Frequently asked questions

1

Is yoga for me?

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Yoga can be for every body  — male, female, non-binary — all ethnicities, religions, races, backgrounds, and circumstances. The indigenous South Asian roots of yoga were liberatory practices initiated and eventually recorded by people who experienced personal liberation despite systems of oppression. If that appeals to you, try it out, but do so with discernment: some "yoga" can be appropriative and harmful recreating hierarchies of power and privilege. At Sundew, we teach through a lens of social justice. We lift up underrepresented voices. If you want to explore at home before trying a studio, there are many amazing South Asian teachers who do online yoga: try Rina Deshpande, Anjali Rao, Jesal Parikh, Melissa Shaw, Mx. Puja, or Susanna Barkataki.

2

I’m not flexible. Can I do yoga?

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Yes. While yoga classes at Sundew do teach flexibility, strength, balance, and body awareness, there are a host of other benefits to yogic practice.

If you can breathe, you can do yoga.

The grass is always greener where it’s watered. Pay attention and you will find benefit.

3

What should I wear?

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Wear clothing that is comfortable for sitting and movement. Wear clothing in which you feel good.

4

Should I practice on a full stomach?

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We recommend that you practice yoga on an empty stomach or wait a few hours after eating before practicing. There are many reasons for this including the energy required to digest, but you must be discerning about your own body. Only you know what's best.

5

Do I need my own gear?

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No. Sundew offers good quality mats you are welcome to use. The mats are cleaned after each use so they are ready for your practice. We also provide straps, blocks, bolsters, and blankets for your use.

We do recommend you buy your own yoga mat, though the ancients never relied on Manduka in order to practice. That said, some find that having their own mat encourages a home practice. It can be a subtle reminder, an ashram in an otherwise busy home, a symbol of holding space for meditation that, like Pavlov's dog, can, over time, trigger a positive nervous system response.

6

When should I arrive?

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If you have not signed a waiver (ugh yuck, required for insurance purposes: another ugh yuck), you should arrive about 15 minutes before the scheduled class begins. It can also be helpful to arrive early enough to settle into the space of the studio.

7

How do I pay for classes?

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Sundew Studio has, in the past, used a secure, online merchant and scheduling system to encourage self-registration and ease of payment. We are considering a totally different sliding scale system, one that does not bleed local dollars to distant corporate banks... We also never turn anyone away for inability to pay. Stay tuned. We'll update this answer once we know how, exactly, we shall proceed.

8

How often should I practice?

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The answer to this question is up to you and the circumstances of your life, but we do recommend you practice a minimum of twice a week. Like with anything, the more you practice, the more benefit you will discover. Because yoga does not merely equate to asana (the poses), eventually, you may find yourself practicing all the time.

9

How do I know what class is right for me?

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Yoga is about honoring your own very specific, beautiful, and precious body, mind, and spirit. To that end, we try to offer many kinds of practices. Some are asana-heavy, others are all about meditation and rest; some classes challenge the body, some challenge our habits (samskaras). Take a look at what's offered and try what appeals to you. Each class is taught according to those who show up, so even if the class centers asana, we adjust to the bodies in the room. Above all, we encourage pause, rest, slowing down, and napping if that is what you need.

10

What does "Om" mean?

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Sometimes classes begin and/or end with the chanting of “Om" or a Sanskrit mantra. Chanting "Om" is one way to welcome and give thanks to all that is, that ever was, and all that will ever be while also connecting a room of people to one resonant sound (entrainment, energetic vibration). It’s a deep and connecting bow to the ancient practitioners, to the triumvirate of creation, sustenance, and destruction; to the beginning, the middle, the end; to joy and pain, the highs and lows, death and life. But it’s not for everyone. If you wish to participate in the chanting of “Om,” please do. If you do not, then feel free to refrain and simply receive the sound.

11

How is Yoga different from fitness?

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Yoga helps us deviate from habituated mind patterns that tell us we need to look, act, or be a certain way in order to be enough in the world. It also provides tools for mindfulness, for intentional and ethical living, social justice, and above all, collective liberation. Yoga habituates practitioners to increased awareness of the interconnection and union of what we usually separate — the body and the mind, self and other, humanity and nature. Simply put, yoga is about how you feel, respond, and navigate our complex, difficult, and wondrous world. If you are lucky enough to practice Yoga, you are already on your way: your incredible body has brought you here.

12

Is Yoga a religion?

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The yoga practiced at Sundew Studio holds deep reverence for the ancient, indigenous roots of South Asian practice and texts, new scientific literature that is beginning to catch up with the Indian wisdom, and any wisdom teachings that guide us toward compassion and collective liberation. The meditational techniques and movements are both science and art — worthy of your own discovery and exploration. Some consider the studio an ashram, a sacred place for self-study and community. Please honor that possibility.

13

What are hands-on assists?

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At times, a yoga teacher may ask if you would welcome a touch. This is one means to deepen your experience or bring awareness to a pattern within the body. Usually, "hands-on assists" are akin to Reiki or Thai massage - loving touch meant to relax the body into full rest. Because whether or not we wish to be touched can change from day to day, the teacher will always ask for your consent before touching you.

14

What is a typical class like?

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Please view the individual class descriptions by following the links through our online schedule. Typically, you can expect an opening meditation, dharma talk, chant, or pranayama (breath work), movement through asanas (yoga poses), rest including savasana (corpse pose) or restorative (supported resting poses), and a closing meditation, chant, or pranayama.

15

How do I learn more?

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There are countless ways to learn more about a particular aspect of yoga or yoga philosophy. Send an email to practice@sundewstudio.com, ask your teacher, or consult the omnipresent oracle, Google.

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