, during and after classes. You are always welcome to wear a mask. For the benefit of our larger community, we continue to require proof of full vaccination and strongly encourage booster shots. Please plan to email, text, or show your vaccination card BEFORE entering the studio. COVID protocol is subject to change as we learn more about COVID and current and future variants. In general, we advise you to only come to class if you are healthy AND feel safe doing so, and we promise to do the same. If you are feeling unwell, are experiencing any symptoms of COVID (or any other infectious illness!), or believe that you may have been recently exposed to someone with COVID, please do NOT attend our in-person classes. You may, of course, still attend our online classes, and it is ok to switch formats on short notice - please just let us know so we can email you details on how to connect online for any given class. Yoga mats and props are available for borrowing during class, or you may bring your own. We may reinstate our mask requirement or convert to online-only classes at any time, including on short notice, due to increases in community COVID levels, or due to the potential exposure of or positive test of an instructor to COVID. We prioritize your health and safety and appreciate your understanding and flexibility regarding our evolving protocols. Thank you for helping us look out for the health and safety of each other.
What if I’ve never done yoga before?
Don't worry. There is a first class for every yoga student. Beginners are encouraged to attend our Hatha Yoga, Gentle Yoga or Yoga for Beginner classes. No matter which class you try first, tell your instructor that you are new to yoga, and we promise we'll take good care of you!
What’s a typical class like?
Most classes start with calming and centering in a seated or supine position. Then they may include standing and more seated and supine poses – often, but not necessarily, in that order. Which poses are done and the level of difficulty will vary with the type of class and students’ condition. Most classes, regardless of type, end with some restorative poses, followed by a final period of relaxation in a pose called savasana. Expect a final few moments of centering in a seated position. Mediation and pranayama (breathwork) are mixed in throughout classes at the discretion of the instructor. Some classes provide a challenging workout while others are more restful and restorative, but all are done with the intention of increasing mindfulness.
What if I don’t have a mat or I forget mine?
We have yoga mats and other props like blocks, blankets, straps and bolsters available at the studio for you to borrow for free during class. Of course, you are also welcome to bring your own.
What should I wear to class?
Wear clothes that are loose and/or stretchy enough to permit you to move freely, but not so loose that they distract you as you move around. Layers are recommended – there are typically some active times during class when you may build up some heat and feel warm and times when you may be relaxing and feel cool. Temperatures vary seasonally in the studio. In the winter, our heater keeps it cozy warm; in the spring and fall, we open the windows and enjoy moderate temperatures; in the summer, we fire up our giant ceiling fans to create a cooling breeze.
Can I wear socks and shoes?
Our studio is shoe-free, so you will be expected to remove your shoes and leave them at the door upon entering. Yoga is traditionally practiced in bare feet, but you may wear socks if you prefer. Sometimes it’s nice to have socks to keep the feet warm during the relaxation portion of class in the winter. Please note that it can be more difficult to do some standing poses while wearing socks due to their tendency to slip on some mats.
What are the benefits of doing yoga?
As an activity for the mind, body and spirit, yoga has been helping humans since it originated at least 2,000 years ago. Regular yoga practice brings greater self-awareness, a sense of peace and well-being, and more energy, strength, flexibility and balance. Yoga, which means “union” or “joining”, promotes balance between opposites like between the mind and the body and between movement and stillness, and it helps reduce anxiety and stress.
What if I’m injured?
If you are recovering from a recent injury or have nagging effects from a past injury (such as, but not limited to pain or limited range of motion or strength), please tell your instructor prior to class so appropriate modifications can be provided to guide you in your practice. Yoga can be a powerful tool in facilitating healing after an injury and in preventing future injuries.
What if I’m pregnant?
Shenandoah Yoga has offered Prenatal Yoga classes for pregnant women since the studio opened in 2006. Prenatal Yoga classes help pregnant women enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy and will help prepare her mind and body for labor and delivery and motherhood. Pregnant women typically begin taking Prenatal Yoga classes any time around the end of the first trimester or afterward. No previous yoga experience is required. While it is safe for most pregnant women to practice yoga, there are a few conditions that contra-indicate yoga practice, so we recommend that you consult your midwife or doctor prior to beginning a yoga practice. Preregistration is REQUIRED for all prenatal yoga classes by 24 hours prior to each class. Students with some knowledge of Prenatal Yoga are invited to also attend Hatha and Gentle Yoga classes although they should inform the instructor of their pregnancy so appropriate modifications can be given.
What if I'm too stiff to do yoga?
It's a common misconception that you have to already be flexible to do yoga. In fact, the less flexible you are, the more you have the potential to benefit from yoga! Our experienced instructors will give you options within different poses so that you can safely practice for however flexible you currently are. And remember, yoga is a "practice" - it takes time (aka more than just one class) to significantly increase flexibility although you may noticed some improvements within just a few classes.
Am I too old to do yoga?
There is no such thing as too old to do yoga! Yes, older yoga students may not be able to do as many yoga poses as younger students; however, you can still do the breathing and meditation portions of the practice. Our experienced instructors can also give you options for ways you can modify many poses to be more accessible to you as you age. Please contact us to find out which classes are appropriate for you or to arrange private instruction.
When should I eat or drink relative to class?
Think of yoga like doing any other physical activity. You don’t want to eat or drink too much right before your practice, but you don’t want to be distracted by hunger either. Small, simple and light meals and snacks are recommended. Everyone’s metabolism is different – some students may prefer to have a snack within minutes prior to class while others may find they wish to eat two to three hours in advance. Students are welcome to bring water in closed containers, such as water bottles, with them for use before, during and after class.
Will yoga conflict with my religion?
Yoga is not a religion. Because yoga increases one's self awareness, many yoga students find that yoga actually improves and strengthens their personal relationship with their chosen religion or life philosophy.