What is Yoga?
In its simplest form, Yoga is the union of mind, body, and spirit. In the West, most people practicing yoga are focused on the postures (asana)only which is only one limb of traditional yoga. The Western yoga is a program of combining breath with physical postures that are designed to purify the body and provide strength and flexibility. There are actually 8 limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). Traditional Easter yoga involves working through all 8 limbs, to modify our behavior to the outer world, and then begin to focus inward until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).
How can Yoga help me?
There are many, many benefits of yoga that include a reduction in stress and anxiety, increased flexibility, strength, stamina, focus and clarity of mind. Other benefits can include weight loss, increased confidence, a healthier mind and body, and the list goes on.
Why do some poses have names in a different language?
This is Sanskrit, and ancient language. Many yoga teachers use these names along with the English name of the pose, to preserve the tradition of the language. At first, it might sound strange, but after awhile you begin to know them by heart.
What does Namaste Mean?
Namaste (nahm-ah-stay) means 'The divine light in me honors the divine light in you'. It is a recognition that ultimately we are all the same, born of the same divine, whatever the divine means to you, and that we honor that in each other. To some the divine might mean God, to others it might mean the Universe, to others it might mean that what is superior, etc. It is typically said at the end of class in closing by the teacher and repeated back by students. There is never any obligation to say it if you are not comfortable.
What is OM?
Om is a sound, or mantra that can be chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions by teacher and students. It is said to be the sound of the universe, a vibration. Chanting OM allows us to tap into and feel that vibration of all things in the Universe. Plus, the vibration feels pretty cool on your lips!
Should I do Yoga at home or in a studio first?
Great question! Once your doctor okays you to practice yoga, it is always recommended that you start with an in-person yoga class. This can be a Private yoga session where the teacher will work with you based on your body, needs and goals. It can also be in a Beginner's Yoga class at your local studio or gym. Many run 6 week Beginner classes and will go over everything you need to bring, as well as slow breakdowns of the poses. Always let your teacher know if you have any injuries or other issues so she/he can help you modify the poses to best suit you.
Once you have completed a Beginners Series or are comfortable in a Beginners class, then you can try some online yoga videos that you can do from home when you can't make it to the studio. If a studio or gym is not feasible for you at all, then select online yoga videos that are designed for Beginners. It is important that you take it slow in the beginning and get a full understanding of the pose to avoid the risk of injury.
Is Pam Snyder Yoga a yoga studio or a person?
It is not a physical studio. Pam Snyder Yoga was created after I graduated from my certified Yoga Teacher Training in 2017 - one of the happiest days that I can remember! I offer private and group classes in a variety of locations that include the outdoors, my favorite local studios, libraries, health care locations, and more. Not opening a studio was the choice that was perfect for me because it offers me more time to spend with students while not having to run a business. Maybe someday but for now I am loving the freedom to travel around and offer yoga as needed, wherever it is needed.
Where are the classes held?
Private yoga classes and personal group classes are created just for you and can be held at one of my favorite yoga studios, outdoors when the weather permits, or other local venue (see Workshops page). I can also accommodate a small group of up to 6 in my home studio. The classes are created based on your needs or preferences. You may want to craft a class for you and some friends on Friday nights with lots of meditation, slow flows, and restorative poses to wind down from the week. Or you may want more of a heart-pumping sweaty flow to get you ready for the weekend's activities. It's up to you!