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FAQ's: New To Yoga

New to Yoga? Experienced? Need more information? Some of the commonly asked questions can be read below. These answer why The Yoga Way provides structured programs, the types of yoga offered, the benefits and how to get started.

If your query is not here contact the school by e-mail or call 416-944-1415.


 New to Yoga? 

Welcome to the journey of yoga. New students at the school may or may not be required to take a private class. This is to ensure you are indeed entering the most appropriate program and class. This is usually determined by having a brief discussion on your background and abilities as well as your expectations of the program. The private class is offered at a lower rate when it is taken as a prerequisite to joining a group program as opposed to a private program on a regular basis. For rates and more information contact the school.

It should be kept in mind that yoga is a subject and a life path. To understand any subject properly it takes time. Therefore, one class does not provide enough information or exposure to the depth of Yoga and the teachings offered.

 Why structured programs and not drop-in classes?

The programs are designed to offer the most effective way of learning yoga. To learn the techniques properly the classes are limited to 5 to 7 spaces. They are not offered on a random or drop-in basis. With smaller classes this ensures more consistent attention from the teacher. With structured programs, this demands a greater commitment from the teacher and you regarding your progress. With a higher level of commitment there is a greater opportunity for you to progress faster and further.

Given the structured format, a more personalized approach is taken in teaching yoga by understanding your background and your personal goals. Each class is designed to provide specific instructions in order to challenge you to go beyond what you think you can achieve. As a result, both prior and current students have felt a stronger connection to their practice. They have also been inspired to incorporate yoga into their daily life. Considering the needs of each student does not happen without thought and care. Specific yogic exercises and postures will be given to you to work with. These personal approach is the trademark of TYW.

 As a beginner of yoga what type/level of yoga should I consider?

For the "true" beginner (re: you have never done yoga before) building the basics with the Atma Vikasa system is the best program to begin with. Usually new students are also encouraged to take private sessions, which are offered at a reduced rate when considering a group program. This allows the teacher to properly assess your needs, abilities and goals as well as to determine the most suitable program.

Despite the category of level I and II, this is only meant as a guide and not set in stone. Many times completely new students of yoga are practising with more experiences students. There are many benefits to this in that you can truly see for yourself what is possible with time, dedication and practice. Because the aim of the programs is to teach each person at their level, the same class can range from moderate to very strenuous depending on the individual who is practising.

What type of yoga is offered?

Visit the yoga & meditation page for information on AtmaVikasa, backbending (bb) and meditation. TYW is the only school offering AtmaVikasa and bb.  

 What is the difference between hot-yoga, power-yoga, hatha-yoga and ashtanga-yoga? 

Hot-yoga is a name used to refer to a type of yoga done in a heated room. Usually this is a form of hatha-yoga called Bikram yoga. Power-yoga is the marketing name used to mean Ashtanga-yoga. Both hatha-yoga and ashtanga-yoga are described below.

Hatha-yoga is an ancient system of techniques used to free the body and mind from tension, stress, illness and disease. The practice combines the use of physical postures (yogasanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation (dyhana) to develop flexibility, strength and balance. There are many different styles of hatha-yoga, each reflecting the teachings of a particular Master (Guru). Various types of hatha-yoga are Sivananda, Kripalu, Iyengar, Bikram, Kundalini and Atma Vikasa and Ashtanga yoga (to name a few). Many people today are under the misconception that hatha-yoga is one form of yoga and ashtanga is another. However, it is more correct to under that Ashtanga is a form/type of Hatha-yoga.

Ashtanga-yoga is a form of hatha-yoga developed by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois. It is a practice of synchronized movements from one yoga posture to the next. The movements are called vinyasas. The practice is a structured series of postures and vinyasas, which uses ujjayi pranayama (method of breathing), drishtis (gazing points) and bandhas. Bandhas are locks or seals that create an internal and external heat. The intense heat purifies the muscles and organs by expelling toxins from the body, and the mind.

What is Hatha-yoga?

Atma Vikasa is a system of hatha-yoga is a structured series of asanas (postures) that combines breathing and body alignment with concentration, and meditation. Unique to Yogacharya is the fact that he does not provide physcial adjustments to the student. All instructions and guidance are given verbally and by demonstration (if necessary). His approach is to allow the student to experience yoga from within. AtmaVikasa yoga is based on the Indian Culture and tradition of Yoga as a discipline for both the body and mind. It is Venkatesh's aim to teach yoga as more than a physical exercise, but as a spiritual practice.

 What happens when I complete a 6-week program?

All programs are offered on an regular basis. Students may re-register by renewing their space in the same program (day/time). All programs are open to join at any time (subject only to available space).

 How do I progress from one level to the next?

From your very first yoga class your practice is given attention and support. Corrections, suggestions and input are only in the attempt to allow you to grow and understand how to use your breath with your body. More demanding and challenging postures may be taught when the student is ready (not before). The level of programs as outlined on the yoga & meditation page. However, this is just a guideline because often new and more experienced students practice together. This creates an inspirational atmosphere for everyone to learn from the each other.

 When can I get started?

Today! Yoga can be practised by anyone regardless of their present physical condition or ability. Postures are modified and adjusted to meet your needs. Everyone is also encouraged to work at their own pace and to approach the classes with an open mind. Yoga is not a competitive sport, but an inner journey. Comparing yourself to others is self-defeating and robs you of your joy of practice. If you are taking yoga for the first time, many of your questions may be answered by learning to practice. If you are coming from another tradition, bear in mind that each teacher has a very different approach to reach the same means. In other words, be open to other types of yoga in which this is a vast and generous arena. One of the greatest benefits of yoga is learning to be patient with your progress. Yoga teaches us to become kinder, gentler and lighter. The progress may be slow but it will be steady and always moving in the right direction.