Common Q&A’s 普遍问题
Q1: Can I do Yoga even if I am very stiff (not flexible)?
A1: Yes! Anyone can do Yoga, regardless of your age, fitness level and overall health condition.
Q2: What if I have injuries or other health conditions?
A2: Yes, you can still do Yoga! Just make sure to tell the teacher your specific condition and
he/she advice and offer variations to suit your needs. It is also very important to tell the
teacher if you are menstruating (see Q7), pregnant and the duration of your pregnancy (see Q8).
Q3: Can Yoga help me lose weight?
A3: Yes, but that is a natural by product anyway. Instead you should focus on the overall well-
being it brings to you physically, mentally and spiritually.
Q4: How often should I practice Yoga?
A4: As often as one wishes. To fully enjoy the benefits of yoga, aim for at least 3 times per
Q5: When is the best time to practice Yoga?
A5: Anytime! It depends as everyone is different. Some people prefer early morning, some late
afternoon, some in the evening. Just as long as you feel good. But do remember that it is
important to keep your stomach empty before class: allow 2-3 hours after a heavy meal, about 1-2
hours after a light meal before practice. However, you shouldn’t feel hungry either, as you may
experience nausea and dizziness if you are, in this case it would be wise to have a light snack such
as a small piece of fruit or some yogurt about 0.5 hour before class. Practicing on a full stomach
might result in nausea, dizziness, indigestion and general discomfort.
Q6: Can I practice more than 2 Yoga classes per day?
A6: Again, as long as one feels fine about it. But personally I don’t recommend more than 2
classes per day, as I believe in allowing the body to rest and recover in between your
practice. If you need to do 2 classes per day, make sure you vary the level of the classes – if
the previous one is a more challenging class then it should be followed by an easier,
restorative class afterwards.
Q7: Should women practice when they are menstruating?
A7: Avoid practice during the 1st and 2 nd day when the flow is heavy. If you feel fine and want
to practice from the 3 rd day onwards, then do an easier, restorative practice and avoid
doing inversions (going upside-down). Since the natural direction during menses is
downwards, turning your body in the opposite direction is not advisable, therefore no not
practice inverted poses. If you feel tired and lethargic then rest by all means, and resume
practice when you are ready. Always listen and honour to the body.
Q8: Should pregnant women practice Yoga?
A8: Definitely yes! There is even special Pregnancy Yoga classes specifically designed
pregnant women – it helps prepare the moms-to-be for childbirth both physically and
mentally. However, there are certain poses (example: twists, tummy-related and inversions
etc) to avoid practicing during the 1st trimester. Again, it is also very important to tell the
teacher how many months you are into your pregnancy.
Q9: It is true that Yoga helps one become calmer and more relaxed?
A9: Yes, in general. In order to balance, maintain and go deeper into the practice, one needs
100% focus and attention to the breath, body and mind. Naturally, one needs an open mind
and respect the body for whatever circumstances that might arise. Once that inner calm is
discovered, you will appreciate the many physical, mental and spiritual benefits that comes
Q10: Is Yoga a religion?
A10: No! Everyone can practice Yoga regardless of their gender, age, race, culture, religion,
education background, physical health condition and so on. It is your choice to decide how
deep your practice is, and whether or not to incorporate a spiritual discipline into the
practice. I believe that any form or path of yoga is always good – physically, mentally and
Q11: Is chanting mantras religious? Does it have any special purposes?
A11: Firstly, the definition: a mantra can consist of a single sound/word, or a collection of
sounds/words that either have no particular meaning or otherwise. When chanting a
particular mantra with full awareness, a powerful, subtle energy within our bodies is
created and liberated. Hence, chanting mantras is not religious; but it can be practiced to
improve concentration, create awareness and calm the mind.
Q12: Is a vegetarian diet necessary if I want to improve my practice?
A12: No, so far no proven scientific evidence shows the influence of a particular diet to a
person’s practice. However, I have found that a vegetarian (meatless) diet does help create
a feeling of ‘lightness’. Please note that this is my based on my own personal experience;
and like all things, everyone is unique with different requirements.
Q13: Will Yoga help enhance my performance in other type of sports?
