Please do get in touch if you have a question that is not answered here:
Q: I'm over weight / living in a larger body - can I do yoga?
A: Yes! I am sensitive to working with many different needs in class, including larger bodies. We use blocks and straps to help poses to be more accessible for many reasons (so you won't be singled out!) Wherever possible I offer options so that everyone can work in a way that's right for them.
Q: Don't you have to be really bendy to do yoga? I don't think I'm bendy enough for that.
A: Not at all - yoga will help you to become more supple over time, but many beginners have bodies that start out with limited range of movement.
Q: Am I bit old for all that now?
A: People have successfully taken up yoga for the first time in their 60s and 70s and beyond with dramatic improvements in flexibility, mobility and balance - it's never too late to start!
Q: I've got a problem with my.... so will I be able to do it?
A: That depends. There are lots of different variations and adaptations that can used to help people with specific issues. A good teacher should be able to provide alternatives to help people to work within their own capabilities. Please do contact me in person if you have a specific issues you would like to discuss though.
Q: I'm pregnant, is this class going to be ok for me?
A: Yoga is very good for pregnancy, and there are many benefits. It is generally recommended that ladies establish a yoga practice before getting pregnant to maximise the benefits and asana is not normally taught during the first trimester.
I do not specialise in yoga for pregnancy and would recommend a specialist teacher and class wherever possible. I recommend Clare of Yumi Yoga
Q: Do I need my own mat?
A: It depends on the location of the class - most venues have their own. BBC staff bring your own. If you don't have your own yoga mat, you can use a camping mat, towel or blanket to begin with.
Q: Do I need to be a member of the gym to come to your class?
A: No, the classes listed are open to members of the public (apart from the BBC)
The classes at the CIP are free for members, but also open to the public. At Boulders Gold Members enjoy 50% off standard entry price.
Q: I'm a guy - are there other guys in your class/ are your classes women only?
A: Almost all of my classes are mixed - there is usually at least 1 man and very often more.
Q: English is not my first language / I only have basic English, will I be ok?
A: Generally, yes. I talk through poses, demonstrate them and then adjust students when needed. I have several students who do not have English as their first language and we manage fine. The language of yoga is Sanskrit, so even English speakers are learning a new vocabulary too. You may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with the names for the parts of the body and check you know your left from your right before you start though!
Q: Are children allowed in class? Can I bring my child?
A: I welcome children in class from the age of 12, with a supervising adult, on the understanding that they are joining an adult class and are expected to behave in that way. Yoga can be immensely helpful in dealing with puberty, adolescence, teenage relationships - interpersonal dynamics, exam stress, anxiety etc. 12 year olds vary hugely in maturity and level of comfort in being in adult spaces. Giggling, chatting to the parent (or parent talking to them) or behaving in a way that is distracting to other students is discouraged. I hope the supervising adult will make the right choice for the child and the rest of the class.
Q: I loved the smell of the incense you used- what is it? where can I buy some?
A: I used to burn cedarwood and rose and sometimes black sandalwood. It comes from Adi-guru http://www.pure-incense.com/ Due to asthmatic concerns for a number of students though, I have switched to using essential oils in a vapouriser at Dave's Gym, and don't burn incense any more in any classes.
Q: I'd like to get myself a mat for home practice, what would you recommend?
A - here
Q: I'm enjoying your classes and want to do more home practice - can you recommend a good book?
A - here
Q: I'd like to practise the salute to the sun at home, but I keep forgetting it between classes...
A: try looking on the internet - search for sun salute, or surya namaskar. Youtube has lots of videos, covering a variety of styles and levels of difficulty, some with instruction. Yoga journal has a nice video here. Click here for an inspiring time lapse video of the Yoga Show's 108 sun salutes for charity. If you are with me on facebook (Yoga withTori) then have a look in my photo albums - there are home practice sequences including salute to the sun there.
Q: How do I clean my yoga mat? Can I wash my yoga mat?
A: most yoga mats can be washed in a washing machine. I put mine through on a gentle wash, low temperature with mild detergent. Yoga mats hold a lot of water (and soap) so I generally give an extra rinse and then a fast spin. Even after this, they still hold water, so a good way to dry them is to lay a towel along them, roll both up together and jump up and down on the sausage to squeeze the water out. Doing this soaks a towel but gets most of the water out of the mat, before hanging it to dry. It will likely still take around 24 hours to dry, unless it's a very hot sunny day!
Q: I'm really enjoying my yoga practice and would really like to deepen my personal practice and learn some of the more advanced practices. I've heard about the British Wheel of Yoga Foundation course - do you think this would be good for me?
Q: I liked the chanting we did in class - what is it and where can I hear it?
A: It was probably the Gayatri Mantra - the mother of mantras. There are lots of different recordings - try Youtube. Here are a few I like: