Q1: What should I wear to a yoga class?
A1: Wear clothing with stretch that allow for full range of motion. A jumper or sweatshirt is recommended for ‘savasana’ the last pose of the class, as you will be lying on your mat for a few minutes and may cool down.
Q2: Do I have to bring anything with me to a yoga class?
A2: Mats and other necessary props will be provided, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer to use them. Water is highly recommended.
Q3: How can I pay for a yoga class/workshop or Reiki session/training?
A3: Weekly yoga classes in Burntisland can be paid in cash on the day. Yoga workshops in Burntisland or Edinburgh should be booked in advance by bank transfer – contact Peggy for details. Deposit via bank transfer required for Reiki sessions/training, with remainder to be paid on the day by bank transfer or cash.
Q4: I have an injury/health condition. Can I still do yoga?
A4: In many cases yoga is a very positive activity for those with prior injuries or current physical or mental health conditions, but if you are unsure, always ask your doctor for advice. At your first class you will be asked to fill out a confidential health assessment to alert me of any injuries or conditions. Modifications for poses will be recommended throughout classes, which may help you work with your injury/condition, but I am not a medical professional and these are only recommendations. Ultimately, you are the best judge of what you can and can’t do, so always do what you feel is right for your body, health, and yoga practice.
Q5: I don’t do regular exercise and am not flexible, can I still do yoga?
A5: YES!! Please do yoga!! A journey has to start somewhere and yoga can meet you wherever you are in your health and fitness and take you to wherever you want to be. I have seen dramatic improvement in my own yoga and in those I’ve worked with through short and consistent practice – and that is what yoga is, simply practice.
So first, give yourself the gift of giving it a try. Second, when you get to class don’t limit yourself my looking to the mat next to you and thinking ‘I can’t do that’. Yoga is not a competition, so congratulate that person on their yoga gifts, and besides, maybe you can’t do whatever form of the pose you are hoping to achieve today, but you might be able to in a week, a month, a year, etc and that is great! Third, yoga is an opportunity to practice self-compassion, thank yourself for showing up to the mat. If you give it whatever effort, focus, and hardwork you can for that day, then that’s enough. Even if you can never reach a pose like full lotus because of muscle tension or joint formation – don’t feel down – it doesn’t make you a bad yogi. We all have limitations as human beings and accepting them and being ok with that is a pretty awesome thing to do.
Q6: There are so many kinds of yoga – what are the differences?
A6: There are a lot of kinds of yoga, which gives you a lot of choice to find a class that is right for you. Each tradition has a rich history, which I encourage you to look into, but here’s a quick summary: I am trained in Hatha yoga, which I like to think is a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ pace. With Iyengar yoga, you’ll be aiming for the ideal form of a pose, so that means holding poses longer and doing lots of little adjustments to reach that perfect position, usually using props along the way. With Ashtanga yoga, expect a more aerobic practice and usually more hands-on adjustments from your teacher. With Bikram yoga, it will be hot and you’ll do the same series of poses every class, no matter the teacher or location – many hot yoga classes have branched off from this idea. Restorative yoga is what is sounds, a gentler form to restore your body/mind. Kundalini yoga will have a greater focus on the body/mind/spirit connection to awaken the Kundalini energy that lies at the base of the spine through breath, postures and meditation.
All of these are ‘yang’ style disciplines, which means you’ll be focusing on working your muscles. Classes that are ‘yin’ (I often use some yin techniques as part of my classes) means holding particular poses for 3-5minutes in a way that encourages joint health.
Every teacher will differently apply their discipline of yoga, but hopefully this little summary will help you chose a class you may be interested in. Never be afraid to give a class a couple of tries, sometimes it takes awhile to see if you like it and never be afraid to ask your teachers questions – in my experience, it is usually welcomed!
Q7: What does Namaste mean?
A7: Namaste is a word in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India from which yoga pose names also derive, that means ‘I honour the divine light in you that is also in me and when you are in that space and I am in that space, we are one’. It is usually said at the end of a yoga class.
Q8: Do you deliver private/closed group yoga classes?
A8: I would be delighted to create a private yoga class for you! We’ll start with a phone consultation and then meet either at an agreed location (likely the Space Upstairs in Burntisland or Bodyworks in Edinburgh) for a session. If you would prefer to have a small group class with a few friends or family members or even a super-chill hen party(!) let me know and we can arrange a special class for this as well. Cost will depend on location and length of class.
Q9: What should I wear to a Reiki session?
A9: Wear clothing you will be able to lie down in comfortably and relax.
Q10: What are chakras?
A10: The idea of chakras or ‘energy centres’ of the body have roots in various asian traditions that all acknowledge a connections between the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the human experience. In this context, ‘energy’ refers to our life force – ‘ki’ in Japanese, ‘chi’ in Chinese, or ‘prana’ in Sanskrit. In Reiki, the seven chakras (there are more or fewer in other traditions) locate different mental/emotional aspects of ourselves within our physical bodies and connect our life force energy with the greater energy that connects all things.
For instance our heart chakra, located in the middle of the chest, is associated with our centre for unconditional love. A good way to think about an experience of a healthy heart chakra is when you feel buoyant or warm inside upon seeing a loved one or beloved pet. An example of an experience of a blocked or unbalanced heart chakra is the deflated, sunken shoulder feeling of being let down or getting bad news. Reiki helps us identify how our physical/mental/emotional experiences are connected to our chakras and then how to work with our chakras to support us in our daily lives.
Q11: What are the effects of Reiki?
A11: A practitioner of Reiki holds a space of meditation and intention that the clients’ highest form of well-being be served through the session. As with exercise or massage, temporary adverse effects are sometime felt, but will pass quickly.
There is much anecdotal evidence to support the effectiveness of Reiki for dealing with anything from headaches to stress to low confidence, but it is worth acknowledging what science has shown thus far:
Macmillan Cancer Support advises “there is no medical evidence that energy-based therapies will treat symptoms, but you may still find them relaxing and calming”.
Simon Singh & Edzard Ernst in their 2009 book on alternative therapies Trick or Treatment? concluded, “most patients would experience it as intensely relaxing….but it has no basis in science. The trial evidence fails to show its effectiveness for any condition”.
So my bottom line is:
- At its best, Reiki promotes deep relaxation and well-being. This state of mind can have a great effect on our lives and the way we experience the world around us.
- Reiki’s effects are highly personal, but have yet to be shown to have a consistant, measurable impact in clinical trials. So be clear on why you want to use Reiki – if its for self-discovery, deeper self-knowledge or spiritual awareness, you will probably not be bothered about the science.
- As a Reiki Master I am committed to holding a space for your highest good and on its own, Reiki will do you no harm, although its possible you will not be able to feel its effects. Do not, however, use Reiki as a replacement for seeking advice from a medical professional.
- Always consult a medical professional before using Reiki alongside a physical or mental health condition.