YOGA 101/Beginners Class
yoga mayu is dedicated to offering this weekly beginners class in San Francisco that provides new students with a foundation in yoga. Each week this class provides you with a solid introduction to the practicing of yoga, while breaking down a standard class, step by step. You will learn to use your body in new ways, develop strength and balance, and discover techniques to quiet the mind. The beginners class is led by Gizella Donald, a skilled and intuitive yoga teacher and the founder of yoga mayu of San Francisco.
The practice of yoga is a very personal and individual journey for everyone who steps onto the yoga mat. Some people use it as a time of introspection and meditation, some as a form of exercise, and others as a form of social enrichment. No matter what you come to yoga for, it is an uplifting practice that promotes your health and wellbeing.Here are a few topics that will be covered during the beginners series:
- Pranayama: breathing techniques essential to the development of your practice.
- Asanas: standing and seated postures while working on correct alignment.
- Sun Salutation: the classical recurring sequence of yoga postures used in yoga to warm the body in preparation for deeper stretches.
- Savasana: the final relaxation pose.
How do I prepare for my first yoga class?
Coming to a yoga class for the first time can be daunting; sometimes it feels like everyone knows what they're doing but you. Here are a few tips to make you feel more at ease in your first class:
- It is not required to sign-up online, but it is recommended as it saves time and paper. Classes and workshops do fill up, so signing up with our online scheduler will ensure your spot; click here to sign-up as a new user. If online registration is inconvenient for you, you can simply sign-up at the studio before the class begins.
- Arrive 10-15 minutes before the class begins. Check in with the front desk to let them know that you are present, and pay for your class if you have not done so already through our online scheduler.
- When you arrive, please take off our shoes at the door.
- Tell the teacher about your experience level, so they can advise you accordingly.
- Bring comfortable clothing to practice in. Stretchy cotton or none restrictive fabrics are best. Remember that you'll be moving around a lot and you will possibly be in inverted postures; choose the appropriate length of shorts and snug fitting tops.
- Try not to eat 1-2 hours before class, or have a light snack before you step onto your mat. A full stomach can cause discomfort during practice and is believed to restrict the flow of energy in the body.
- Turn your cell phone off or to silent for the duration of the class.
- Notify the teacher of any injuries, ailments or if you are pregnant before the class begins. This will assist them in creating the best practice for you and providing modifications when necessary.
- We recommend that you have your own personal mat; however, if necessary, we rent mats at the studio for $1. A water bottle and a small towel are also recommended. See our reasonably priced studio store for all your yoga accessory needs. All other additional props will be provided at the studio.
Always remember, everyone has a first class; don't be afraid to ask the teacher for instructions or assistance. Most importantly, have fun! Don't feel intimidated or anxious during your first class; it is only a practice and everyone is on a journey just like you. Don't forget to breathe. For other frequently asked questions, visit our FAQ section.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a healing system of theory and practice. It is a combination of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, originating in India. With Yoga, we can extend our healthy, productive years far beyond the accepted norm, and at the same time, improve the quality of our lives. Here is a list of comprehensive benefits that yoga can provide:
- Flexibility - By lengthening the body and holding poses for longer periods of time, the muscles are allowed to stretch more naturally and lengthen over time.
- Strength - Yoga poses can be very taxing, requiring balance and supporting the weight of the body. Over time, you will build strength in all parts of your body.
- Muscle Tone - Create long lean muscles by active stretching. Stretched muscles work more efficiently and have longer stamina when used.
- Pain Prevention - Yoga helps to alleviate back, wrist, neck, shoulder, and leg pain.
- Breathing - By coordinating breath with movement and focusing on the breath, you learn to have a greater breath capacity with slower deeper breath.
- Mental Calmness - Sometimes intensely physical and occasionally quiet and still, yoga helps the mind stop its constant spinning.
- Stress Reduction - By learning to breathe into difficult situations, and to have a calm mind and a strong body, stress and tension can be released or diminished.
- Body Awareness - Yoga brings acute awareness to the different areas of the body. It gives the practitioner a chance to learn their habits and capabilities.
- Additional benefits include:
- Increased Energy
- Cardiovascular & Circulatory Health
- Improved Energy
- Balanced Metabolism
- Promotes Self Acceptance
- Creates a connection between mind, body and spirit
Going the extra mile
- There are many things that you can do in order to enhance your yoga experience to its fullest potential. Here are a few ideas for how to benefit most from your practice:
- Private lessons can help you step deeper into your practice and discover more meaning on your mat. yoga mayu offers private classes with all of their instructors; ask the front desk how you might find the best teacher for your needs.
- Get a massage. Many yoga traditions believe that you should receive massage once per week when you are practicing regularly. We understand that this might not be realistic, but adding a massage every few months helps with flexibility, relaxation and energy movement.
- Create a routine. Practice at least 2-4 times per week. Going to yoga classes on a regular basis enhances your experience, allowing for deeper opening and a stronger practice over time. Ritual is also a form of meditation and is believed to build character. It is recommended by most yoga traditions to create a quiet, steady mind.