We would love to answer all your questions about all things yoga or Pilates. Here is a list of questions that you may be wondering. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask one of our friendly staff members, we would be happy to help in way we can.
You offer heated yoga, is this the same as Bikram yoga?
We are going to be offering a range of classes at The Loft that will appeal to a vast range of people. We will have Vinyasa, Hatha, Power and Yin style classes which will be done in an properly heated room. Bikram yoga is a set sequence of 26 postures (asanas) that are done in a hot room, but are designed so that the same postures are always offered in the same way in every Bikram Yoga class. Moreover, Bikram Yoga also has specific heat requirements where temperatures of 40C are quite common. Our studio will not be heated to this extent. Bikram Yoga also requires certification from Bikram Choudhry and licensing fees must be paid to his organization. At this stage, The Loft is not looking into gaining this certification. Class temperatures will range from 26C to 34C for our classes. Teachers will provide a room temperature where safety and body opening is encouraged and the therapeutic effects from heat can be maximized in the body. Hot yoga is a great way to increase blood flow and flexibility in the body.
How do I prepare for a heated yoga class at the Loft?
You should come prepared for doing yoga in a warm/hot room so you should come with lightweight, athletic clothing to allow for breathability. Hydration is very important so participants should coming hydrated before a class drinking a healthy amount of water at least 3 hours prior to the class starting. Consider bringing a towel to collect perspiration on your mat and a towel for showering after class if your schedule allows. We recommend you arrive at the studio at least 20 minutes before class is scheduled to begin so you can get changed and have your mind and body ready for your yoga practice.
Do I need to bring a mat for yoga classes?
It is highly recommended that you bring a mat. We have mats to rent, for a small fee, if you don’t have a mat or you forgot your mat. During hot yoga classes, the floors can become quite slippery and a mat can help prevent slippage. We also recommend you bring a towel to put over your mat to absorb any perspiration that may occur during the class. We have skidless Yoga towels you can rent or purchase that are designed to absorb moisture and prevent slippage on your mat.
Do you rent yoga mats and towels?
Yes to both items. We will offer Manduka yoga mats for rental at a price of $3 per use. There is also opportunity to hire a towel for use during your yoga session or for after, if you would like to have a shower after your class. You can rent a towel, for yoga, and a mat for $5. If you require a towel for after class to shower, this will cost you $3.
What kind of yoga classes will you be offering?
We will have a range of classes to offer students from a beginner class, called Foundation, up to the more athletically, challenging practice of Power Yoga. We will also offer classes that will focus on body awareness and alignment, called Align, and even early morning classes called Awaken. We will also offer a class called Yin that will be a restorative class that will focus on connective tissues and find greater motion ranges for participants. The predominant style of our classes will be Vinyasa yoga which means movement with breath.
What is Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa means “movement with breath”. Vinyasa Yoga is a series of poses that will move a participant through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa movements are smoothly flowing and result in an almost dance-like quality of body control. Emphasis is placed on the breath and the transition in and out of the postures and developing strength throughout the body. The continual movements, from one pose to another, also creates a cardiovascular effect on the body. Classes can be quite different in Vinyasa Yoga as the pace and sequence teachers offer can change from teacher to teacher; there is no set sequence in Vinyasa Yoga. This allows teachers to sequence their classes to their own philosophy. As a result, students are encouraged to try different classes and teachers until they find one they are comfortable with. Please feel free to ask any of our team members for any further information to help you choose a class that is right for you.
What do I wear to a yoga class?
We recommend you wear athletic clothing that will allow you to move freely during the class and allow proper body cooling. Remember many of our classes are heated, so you need to ensure your clothing is lightweight and will allow for perspiration. If you have any concerns about what to wear, please don’t hesitate to contact one of us prior to class beginning.
How long before class should I turn up at the Loft?
We recommend you arrive at least 20 mins before a class starts. This should allow you to sign in (even if you have booked online before class, which we highly recommend), put your mat in the studio, get changed and then get back to your mat and prepare for the class. We encourage people to come earlier to classes to allow their bodies time to acclimatize to the heated studio and to allow for some personal contemplation time (decompress from your day) before class begins.
Will it be too hard if I am new to Yoga?
We have a range of class options to suit your needs. Foundation classes are a great place to start to allow new students to adjust to the heat of the room and to learn the basic infrastructure of Yoga Poses (Asanas). Many classes are set up as a level 1-2 class so there will be options for students to try easier or harder variations of poses. If you are new, please talk to your instructor before class about any concerns you might have. We all have started yoga somewhere so allow time to learn poses and through patience, the body will respond with increased flexibility and vitality.
Do I have to book a class before I attend?
We recommend that students use our online booking system to pre-book their classes and to know if there is space still available. We will operate on a first-come, first-served basis on any remaining drop-in class. To avoid disappoint, have one of our instructions show you how easy it is to book online or use our app.
Is yoga something for me?
Yoga is a practice that can be done by everyone, regardless of age or ability. It will help teach you to find inner peace and comfort in your body while providing increased muscle tone and activation. Yoga isn’t about doing complicated poses or deep variations of poses, it is about discovering who we are as people and how we can come to better unity within ourselves.
Can I eat or drink before I come to a class?
We recommend you come adequately hydrated for all classes. Hot yoga can cause you to perspire more than other yoga classes so proper water consumption before your class is vital. By coming hydrated to class, you’ll be able to enjoy the therapeutic effects the heat will bring to the body and eliminate any risks from cramping or dehydration. We recommend drinking enough water up to 3 hours prior to arriving, to ensure the body has absorbed the water. Eating a small snack before class can be helpful to provide energy but large, heavy meals should be avoided. Heavy meals, combined with the studio heat, can cause people to not enjoy the studio experience as much. Please follow your own body in this regard and only eat what you would eat before embarking on doing a 60-75 minute bike ride or run
I'm not flexible, can I still try yoga?
