Mention yoga, and most people will have an immediate image pop into view, most likely involving chanting, bare feet, crossed legs, and tree-like poses. (We picture badass Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow preparing her body and mind to save the world by practicing a little yoga.)
An ancient physical and spirit disciple that originated in India reportedly 5,000 years, yoga (from the Sanskrit word yuj) uses postures (asanas) and breathing (pranayama) to join or yoke together the mind with the body and the body with the spirit to achieve a happy, harmonious and useful life. (The ability to save the world is actually super useful.)
Whether ancient or modern, all Yoga is a system built on: exercise, breathing, and meditation. The exercises increase the efficiency and health of the body, and breath, as the source of life in the body, is key. The combination of the exercise and breathing prepare the body and mind for meditation, and thus resulting in a “quieted” mind allowing health and healing.
With more than 16 million Americans reportedly oming each year, it can be intimidating to join a phenomenon already in progress. We turned to Palo Alto’s Rebecca Horsley Bara for a little inspiration and answers to our deep ponderings.
A mother of four, Rebecca had been teaching yoga in Palo Alto for 10 years when she realized her dream of opening her own studio, Vibe Yoga, in January of 2014. The fresh space in Menlo Park/Redwood City offers a welcome retreat from buzzing Silicon Valley, a place to improve the mind, body and spirit, with a strong emphasis on the power of community.
Here’s what we wanted to know:
With so many types of yoga-how do people determine which style or where to start? Yes, there are many types of yoga and it can be overwhelming. At Vibe, we offer all types of classes and our staff will sit down with you and ask you what you are looking for to find the best fit for you. If you are brand new to yoga, try Fundamentals class. To de-stress Restorative or Yin class, for more movement Vinyasa. For more of a workout there are power yoga classes that can be heated or non-heated and Ashtanga yoga is a set sequence of yoga poses. At vibe we offer pre and post natal classes as well as hot pilates, which is more like a boot camp. Although there are types of yoga where your will lay around and relax, like Restorative yoga, the majority of our classes are not like this. Yoga can be very physical and cardio, it is really an overall experience-yoga is for the mind, body and spirit.
Many yoga students are extremely dedicated to their practice-some practice every day. What if someone only has time for once a week or once month-is it even worth it? People should do as little or as much yoga as they can fit into their lives. I recognize that we are all extremely busy but as with anything, the more you practice the better you will feel, this is especially true with yoga. You will find that you have more energy, feel better in your body, you will find yourself sick less often, you will look and feel younger and will find yourself happier and more content with you life, just to name a few benefits. You always leave yoga feeling better then when you walked in. Everything feels better after a yoga class.
If you’re in Silicon Valley, join Rebecca and her team of talented, inspirational instructors on the mat at Vibe Yoga
. If you live elsewhere or are traveling download the MindBody Connect
app to locate a yoga studio near you. If you really want anonymity look for classes when on vacation-as many resorts generally have at least a basic offering. If you need bolstering, join a friend who is seasoned and can show you the ropes. Wherever you start, spend some time with the staff, letting them know your goals. The yoga world is more welcoming and far less intimidating than imagined, especially if you let it be known you are the newest member of this ancient practice.
Remember it is never too early or too late to start yoking together. Namaste!