Is the studio open during COVID?
At the moment, I am not holding in-person classes in the studio due to COVID. As soon as it’s safe to do so, I’ll resume these classes with the necessary precautions to practice together safely and with confidence.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that harmonizes the body, mind, and spirit. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yui which means to ‘yoke’ or to ‘unite’, and to direct and concentrate one’s attention. With a long history of over 5,000 years, Yoga has changed and adapted to different social and cultural traditions many times; once introduced to the West in the early 19th century, Yoga branched out into many different directions.
Yoga is a form of mind-body fitness that involves a combination of physical postures, breathing techniques and relaxation. While our focus in life is often directed outward, Yoga invites us to bring our attention within ourselves. A regular Yoga practice promotes strength and flexibility while cultivating a sense of calmness and well-being.
In today’s modern times there are a broad variety of Yoga styles. You can find Yoga in schools, hospitals, on TV, in sports clubs; there is Power Yoga, Acrobatic Yoga, Yoga in heated rooms, Gentle and Therapeutic Yoga, Yoga for kids or for elderly people….. It may seem confusing that Yoga shows up in so many different forms but I think there is a common purpose that all these practices share.
Yoga can be as much or as little as you want it to be. We all come to Yoga for different reasons and our experience can vary. For some it is purely a physical pursuit, keeping the body toned, strong and flexible; for others Yoga becomes more of a mindset and a way of living. Whatever your reasons for practicing, or your level of experience, Yoga can help you to greatly enhance your well-being.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
Yoga is a wonderful and complete form of exercise. Wether you are a beginner or advanced Yoga student there are many ways in which you can benefit from this practice. It is widely studied and reported in medical journals and the popular press that Yoga cultivates strength and flexibility. It tones different muscles, stimulates organs and very effectively influences many systems of the body, for example the respiratory, digestive, endocrine, lymphatic and nervous systems. Practicing Yoga consistently reduces the effects of stress and ‘dis-ease’ and increases the body’s ability to relax. But the physical benefits are only a small part–many practitioners report feeling more at ease, experience an increased mental focus and clarity and feel emotionally more balanced. Yoga teaches them how to be still in a world that is increasingly chaotic and constantly changing.
Can you name the top 10 reasons to try Yoga?
1. Flexibility. Improved flexibility is one of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga. With a regular practice we begin to gradually loosen tight muscles and the connective tissues surrounding the bones and joints and experience a relief of muscular tension and pain.
2. Strength. Unlike weight training where the focus is on one muscle group at a time, Yoga helps create a greater balance by using the whole body and strengthening all muscles simultaneously. Practicing Yoga poses creates long and lean muscles that more effectively support the skeleton.
3. Breath. Stress and bad posture can negatively effect our breathing patterns. Yoga teaches us to breathe deeply and fully, improving our lung function, and providing our body with more oxygen. We also feel more relaxed as deep breathing triggers the relaxation response in the body.
4. Stress relief. Evidence shows that stress contributes to heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disease and strokes as well as other chronic conditions and diseases. With a focus on physical postures as well as breathing techniques and meditation, Yoga is recognized as a form of mind-body medicine that integrates our physical, mental and spiritual aspects to improve health and stress-related illnesses.
5. Posture. Everyone who spends much of their time sitting at desks at work knows the toll it takes on our posture. In Yoga we strengthen weak muscles and stretch and lengthen tight muscles, ligaments and tendons supporting a healthy posture.
6. Weight loss. Yoga can support weight management by burning excess calories and by bringing the endocrine system into balance–while simultaneously reducing stress. Yoga helps us be more in tune with our body’s needs and encourages healthy eating habits.
7. Nervous system. Yoga encourages us to relax, slow the breath and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system and the flight-or-fight response to the parasympathetic system and the relaxation response. The latter is calming and restorative; it lowers breathing and heart rate, decreases blood pressure, lowers cortisol levels, and increases blood flow to the intestines and vital organs.
8. Sleep. Yoga’s ability to increase relaxation and induce a balanced mental and emotional state has been shown to positively effect sleep quality and reduce insomnia. Regular practice of yoga can help you fall asleep faster, increasing the total number of hours slept and strengthening the feeling of being rested in the morning.
9. Inner peace. Yoga seeks to create balance, helping to smooth the sharp extremes we face in daily life. We all know what it feels like to be carried away by worries, concerns and a restless mind. Yoga is a wonderful way to stay grounded in what we are, while letting the ups and downs of life move through us. Many practitioners report a more positive outlook on life and seem to handle stress and challenges with more ease.