Yoga isn’t about how flexible you are, it’s about developing union and alignment throughout the body. Being flexible is not what we are striving for, flexibility is the result of practicing postures and opening the body in ways you haven’t already done. Some people can find flexibility quicker than others due to a variety of factors. Seek a feeling of well-being and vitality when you practice yoga and the flexibility ranges will increase as your add yoga to your weekly or daily routine.
Can I bring my child to do yoga with me?
We currently don’t offer childcare while classes are on, so we don’t recommend small children at general classes. We may look to have child-specific classes in the future, let us know you’re interested and we can add this to our offerings in the future. If you have a child or young person that wishes to practice yoga and can do so without disrupting others, then we gladly encourage you to bring them along and practice with us. Bringing your young adult is a great way to develop deeper family bonds by exercising together.
Yoga and Pregnancy?
We highly recommend you speak with your health practioner prior to doing hot yoga during your pregnancy. As pregnant women bear extra weight, loose muscles and tendons might increase the risk of injury during hot yoga. Additionally, as blood pressure tends to be lower in the first trimester of pregnancy, owing to progesterone relaxing blood vessel walls, excessive heat exposure might cause dizziness or fainting. Our heated classes are like being outside on a warm New Zealand day, so keep that in mind when deciding if heated yoga is for you. If not, why not check out one of our other class options that may resonate with you.
If I have never done yoga before, can I start yoga while pregnant?
We recommended starting a yoga practice after the first trimester. The first trimester is the most vulnerable time of your pregnancy and many women feel tired and/or nauseous. The first trimester is a time for your body and mind to adjust to the pregnancy. Once you feel ready please come and try a yoga class and find out which ones work for you.
I have been practicing yoga before pregnancy, can I still attend classes? Do I need to change how I practice?
If you were practicing yoga before you got pregnant, you can continue your yoga practice, although we recommended taking it easy during the first trimester, reserve your energy and avoid inversions. Please notify your teacher of your pregnancy, so that alternative postures or breathing techniques can be offered that suit your pregnancy. The golden rule for yoga asanas and pregnancy is not to compress the belly. Therefore be mindful with core work and deep backbends, avoid closed twists and postures such as locust pose. In regards to pranayama, never hold your breath during pregnancy and stay away from heating pranayama techniques, such as ‘breath of fire’, since this includes active pumping of the belly. The main advice is to listen to your body, don’t overheat and perhaps include more restorative and/or yin yoga postures. Every woman is different and every pregnancy is different. While your pregnancy progresses, you will experience that more space is needed for your growing belly. In postures, like Tadasana, you would like to place your feet hip distance apart (we would recommend this cue throughout your whole pregnancy).
General guidelines for yoga and pregnancy.
- Often the further along you are in your pregnancy; the less comfortable you are on your back. Therefore practice savasana lying on your left side and stay away from lying flat on your back for a prolonged period of time. Instead you can use props such as bolsters, pillows and blankets to prop yourself up.
- Your point of gravity is changing while your belly is growing, so be mindful with balancing postures. You might want to use the wall, chair or other props to give yourself some extra support.
- Make sure you are able to breathe properly. If you are huffing and puffing, your baby will also be out of breathe. Take it easy and include more rests if you decide to take a more energizing yoga class. Side bends often feel great during pregnancy, since they create more space for the breath.
- Above all listen to your intuition. During your pregnancy you will come across a lot well-meant advice, which can be overwhelming at times. Pregnancy is a special and spiritual time in your life which most of us only experience a couple of times. Trust that you know your body best and look for the answers within.
Who can practice Pilates?
Pilates can be practiced by anyone, from beginners to elite athletes. It can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels and body conditions.
Adaptations can be made to accommodate all levels of flexibility and movement experience, and exercises can be modified and customized for individual needs.
Everyone can use Pilates to improve their posture, breathing and alignment. In addition, the mind as well as the body will greatly benefit: You’ll feel stronger “from the inside out.”
What effects will Pilates have on my body/fitness goals?
- Improve posture and core strength
- Strengthen and tone muscles without added bulk
- Increase flexibility and muscle control
- Improve alignment, coordination, and balance
- Increase lung capacity and circulation
- Uniformly develop muscles
- Improve range of motion
- Improve body awareness
- Develop a more balanced body which helps prevent muscle and joint injury
- Improve bone density and joint health
- Enhance mental awareness and mind/body connection
Can I do Pilates if I am out of shape or carrying a couple extra kgs??
Pilates is a wonderful program for those who are starting or already engaged in a weight loss program. You will learn to control, center and balance your body through discovering and engaging your Powerhouse. This will result in being able to move your body in more fluid motion utilizing your muscles rather than stressing your joints.
How is Pilates different to other forms of exercise?
Pilates is invaluable not only as an overall fitness program, but also as an important addition to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. With literally hundreds of exercises, Pilates lends itself to all fitness levels, from post-rehabilitation, to exercise novices, to professional athletes.
Lasting results are achieved through the use of proper form combined with the breath and the total concentration of the participant. The exercises, at the Loft, are performed on a mat. In all cases, each movement is flowing, centered and performed with control.
Unlike many other forms of exercise, Pilates does not emphasize multiple repetitions or duration. The focus is on the quality of balanced and controlled movement, not the quantity of repetitions.