What to Expect
If this is your first time visiting our studio or your first time trying a yoga, nia or tribal bellydance class, we know that it can sometimes feel a bit intimidating. This section is designed to be your roadmap to your first experiences with us to help you feel as comfortable and at home as possible.
Prior to your first visit, please explore our Online Schedule to choose your class. Make sure to read our class descriptions to ensure you are taking a class that is appropriate for your fitness level to avoid injury. You can find the class descriptions on our “classes” page here or by clicking on the class name in the class schedule.
YOGA – What to Expect
Most of our Yoga classes are 60 minutes long unless otherwise noted. While each yoga class and each instructor will be slightly different, most classes will adhere to the following general format:
- Welcome & Introductions (if this is your first class, your instructor may ask if she can introduce you to other students in the class)
- Centering, breath (pranayama) and short meditation (this is your time to relax and let any stresses outside the studio fade away)
- Warm Up (gentle movement to begin generating heat in your body)
- Asanas/Postures (in this active part of your practice, you will be guided through various yoga postures to build strength, flexibility and balance. you will be encouraged to breathe deeply and connect your breath and your movement. modifications will be provided for your fitness level.)
- Cool Down/Stretches
- Savasana (also known as “corpse pose” – this is a time of rest and integration – allowing the work of your yoga class to “settle in” to your body, mind and spirit.
- Namaste Most yoga classes end with the word “Namaste” which is a sanskrit word that means “the light in me honors the light in you.”
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Yoga Class
- Come to class on a relatively empty stomach as a rigorous yoga practice can disturb digestion. It is best to eat no sooner than 60 minutes before class.
- Wear stretchy or loose fitting clothing.
- Yoga mats, props and supplies are provided.
- Please bring a water bottle. VitaCoco Water and other beverages are also for sale at the studio.
- Slow Down. Plan to arrive 15-20 mins. early to unwind and center yourself before your practice. If you are new to the studio you will also need the time to fill out a waiver/liability form.
- Plan to arrive to class at least 5 minutes early if you have already completed your new client paperwork. Classes begin promptly at scheduled times. For security, the front door is often locked when class begins. Late arrivals are not allowed.
- Sign-in on the class sign-in sheet at the front desk when you arrive.
- If a class is full to capacity, reserved spaces will be released to waiting list students 5 minutes before class begins.
- Let the instructor know before your class, or during if needed, of any relevant medical conditions/injuries or pregnancy.
- Let the instructor know if you would rather not have hands-on adjustments during class or during the final relaxation in savasana.
- Please refrain from any full inversions (headstand, handstand, shoulderstand) if you are menstruating, have a neck/head/back/spine injury, or migrane. You can ask the instructor to give you a modification.
- Taking care of your body and honoring its limitations is very important at all times. If at any time you feel dizziness, pain, shortness of breath, or any other discomfort in any pose or sequence, stop doing it at once, drink water.
- Please take all of your belongings with you before leaving. We have a lost and found basket in case you happen to forget something, but keep in mind that on the 1st of each month, any belongings not claimed will be donated or disposed of.
- Tell us how we are doing or how we can improve the studio. You can contact us by email, let us know in person, or drop a note in the suggestion box at the studio by the shoe cubbies.
- Most importantly, remember to breathe, relax, and enjoy your practice!
- Our studio is here as a sanctuary for relaxation and comfort. Please turn your cell phone and other electronic devices OFF to maintain a clear and present energy focused on your practice, and keep your voice low in the waiting areas.
- Yoga is traditionally practiced barefoot so please remove your shoes and socks before entering the studio and store them neatly in the cubbies provided. Please refrain from leaving your shoes in the middle of the way where other students will be walking.
- Please bring all other belongings into the studio with you. While in the studio, you can leave your belongings in the studio cubbies but we ask that you leave your valuables in your car or at home, as the studio will not be responsible for lost or stolen items under any circumstances.
- Classes can be full so stagger your mats and create space to accommodate those around you.
- Once in the practice space please keep conversation to a minimum. If possible, be silent so that you and others can be centered for class. Also take care while placing your mat and props on the floor so that they do not make sounds that can disturb others.
- Let instructors know if you are going to be leaving early, and if you would rather not have hands on adjustments during class or during the final relaxation in savasana.
