I’ve never done yoga. What should I expect?

Expect a non-competitive, yet personally challenging form of body/mind exercise which begins with a warm up, progresses through a series of postures which will prepare the body for a peak pose and ends with some breathing exercises and a lying down relaxation. You will be sitting, kneeling, standing or lying on a mat and practicing barefoot. The general idea is that you feel better when you leave than you did when you arrived.

what qualifications do you have?

Justine was introduced to yoga in her teens then later completed the rigorous 3 year teacher training with the Sport England recognised governing body, the British Wheel of Yoga. This diploma course is the equivalent of an NVQ Level 4 qualification.

She has been teaching since 2006 and has also completed accredited training courses in children’s yoga, life coaching, Reiki (to master level), Emotional Freedom Techniques, Brain Gym, Bollywood dance and Massage in Schools.

She is a qualified school teacher and developed and delivered her own children’s yoga teacher training program which was introduced to local education authorities across North West England.

Justine is also a artist/designer with a BA (Hons) in Textiles/Fashion, a PGCE and MA in Design. She illustrates yoga resources which she sells online and licenses her work for publishers and products.

what style of yoga do you teach?

Justine’s teaches Hatha Yoga and her aim is to strike a balance between informed alignment for safety and joint longevity combined with dynamic breath-synchronised sequences for health, emotional well being and fitness. Some people mistakenly believe that hatha yoga is a gentle form for beginners or the elderly but it actually encompasses all physical yoga techniques and schools including ashtanga, iyengar, vini, yin, hot, power, etc.

Justine carefully plans her classes so that each pose prepares the body for a peak posture and students are encouraged to practice synchronising their movements with their breathing. This could be categorised as ‘dynamic vinyasa krama’. She uses ‘Surya Namaskar’, the Salute to the Sun as a framework for each class, making her style similar to Ashtanga yoga and has also been influenced by the precision of Iyengar yoga due to many years practice with that school.

do I need to book my classes in advance?

Places are limited and priority is given to students who have paid in advance for a block of classes. However, ‘drop-in’ students are also very welcome and we can usually make room for a few extras who arrive without booking. If you would like to book in advance, please call Justine on 07403 141 537 or purchase a half term of classes for a discounted rate on our ‘classes’ page.

I’m not very bendy, can I still do yoga?

Yoga aims to create balance, harmony and optimum functioning of the body. For some this means becoming a little more flexible, for others less so. Too much flexibility weakens the joints so the ideal is to develop both strength and mobility to preserve full ranges of motion throughout the body. Unfortunately, some images used to promote yoga show hyper-mobile people performing contortions which sometimes put people off. Yoga is for EVERYONE so various choices are given during Justine’s classes and each individual is invited to choose their appropriate level responsibly.

I have various health and mobility issues, can I still join a group class?

Justine caters for moderate health and mobility issues by differentiating each posture and offering varying levels of difficulty as much as possible. However, although her classes are for mixed abilities, they are challenging and it may not always be possible to devote attention to individuals who require extra tuition due to more serious conditions. Her advice would be to give a group class a try with the proviso that you may need private tuition for your own safety and that of the other students in class.

what do I need to bring?

Compulsory equipment: (available from www.bwy-shop.co.uk)
* a yoga mat (please consider buying an eco-friendly mat)
Optional equipment:
* 4 foam yoga blocks
* A cork yoga brick
* A yoga belt (or old tie)
* A large bolster cushion (useful during relaxation for those with back issues)
* A lavender eye bag (for use during relaxation)
* A blanket or large towel (for extra cushioning whilst kneeling and to keep warm during relaxation)

what should I wear?

Loose, comfortable exercise appropriate clothing without tight elastic around the waist. As the body can cool down during relaxation, you may wish to bring socks and a warm top to put on. We practice with bare feet.

how early should I arrive?

There may be another class in the room prior to yoga but if not, you are welcome to arrive and place your mat short side to the wall to rest in ‘Vaparita Karani’ or ‘Legs up the Wall’ pose 10 minutes prior to the start time. Try to arrive at least 5 minutes before the start. Please ensure that you haven’t eaten a heavy meal for at least 2 hours prior to class and be aware that another class may be waiting to enter the room afterwards.

I would like to get the discount for block booking my classes but what if I miss a week?

Block booking offers students an incentive to commit to a regular practice. If, however, you miss a class through ill health and have notified Justine (on her mobile number) that you will be absent, you are welcome to attend an alternate class the following week or have a one class credit added to your next block booking. Refunds will not be given as you agree to attend on the specified dates upon booking. If you know you will not be able to attend every week in a half term block prior to booking, you can notify Justine of the date you will be absent and deduct the fee for that week. This can only be done for a maximum of 2 weeks in any half term block.

I am a Christian, I’ve heard I shouldn’t practice yoga, is this true?

Yoga originated in an era pre-dating both Christianity and Hinduism. In much the same way as you can play chess (which also originated in India) without becoming a Hindu, you can practice yoga without it affecting your personal religious beliefs. Undoubtedly, the techniques of yoga have woven their way throughout the Indian culture and have been absorbed into their various religious practices. However, yoga in its purest form is a spiritual, rather than religious system of personal development which can be practiced by all faiths without conflict.

I’m pregnant, can I still attend classes?

If you suspect you may be pregnant be aware that most yoga teachers (unless specifically trained to do so) are advised NOT to teach you during the first and third trimesters. Pregnancy yoga is an additional specialist training and you are advised to seek out an experienced professional rather than joining a general class.