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Soul Train Yoga

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Where do you run your classes?

Answer: Alison has moved back to Melbourne and is teaching studio classes in Elwood and private classes in the surrounding area.


Question: What kind of yoga is taught at Soul Train Yoga?

Answer: We teach a version of what we practise as teachers ourselves,  a simplified version of the Ashtanga yoga we practice each day.


Question: What is the difference between different types of yoga?

Answer: What is commonly referred to as "yoga" is more correctly called Asana or postures.  Asana is only one of the 8 limbs of yoga. All of the yoga postures come from Hatha yoga, but depending on the style of yoga the sequence of postures will vary and the focus of the class will vary.  Soul Train Yoga include a contemplation meditation technique, introduction to the preparatory work required for pranayama, asana and also some philosophy into the class.


Question: What should I wear?

Answer:  Yoga is practicsed in bare feet, so no special footwear is required.  Wear clothing that you can move easily in, ideally clothing that allows you to see your wrists, elbows, ankles and knees, for example shorts and t-shirt or leggings and singlet would be perfect.  Avoid baggy clothes that will get in the way.


Question: Do I need to bring anything?

Answer: At Soul Train Yoga classes all mats and equipment are provided.  Some students like to bring a sweat towel and a bottle of water, but those are optional.


Question: Should I eat or drink before coming along to a yoga class?


Food: Ideally you should leave about 1 - 2 hours between eating and coming to a yoga class.  Doing yoga on a full tummy can be quite uncomfortable. 

Water: Try and hydrate during the day before coming to class.  As your practice deepens there are times when we are specifically building heat and avoid drinking (cooling the body).  However, always listen to your body if you need to drink, then have a drink.


Question: Are men welcome to come along to a yoga class?

Answer: Yes everyone is welcome to attend.  Soul Train Yoga classes are usually about half and half men and women, everyone will be warmly welcomed.


Question: I have done some yoga before, do I need to come to Absolute Beginners?

Answer: Each person's ability is very different, regardless of whether you have been to yoga before or not, if you're not sure which class to come to give Alison a call and have a quick chat and together we can work out which class you would be most comfortable starting with.


Question: Is Yoga Just Stretching?

Answer: Although yoga involves stretching your muscles, it is a whole different ballgame than the few warm-up stretches you might do at the gym. Let's look at a few of the ways yoga is different:

·  Yoga places emphasis on alignment, meaning that how you are touching your toes is more important than whether you can actually touch them or not.

·  Most yoga poses are not stretching an isolated area, but rather involve the whole body in both stretching and strengthening.

·  Asana, or the physical practice of postures, is only one aspect of a yoga practice, albeit the most well-known one these days. Even if you only engage in yoga through asana practice (an excellent place to start), be aware there are eight limbs of yoga.



Question: Will Doing Yoga Make Me Sore?

Answer: It is not uncommon to experience sore muscles after doing yoga, especially if you are just starting out or practice infrequently. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness usually occurs a day or two after exercising, which differentiates it from the sudden and immediate pain you would feel from pulling a muscle. Yoga can cause soreness, even if you are in good physical shape, because it encourages you to use muscles that are otherwise neglected.  If you continue to do yoga regularly, you will likely discover you experience less soreness.


Question: Can I Do Yoga Even Though I am Not Flexible?

Answer: Don't avoid yoga just because you think you aren't flexible. In fact, if you have tight muscles, yoga is just the thing to loosen you up. The point of yoga is not to show off how flexible you are, but rather to become more flexible over time while enjoying yoga's health benefits. Yoga is not like gymnastics, in which the most flexible person gets a medal. It is a personal practice, infinitely adaptable to fit your needs.


Question: Should I Avoid Yoga Inversions During My Period?

Answer: Depending on which school of yoga one follows, there are a range of opinions about whether one should do inverted poses such as Shoulderstand, Headstand, and Handstand while menstruating. On one end of the spectrum are people who say you do not need to change your yoga practice at all while menstruating. On the other end are people who say you should not do anything but the most gentle restorative yoga poses while on your period.

The most important thing is to listen to your body. Each woman has a different experience with her period, so no blanket rule will make sense to everyone. 

If you don't want to call attention to yourself by calling out "I have my period!" when the teacher instructs the class to do an inversion, you can lie on your back with the soles of your feet together and your knees falling out to either side.


Question: Will Doing Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?

Answer: Doing yoga regularly can make you feel better about your body as you become stronger and more flexible.  Yoga can help to tone your muscles, reduce stress, and improve your mental and physical well-being. But will it help you lose weight?

Practicing yoga will help build strength, but some types may not raise your heart rate enough to make them the only form of exercise you need to include in your weight loss regime. It depends on the type of yoga you select and how frequently you practice it.

In order to lose weight, you must eat right and burn calories by doing exercise that raises your heart rate on a regular basis.

If you plan to make yoga your primary form of exercise, you must do a vigorous, yoga class at least three times a week. Many people also choose to combine yoga with running, walking, or other aerobic exercise in order to reach their weight loss goals. 

I would encourage you to approach weight loss on a more holistic approach, starting with yoga philosophy on how you approach food.


Question: I always seem to be passing wind in yoga class. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: Passing gas while practicing yoga is actually very common. You're moving your body in ways that will stir up your guts, which is a good thing. We're all adults here, and farting is perfectly natural. I say, gauge the mood of the class and act accordingly. If the class is light-hearted and casual, you might humorously acknowledge your emission. If the teacher and students are dead serious, pretend that nothing untoward has occurred. And maybe think about skipping those beans at lunch next time!


Question: During some poses I sometimes feel very emotional is this normal?

Answer: As we work through different poses releasing tension from muscles we also can release  emotional memory stored in the muscles.  This may manifest itself as a flood of emotion, sometimes tears, or anger or a situation or person may flash through your mind.  If this happens don’t worry or freak out it just means you have released something that you no longer need to hold on to.  If the emotion is very strong just sit in childs pose (sit back on your heels then fold forward resting your head on the floor) for a few moments and allow the emotion to wash over you.  Continue with the rest of the class when you feel ready.


Question: What should I do when nature calls in the middle of a yoga class?

Answer: It is perfectly all right to leave class for a few minutes to attend to your bodily functions. There is no need to ask the teacher's permission to go to the bathroom. The best time to go is when there is a period of rest, either in child's pose or downward dog . You will not earn your teacher's respect if you routinely dodge out during difficult poses or skip part of savasana.


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