10. Yoga is fun! There are hundreds if not thousands of different poses and exercises in Yoga. You will always get to explore and experience this practice in new and different ways. Getting on your mat, stretching and moving your body in creative and fun ways feels wonderful! And with a regular practice you will soon notice the benefits of Yoga yourself. And what’s more enjoyable than moving better, breathing better, sleeping better and feeling better?!!
I’m Not Flexible—Can I Do Yoga?
Yes! Yoga is perfect for you. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s a little bit like thinking that you need to be able to play guitar in order to take guitar lessons. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible.
Can I eat before practicing Yoga?
Try not to eat at least two hours before class. In yoga we twist from side to side and bend forward and backward. If you eat a big meal right before class, it will make itself known to you in ways that are not comfortable.
This can vary from person to person. You may need even more time to digest a full meal; or if you are a person with a fast-acting metabolism and are afraid you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, you might want to eat a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.
Do you offer private classes?
For the duration of the coronovirus pandemic, I’ve suspended all one-on-one teaching in person. If you’d like to talk about private online sessions, drop me an email to your right.
How much yoga experience do I need?
On each class page you’ll see notes on the type of class and any prerequisites. I offer classes from very beginner to intermediate, with a lot of gentle, Restorative and Yin Yoga focus.
Why should I join an online Yoga community?
You save a lot of $$$ when building a home Yoga practice
Studio classes run anywhere from $12- $35/class. Even if you take only two classes/week at the lower rate you pay about $100/month. Our membership fees are $23-29/month and allow you to take as many classes as you like.
Shorter, more frequent sessions are more beneficial to your health
While an occasional 90min Yoga class can be a great treat, studies show that shorter sessions are more effective in building strength & mobility, increasing bone density and circulation. Practicing more frequently also helps create a new habit more easily.
You’re no longer depending on a studio schedule–practice anytime you like
Finding your favorite studio class and the right level at a time that fits your schedule can be challenging. Our On-Demand videos allow you to practice the perfect class exactly when you need it.
Save time! A home Yoga practice is convenient
Driving to and from a studio, finding parking and waiting for class to start can take up a lot of valuable time. Having a Yoga space set up at home is convenient and saves time that you can use for other important things in your life
You have hundreds of classes to choose from to suit your needs
With our online classes you get to choose the class you really need. Maybe your back needs support one day, or feel too tired for a strong class and pick a Restorative Yoga class instead. You have all the options at your fingertips when you need it.
There are so many free Yoga videos online, why should I pay for this?
Surely, this is the day and age of online Yoga, but quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality. So called ‘Free’ classes are usually paid for by advertising, which we believe gets in the way of your Yoga practice. And while it can be helpful to try different styles and teachers for a while, ultimately this tendency for ‘spiritual shopping’, sampling this and that, can become a distraction.
Making a commitment to a teacher that you trust and feel connected to will support your practice tremendously. You’ll find that different elements in your practice, communicated through one teacher’s voice, support and build on one another. Creating a dedicated practice with this clear direction will help you deepen your understanding of Yoga and move towards your goals of improved health and emotional well-being more quickly.
You can explore our Membership options here.
I’ve seen On-Demand Memberships for a much lower price
There are many big brands with thousands of videos to choose from for a very low rate. As is the case with many big companies, people sitting at desks at the corporate office usually reap the rewards, not the teachers themselves. Gold Country Yoga run by a family of just two dedicated people: a lifelong Yoga teacher and an Emmy-award winning film professional. We put a lot of integrity and care into the videos we create and do all of the work ourselves; from planning Yoga classes and creating videos to camera work, editing, website changes and customer support! While you may pay a few extra dollars for your membership, you can be assured that our earnings go directly to support us and our family.
You can explore our Membership options here.
How do I know that you are the right teacher for me?
This is probably the most important question! Different teachers focus on different styles, level of practice and philosophy, and have varying levels of training and teaching experience. If you are interested to learn more about my background click here. But what’s perhaps most important is that you find a teacher that you resonate with, and can communicate Yoga in a way that speaks to you and helps you practice safely regardless of your body type or abilities. The best way to find out if I am that teacher for you is to check out our free classes below or try one month of membership to have more time to experience how these classes can support your well-being.
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I'm overwhelmed by On-Demand options; where do I start?
We add new online classes regularly, and you’ll find that our On-Demand Library is well organized and easy to use. I suggest you take some time to look around and get familiar with the different class categories and options. Many of our members appreciate the multi-day Yoga Challenges and online Retreats that offer more structure and guidance. Simply follow along with the suggested classes for each day (and of course take breaks as needed). These include beginner challenges if you are new to Yoga, mindfulness or restorative retreats for a more quiet & introspective experience or more active challenges if you are looking for movement.