- Our studio is Your studio. Please treat it with care:
- At the end of class, return all props to the place you found them folding the blankets properly and rolling your strap. You can ask your instructor if you are not sure.
- If you used a studio mat, please clean it thoroughly with the essential oil disinfecting spray provided. Remember someone else will be using the mat after you, and you may be using it after them, so please be mindful of this practice.
- If you use an eye pillow during your savasana practice, please place a facial tissue (located in the prop area) between your eyes and the eye pillow to keep them sanitary.
- Please deposit used mat cleaning towels in the hamper near the restrooms.
- Please dispose of any cups, tissues, or other rubbish in the trash and recycling containers provided.
Together we will continue to create a beautiful, warm, welcoming studio and community. Thank you!
We hope you enjoy your visit !
NIA – What to Expect
Nia is a holistic blend of the healing arts, dance arts and martial arts that creates a powerful workout for body, mind, emotions and spirit. In this one hour class, you will be guided through choreographed movement based on Nia’s 52 moves. Choreography is simple and easy-to-follow and is adaptable to all fitness levels (including those limited to movement in a chair).
Each Nia class will take you through 7 “Cycles”
- Cycle 1: Set the Focus and Intent – In each Nia class, we will set a specific focus and intent to guide our practice.
- Cycle 2: Step-In – Taking two intentional steps in, we leave behind any distractions and step-into the present moment as we begin our practice.
- Cycle 3: Warm Up – Using thoughtful and gentle movements guided my music, we warm up the body from the inside out.
- Cycle 4: Get Moving – In the get moving cycle, we begin to bring up our heart-rate with joy-centered dance and movement to get our blood flowing and the sweat dripping!
- Cycle 5: Cool Down – We slowly cool down the body and slow the heart rate.
- Cycle 6: Floor Play – In Floor Play, we come to the floor for final stretching and conditioning.
- Cycle 7: Step-Out – Finally, we step out of class and on to the next part of our day with mindfulness and intention.
Throughout your Nia class, you will be encouraged to work at YOUR level. Your teacher will demonstrate Levels 1, 2 and 3 to allow you to customize your class experience for your body and your fitness level.
Most of all, expect to have fun, meet great people, break a good sweat and leave feeling GREAT!
Tips For Getting the Most Out of Your Nia Workout
by Nia Teacher Susan Tate
- Do not eat for at least 2 hours before a Nia class.
- Bring water to class and be sure to stay hydrated.
- Wear comfortable clothing that you love moving in—and we do Nia in bare feet or in soft-soled shoes (that are only for indoor floors). Be comfortable!
- LISTEN to your body’s wisdom. Start easy. Be gentle. Keep up with YOU, not anyone else. Feel free to just focus on the leg motions first and then add the arms. Nia is different than other fitness classes. It is meant to teach you about you, physically and emotionally. Keep your interest and fascination UP and your self-criticism and judgment DOWN!
- Don’t be surprised if you feel emotional following a Nia class or later on in the day. Sometimes these movements have a way of gently digging into the muscle memory (similar to a good massage) and it results in emotions floating to the surface. Be kind to yourself, lovingly witness your emotions with love and then watch when they pass. It’s always okay to have the tears (of grief or joy) come up and out during a Nia class too.
- Lead with your heel when stepping to the front or side. Lift your feet during turning movements.
- There’s never a need to force a motion. Nia isn’t the old-fashioned “no-pain no gain” but rather the “all pleasure-all gain” way of working out that your body will love. If your body doesn’t relate well to a movement, stop and adjust to always move within your own challenge and comfort zone. This puts positive, loving information into your muscle memory. Your cells will love it!
- Make the movement become an expression of you. This is YOUR workout! Nia is about JOY! No two people in the class should ever look the same!
- Be sure to use belly breathing. Fill up your belly first, then your ribs laterally expand outward and then your chest and clavicle rise as you inhale fully.
- Use your arms to express a feeling, an emotion, or mood. Using your arms elevates your heart rate so be careful not to overdo it. You will find that using your voice (in Nia we call it “sounding”) will stimulate and strengthen your core.
- Take at least three classes a week to obtain optimal cardiovascular fitness. Nourish your body with Nia, healthy food, loving self-talk, and restful sleep and you will see and feel results far beyond changing the shape of your body!