A13: Yes! Most sports emphasize a particular movement muscular movement through a repetitive
rhythm. As a result, many areas of the body are neglected. Yoga is one of the most varied-form of
physical activity which involve a rich range of unusual movements: standing, sitting, forward
bending, back bending, twisting, binding, balancing, jumping, inversions (going upside down),
supine (lying on the back) poses, prone poses (lying on the tummy) or a combination of all these
actions. At the same time, integration of the breath, body and mind come together to help the
practitioner maintain and find enlightenment within the practice. This challenging practice
of body-mind integration help enhance other sports by working muscles and joints often
neglected, builds strength and stamina, promotes flexibility, improves concentration and so
on. Most importantly, yoga teaches one to respect the body by recognizing one’s limitations.
Q14: Isn’t Yoga just stretching and supposed to be quite easy?
A14: No! Yoga is much more than ‘just stretching’ (see A13). Depending on which type of Yoga
one practice, it can be an energizing, heart-pumping cardio workout, or a slow,
restorative, gentle, distressing and relaxing session. You can also make it a challenging or an easy
workout according to your needs, that’s why anyone can practice Yoga!
Q15: Who should practice meditation? Is it religious?
A15: No, it is not a religion-related practice. Anyone who is interested in exploring inner reflection
within themselves, searching for calmness, self-healing should give meditation a try. A note
of caution though, as with all things, one must always keep an open and positive mind set.
Q16: Am I required to own a Yoga mat?
A16: It is not compulsory, but for hygienic purposes it would be a wise investment if you
practice frequently. Mats are usually provided at most yoga classes (unless stated
otherwise), but make sure they are cleaned and disinfected regularly. It is advisable to
clean with some disinfectant and wipe it with a clean cloth/towel (use a separate towel).
You can also place a non-slip blanket on the mat if you sweat a lot.
Q17: What does ‘om’ means? Again, is it religious?
A17: Om is the is the monosyllable pronounced as ‘om’. This symbol is found in many ancient
cultures and beliefs especially Hinduism and Buddhism. It has many different interpretations, and
one of the more common belief is that it symbolizes the Absolute – the Ultimate Reality where
everyone, everything is beyond individualization. It could also mean the universal sound, the
most fundamental sound. Another interpretation is the four parts representing the four stages of
consciousness: sleeping, dreaming, waking, and the transcendental Self beyond the mind, where
the Yogi (Yoga practitioner) achieves enlightenment.
And no, it is not a religion-related practice. Today it is commonly practiced as a popular
mantra (see Q11) due to its positive psychosomatic (involving both mind and body) benefits.
Q18: There are so many different styles of yoga out there! Which one should I learn? How will I
know which type is good for me?
A18: Like everything else, I believe in experimenting! All forms of yoga have different wisdom we can
learn from; but ultimately they all share the same aim: liberation through union. Try out
different Yoga styles to see which one suit you best, or perhaps you might like to practice a mix
of different styles, which might be the most balanced practice. The same goes for yoga teachers –
by learning from different teachers from a different background, you will benefit from a variety
of knowledge. Most importantly is to find a yoga teacher whom is experienced and responsible
that you feel comfortable with. Even more important is to just have fun and enjoy yourself!
Q19: Can I learn Yoga from reference books and videos?
A19: They can be a great source of information, provided the student already has an initial, basic
knowledge of the subject. Ultimately the best way to learn is to have an experience teacher to
teach, show and guide you. In this way, not only do you learn the fundamental teachings in Yoga,
but also how to protect yourself against injuries.
Q20: Why are Mudras (placing the fingers in particular positions) important?
A20: The map of the brain – homunculus, the nerve endings on the fingertips correspond to more areas
of the brain than any other areas of the body, except maybe the tongue and lips. Each fingertip
has a different spot in the motor sensory area, so when you touch them, you light up that part of
the brain; when done in combination with sound (eg: Mantra chanting), you not only release
information from the command centre of the brain – the hypothalamus and the pituitary, but
certain neural pathways are switched on and off. The combination of the sounds and the
fingertips, along with the breath, activates neural pathways to give you a feeling of spirit, or
transcendence or being close to God, and stimulates the various healing properties of the brain.
Q21: Is it true that meditation slow down the aging process?
A21: Scientific evidence has proven this is a true fact. Meditation slows down the aging process by
stimulating the endocrine system. The glands wear out as we age, producing fewer hormones.
You are as young as your spine is flexible, your hormones active, and your nervous system is
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