The Sanskrit word 'yoga' is translated as 'union'. The practice of yoga helps to bring together the breath, the mind and the body to encourage balance and promote feelings of relaxation and ease.
Yoga classes offer students postures and movements to stretch, strengthen and flex the body, to develop breath awareness, to relax and sometimes to meditate with mindfulness.
Benefits of Yoga include:
Every class and every teacher will be different as they will bring together all their life and teaching experiences that are relevant to the people in the class at any time.
There will almost certainly be a period at the beginning of class where there is stillness to prepare the body and mind in the transition from the outside world to the yoga space.
There will be physical postures and breathing practices and maybe some meditation, although not all teachers will bring this into general classes.
There will always be a period of total relaxation at the end.
Wear comfortable loose clothing, leggings or tracksuit bottoms for example and t-shirt. Yoga is usually done barefoot but if you prefer not to you need non-slip socks such as 'toesox' available on Amazon.
Your teacher can lend you a mat if you do not have one but it is best to get your own sticky yoga mat after a while and these are readily available at Tesco, TK Maxx or sports shops for around £6 to £30. Don't be tempted to get the thicker 'exercise mat' next to it, this will be too slippery.
Please refrain from eating for around 2 hours before class if you can and save the drink for afterwards as there may be abdominal rotations.
Pregnancy yoga classes differ in that if you need to nibble or sip a drink to prevent nausea or dizziness, please do so.
For answers to many more yoga related questions, have a look at the Yoga Journal website: