New Students

New Students

Iyengar Yoga FAQ

I’m new to Iyengar yoga. Where do I start?

Absolute beginners are advised to take a six-week Introduction to Iyengar Yoga Course or attend our livestream Introduction Class. Those with some experience of other styles of yoga should come to a Beginners yoga class first, where teachers can recommend if other yoga classes are more suitable.

What are the benefits of yoga?

Yoga builds strength and stamina, improves flexibility, muscle tone and posture and calms the mind. Regular practice develops awareness and concentration and promotes general wellbeing. There are numerous documented health benefits of yoga.

How often should I come to yoga classes?

As often as you like. At least once a week is recommended. You need to attend regularly to make progress.

Do I need my own mat?

For studio classes all yoga equipment is provided, though some students prefer to bring their own. Mats are on sale at reception, for use in class or for practice at home. For livestream classes you will need a mat.

What should I wear?

Wear clothes that allow you to move freely. Avoid anything baggy or too long: it’s important you and the yoga teacher can see your knees and feet. Most people wear shorts or leggings and a T-shirt. Yoga is always practised in bare feet.

Do I need to book in advance?

Only for our Introduction to Iyengar Yoga Courses, yoga workshops and some of the specialised yoga classes. There’s no need to book for regular yoga classes.

It’s best to come at least 10 minutes before they begin. To avoid overcrowding, we limit numbers. You will not be allowed to enter the class, if you arrive more than 15 minutes late. If you are up to 15 minutes late, please ask the receptionist whether it is convenient for you to enter the class. Please wait until preparatory chanting/sitting is complete before entering the studio.

Can I eat before yoga classes?

Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach, so leave at least three hours after a main meal, or two hours after a snack.

What else do I need to know?

  • Please leave shoes in the racks at reception, and switch off mobile phones.
  • On arrival, check in with the receptionist, who will direct you to the right yoga studio for your yoga class.
  • There are changing rooms, showers and toilets for both men and women.
  • Food, chewing gum and drinks aren’t allowed in the studios.
  • Take all your valuables into class with you. Racks are provided for bags.
  • Please keep jewellery to a minimum, and avoid wearing strong perfumes.

I’m pregnant. Can I still practise yoga?

Yes, but if you have not done any yoga before, you should wait until your 14th week and attend a specialised pregnancy yoga class. You may join at any time up to the 28th week. Only students with Iyengar yoga experience may join after the 28th week.

I have an injury, a bad back, or other health problems. Can yoga help?

Many students start practising with back pain, or other common ailments, and they find yoga helps. Tell your yoga teacher about any injuries, recent surgery or health problems before the class starts. Regular yoga classes are not suitable for students with certain medical conditions. Please inform IYMV and your teacher before starting classes if you have any of the following:

High blood pressure
Heart disease or any heart problem
Epilepsy including Petit Mal
Cancer or benign tumours
Ménière’s disease
Detached retina
MS (multiple sclerosis)
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)
If you have recently had an operation
If you are pregnant or are undergoing IVF treatment

Having any of these conditions does not mean that you cannot practise yoga or that it will not be able to help you. We have a special remedial yoga class where experienced teachers give individual tuition to help certain conditions.

If you are in any doubt or have any concerns about your ability to do yoga, please contact the office.