Q. What does Namaste’ mean?
A. Namaste’ is a salutation, typically it carries a meaning of;
- the light in me honors the light in you
- the light in me bows to the light in you
- my spirit acknowledges your spirit
Or some variation of this, it is your practice you get to choose what it means to you.
Q. Do I have to be flexible to do yoga?
A. We practice yoga to help us achieve flexibility within our own limits, the more you practice the easier your muscles will stretch and increase flexibility. So the answer is no, you do not have to be flexible, but you need to be willing to try.
Q. What is a bolster, block and strap? Do I need these things?
A. A bolster is a long thick pillow used for support or to prop up a part of our body to help us achieve alignment or relief during a pose. A block is used to assist our body into alignment or help achieve a deeper stretch than without it. A strap is also use to assist our body safely into deeper stretching. These items are used as tools in our practice to help us feel successful in our practice. Each day our pose can change depending on how our body feels, you decide if a tool helps the pose fit your body.
Q. What are the Eight Limbs of Yoga?
A. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra the 8 paths forming the structural framework for yoga practice are;
- Yama- Moral Virtues
- Niyama- Personal Observances/Rules
- Asana- Poses/Postures
- Pranayama- Breath Control
- Pratyahara- Control of the Senses
- Dharana- Focused Mind
- Dhyana- Meditation
- Samadhi- Union
Q. What are the Yamas?
A. Fundamental moral virtues
- Ahimsa – Non-violence/Compassion for all living things
- Satya – Truthfulness
- Asteya – Non-stealing
- Brahmacharya – Sense control
- Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth
Q. What are the Niyamas?
A. Niyamas are the personal rules we observe
- Sauca – Purity/Cleanliness
- Santosha – Contentment
- Tapas – Disciplined use of our energy
- Svadhyaya – Self study, when we know ourselves, we can know our needs
- Isvara pranidhana – Celebration of the Spirit, acting the best we can, giving up our egotistical illusion that we know best