When you’re new to yoga, you probably have a lot of questions. And you’re not alone. Here are the most common things we get asked by folks who are newer to the studio.

1. I’m not flexible. Can I still do yoga?

Absolutely. In fact, it’s a great reason to do yoga in the first place. As a new yogi, you don’t even have to be able to touch your toes. But as you practice yoga, you naturally get more flexible over time. And this helps you in many other ways, too. Like to reduce pain, prevent injury when you’re doing other things, improve your poster, lower stress, and much more.

2. How is yoga different from stretching or other kinds of fitness?

Yoga is about much more than just doing a series of poses or stretches. People have been practicing yoga for thousands of years as a holistic approach to help connect all aspects of your body and mind. So you get much more than just physical fitness from yoga—there’s a wealth of mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits, too.

3. What do I need to bring?

Yourself! We’ve got basic yoga mats you can borrow, plus all the props you’ll need, from weights to blocks to bolsters. We also recommend that you bring water and a hand towel (for sweat).

4. What should I wear?

Whatever you find comfortable to move around in. Just know that in some classes, we’ll build up some heat and maybe even go upside down. So you might want to wear a tight shirt (or tuck it in). Our yogis rock everything from gym shorts to bike shorts to leggings—even Thai fisherman pants.

5. What can yoga do for my body? Will it help me lose weight?

Yoga does a lot of amazing things for your body—and soul. It can certainly help you lose weight, especially when you also pair it with healthy eating. But really, yoga improves your all-around physical and mental health. When you do yoga regularly, it can help you up your fitness, get stronger, tone your muscles, get more flexible, improve your cardio, reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, detoxify internal organs, and find inner peace.

6. How often should I do yoga to see results?

To really get the most out of yoga, we recommend you do at least 3 sessions a week. Experts have found that it takes a minimum of 2-3 sessions a week for at least 8 weeks to see increases in strength and flexibility from yoga. Better yet, do a bit of yoga every day, even if just for 10-30 minutes. A little yoga every day can be better than one long yoga session only once a week. And you don’t even have to come to the studio—it’s easy to do yoga at home, too.

7. Can I eat before yoga?

We recommend that you don’t eat anything heavy 2-3 hours before you do yoga. Reason being, yoga poses often involve a lot of twisting and bending of the belly. So it can be uncomfortable to have too much in your tummy. A light snack (like fruit, veggies, or nuts) an hour or thirty minutes before class can help make sure that you have plenty of energy, without being overloaded.

8. I’m pregnant. Can I still do yoga?

Yes. In fact, we’re spinning up a pre-natal class as we speak. But even going to regular yoga classes can be beneficial for you. You’ll just need to take a couple of precautions. First, make sure to tell the instructor that you’re pregnant. That way, they can suggest poses for you to modify. Second, listen to your body and make your own modifications to poses as the spirit moves you. Or skip some entirely, particularly deep twists and backbends.  

9. What does namaste mean?

Namaste is a common Sanskrit greeting. In yoga, we say it at the end of class (and sometimes at the start) as a way to thank each other and show mutual respect. Literally, it means “I bow to you.”

Did we miss anything? If you’ve got other burning questions not covered here, let us know in the comments. Or stop by the studio, and we’d be happy to chat more.