At St. Petersburg Yoga we have many different class styles, and certain styles may be more helpful and balancing for you than others. We’d love to help you experience what a life-changing tool Yoga can be when practiced appropriately (ie considering what you the student really need). The guidance here will help you get the most out of Yoga, and avoid the risk.
New to Yoga?
If you have pains or injuries that you’d like to use Yoga to work on, we recommend our Restorative classes, which will be geared towards helping you with your problematic spots. Otherwise if you don’t have any specific challenges, we recommend starting with our Classic Fundamentals style classes.
Unfortunately back pain is on the rise in our culture, and we’re interested in helping our students change that. Back pain doesn’t have to be your norm! If you’re suffering with back pain we recommend our classes labeled on our schedule as: Restorative.
These classes focus on addressing the fundamental issues at the root of back pain: Lack of space between vertebrae, side-to-side imbalances, tightness / lack of range of motion, and weakness in the muscles that surround and support the spine. You can find more info on our page Yoga for Back Pain.
For many joint challenges we recommend our classes labeled Classic Fundamentals. These classes will get you on your feet with postures that work on balance and stabilizing, which is especially good for knee issues. We also recommend our Fundamental Swing classes. They’re excellent for knee and joint issues because the instability of the swing helps all the little stabilizing muscles around the joints get stronger and rebuild tissue.
The specific nature of your injury (and what caused it) depends a lot on the class we recommend for you. Most often we recommend people with injuries try our Restorative or Classic Fundamentals classes. If you have questions about your specific injury, please don’t hesitate to ask your instructor or contact the studio.
That said, here are some Fundamental Rules for injuries:
Avoid acute amplification. If we do a posture that amplifies your injury acutely (in a small area) back out of the posture until it no longer amplifies, or come out all together. If the posture is more generally felt across the area (and is not in the category of pain) it’s likely a good/safe posture.
Go only 50% of your max-depth in any posture. This is an incredibly difficult instruction to follow when you’re in a class with other people who are going further, but it’s so important for you to work on listening to your body and not overdoing. It may be hard to do, but that is REAL Yoga!
If it’s a new strain – rest is best. If you’ve recently strained something it’s a type of over-movement and you don’t want to further stretch it. Time and rest is the best thing for a new strain. Avoiding any postures that affect your injured area is your safest bet.
For you we recommend our more invigorating classes like the Strengthen / Flow / Swing and Yoga Aerial Swing to balance out your tendency towards lower energy. These classes were intended for YOU, not for people who are already energetic! They will help get your heart rate going and increase energy and blood flow which are very balancing for lethargy and depression.
For you we recommend classes that help you bring down the energy like our Restorative classes and Meditation classes. These style of classes will help you with skills for taming the racing mind, breathing more fully, and even gaining awareness of the root of your anxieties (and learn skills for dismantling them). Private Yoga Sessions can also be useful for working through getting more customized help with your particular stresses and anxieties.
For you we suggest slowing things down with our Restorative and Meditation classes. Slower paced classes will be difficult for you but ultimately very balancing. If those classes feel like way too slow (if it’s really uncomfortable) try something a little more moderate like the Classic Fundamentals classes. We highly recommend staying away from the power classes, as they tend to be imbalancing for high-energy dispositions (even though they may feel good in the short-term).
If your body is especially tight, our stretch-based Restorative classes are just what you need. Believe it or not flexibility training was made for people who are really tight, not people who are already flexible! Postures that help you gain range of motion are MUCH more beneficial for the tight body than the flexible one. You’ll find that no matter how tight you are, if you listen to the instructors directions in this class you fill find a pain-free way to increase your range of motion.
If you’re using your Yoga practice to help you with healthy weight-loss, we recommend classes that help get the heart-rate going and burn calories like our Strengthen / Flow / Swing and Aerial Yoga Swings classes. Our Power Swing classes are especially invigorating and effective tools for weight loss.
Not so obvious may be our suggestion to even try some of our stress-reducing classes like Meditation and Restorative classes. Many Yoga practitioners notice how reducing stress through mindfulness practices has a direct effect on their ability to lose weight and maintain healthy habits.
You are not alone! In fact the majority people who come into our studio find this to be something they need work on. ALL of the classes at our studio will help you practice training your mindful attention, but we recommend especially our Meditation and Restorative classes.
It’s so important to not to miss out on centering practices like Meditation because you consider yourself to be someone who “can’t even sit still for a minute”. We’ll show you how meditation practices can be accessible to even the most squirmy minds. That’s who they were designed for!
If you’re pregnant we recommend visiting our Prenatal Yoga page. These classes are great for addressing some of the common challenges that arise when you’re carrying, like back and pelvic pain. Be sure to let your instructor know you’re pregnant so they can help you with extra props you might need (for example – a bolster under the back in reclined postures can be a great tool when you’re pregnant). You may also be interested in our Meditation classes.
Note: If you have had a Yoga practice before you became pregnant you may also find our Classic / Fundamentals classes to be well suited for you during pregnancy. Just be sure (as always) to listen to your body!
For those with sleep challenges, evening Restorative classes can be particularly helpful. We have restorative style classes starting as late as 7:30pm and these can be particularly helpful for insomnia. If you find you have trouble falling asleep at night because of a “racing mind” our Meditation classes can be good for strengthening the ability to quiet down those racing thoughts.
There are also lots of non-physical techniques in Yoga that can help with sleep disturbances. Private Yoga sessions can be a good path for getting one-on-one help with sleep imbalances. We also have weekend workshops on sleep a few times a year.
Since you already have plenty of strong physical activity in your lifestyle, we recommend using your Yoga practice to balance that out. For many athletes we recommend our Restorative classes. These stretch-based classes will help you work on the range of motion that is often times lacking in athletes, as well as give you tools that you can do before and after your athletic events to help with injury prevention, and recovery.
If strength and endurance is a challenge for you, we recommend our strength building classes like Strengthen / Flow / Swing and Aerial Yoga Swing classes. Often times people confuse that these classes are for people who are already strong, but in fact they are much more beneficial for people who are lacking in strength. Don’t worry about not being able to do all the postures, in every class each student is guided towards finding their pace and place on any given day. Now that’s a REAL yoga practice!
Authentic Yoga is an ancient system designed to help you navigate the challenges of life, meant to work on balancing the WHOLE human being – not just the body. Sadly, it’s rarely used to it’s potential these days, as so many only scratch the surface of what a Yoga practice can really help you with. At St. Petersburg Yoga we’re passionate about showcasing how practicing Yoga, done right, can help you with whatever challenges life presents.
If you’re interested in using the broader practices of Yoga to help you with challenges you have going on in your Body, Mind, or Life we recommend: