FAQs - Cautions - Tips

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Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

* Do you teach beginners Yoga?

People often ask if I teach beginners...

Yes, and no.  I do not have "Beginner's classes" as such. In my view, there are no beginners because, I believe, we are all beginners in the sense that, in Yoga we never stop learning, and our bodies never stop changing.

We have to constantly be aware of our body and mind, and change our attitude and our practice to suit where we are at on our life journey.

Speaking to that, it is the role of a teacher to assess each student individually and then give them what is appropriate to them personally, according to their experience, health, level of fitness, natural ability, etc. This is based on what Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya taught: "Teach what is appropriate to the the student”.

* What sort of Yoga does Shanthi Bhavana teach?

Shanthi Bhavana specialises in traditional classical Yoga in the Restorative Hatha practice... offering Yoga health and fitness for adults, and working with them to provide a Yoga fitness regime that is appropriate to them personally, taking into consideration their age, health, injuries, fitness ability and flexibility.

Please go to:

What Shanthi Teaches

* Where are the classes, and How Much does it cost?


* What are the benefits of practising Yoga?

Benefits of Yoga

* What is Meditation and How will it help me?

What is Meditation?

* What is Yoga?

What is Yoga?

* What do I need to know before coming to a class?

You need to know and understand what Yoga practice is given by the teacher.   You need to book with Shanthi Bhavana prior to a class, rather than 'just turning up’.                                                                                   

You need to bring a Yoga mat (and preferably a proper "Yoga Mat", not a Pilates mat).  Good quality mats are available at sports stores, like "Rebel Sports", or online. Gaiam is a very good brand. Cheaper mats can be purchased at Woolworths, Target, K-Mart, Big W, etc. If you intend to practice Yoga for a while, invest in a good quality, thick mat that will last, and protect your back and prevent slipping (and not contantly roll up on you like the cheaper mats and Pilates rubber mats do).                                                 

It is a very good idea to aslo bring a bigger towel, like a beach towel, or a soft blanket to spread on top of your mat to give extra support for lower back, or knees during some postures.  It can be used to keep you warm during a lying-down meditation.                                                                                

You need to wear appropriate clothing that is not restrictive to your body, nor revealing.                                                                                                     

You need to bring a smaller blanket or towel that can be folded and used to support limbs, head, lower back, etc.                                                         

You need to bring some drinking water.                                                     

You need to bring the correct fee as very lttle change is carried at the class.                                                                   

And you always need to put your phone on 'SILENT' or turn it off prior to entering the class.                                                                                      

And you need to read these two pages for more important information, so please go to:

Getting Started

Yoga Etiquette (What happens in a class, what is expected of a participant?)

* What about Seniors - can Seniors enjoy Yoga / What are the benefits to Seniors?


* Do I have to be physically fit?

The Yoga practice given by the teacher is tailored to suit the individual. The classes are not 'one-size-fits-all' or "boot-camp" style workouts. They are small groups and the teacher gives what is appropriate to each student, after interviewing with them and assessing their individual health and fitness needs.   This is the true meaning of "Vini-Yoga"... providing a pratice that is "appropriate to the student." Therefore, everyone can practise Yoga at some level. That is what it is for... A Yoga practice for life!

* What if I am not naturally flexible?

Many people ask this... as if being flexible has to be a prerequisite for doing Yoga. The point of practising Yoga is the become flexible! If we were 100% flexible, we would not need to practise Yoga Asanas (stretching exercise), we could spend all our time just doing the Yogic Breathing (Pranayama) and the Meditation and shoot straight to Enlightenment. Most of us are not flexible. Very few people are 100% flexible... almost everyone is challenged with some degree of inflexibility somewhere in the physical body. Which is why we pracrise Asanas.

The image of ancient Yogis twisting their skinny bodies into incredible pretzels is not what we are looking for. We don't do that, and we don't do head stands... we practise tradtional yet gentle Yoga postures that are appropriate to your health, and your fitness level... everything has to be balanced to suit you, your body, your health, at your particular time of life. That is of paramount importance and is the essence of true, classical Yoga, as taught one-to-one, master-to-student, for thousands of years.

* Is Yoga a religion?

This is another of the common misunderstandings and myths about yoga.         Yoga is not a religion and does not dishonour any faith practice, but is able to be practised by followers of all religions. It is a philosophy for living a healthy life... it is a physical, mental and if you wish... a spiritual practice (not part of a religion)... it is inclusive of all other belief systems and philosophical schools of thought (knowledge/wisdom)! It can be practiced as complementary to your spiritual belief system.

* My pastor tells me not to do Meditation because he says it will empty my mind, erasing all memory, and leaving my mind open to Satin

Yet another of the common misunderstandings by some small sections of the Christian church. This is more about one faction of Christianity not agreeing with another faction, and nothing to do with Yoga or Meditation. Ask your pastor why it is that Jesus advises to practise Meditation in several places in the Bible, and that many Christians enjoy practising Meditation, and that in fact the Catholic Church practises it (in the name of Christ and God). It has nothing to do with 'religion' and everything to do with you and your place in the Universe and your union with higher consciousness (which can be for some people, "Heaven"). It is about being grounded in your own spiritual centre. When Saint Teresa was alive she was interviewed about her Meditation practice. She gave a wonderful insight into her Meditation practice... "I just sit... and listen!"

* Do you teach minors?

Generally no. I usually do not teach minors or accept minors as students. The reason for this is that most children find it difficult to concentrate on one thing for more than a few seconds, become distracted and then distract the teacher and the other students. Yoga, by its very nature is Meditaton, and should be practised in a mindful, meditative way. That is what our Hatha Restorative practice is based on. However, occassionally a parent who is a student will ask to bring their child to class to allow them to experience Yoga. I may, only after consultation with the parent, allow a child to attend classes, on the proviso that the parent caution the child about the mindfulness aspect of the practice. Children are very often distracted easily, and therefore their distracted nature can affect the other students who are trying to stay in a meditative state while practicing their Yoga. Parents may discuss this with me in person.

* Do you teach Pre-Natal Yoga to Pregnant women?

No. I am not experienced or qualified in Pre-Natal Yoga. Some teachers who are not qualified in this area decide to teach it, that is their right, but I believe that this is a very important and specialist practice and must be supervised by an instructor who is both qualified and experienced. I can refer pregnant students to a Pre-Natal Yoga teacher.

I specialise in traditional classical Yoga in the Restorative Hatha practice... offering Yoga health and fitness for adults, and working with them to provide a Yoga fitness regime that is appropriate to them personally, taking into consideration their age, health, injuries, fitness ability and flexibility.

* Money Matters

*Always pay for your class at the beginning of class.  

*Do not argue over the cost of the class or attempt to negotiate a better deal for yourself.  

*Do not ask for credit.  

*Do not say, "Is it okay if I pay next week?" The answer is "NO!"

*Try to have as close to the correct class fee amount as possible.  Go to the ATM before you come to class.  If you have invested in a Class-pass ensure you have it with you or you may be expected to pay the Casual rate for your class. Please do not fill up the money box with small silver change! We do not accept coins smaller than a $1 coin (no silver!!!)

Make sure that coins and all money you leave in the pay box is legal Australian currency. Please show respect and courtesy to the teacher by not leaving currency that is not Australian legal tender.

BLOCKS are groups of classes that are offered over a period of time and are often at a discounted cost (e.g., 10-week block). These blocks are to be paid upfront, in total and on the day of the first class. If you miss a class, there is no refund, or extra class offered to make up for the lost day. Be sure you discuss and understand the block arrangement with your teacher.

Ask your teacher if the class you are interested in attending can be paid for in a BLOCK arrangement. 

Here are some Cautions to be aware of before starting:

Caution Notice

Please take a moment to read these cautions prior to YOGA 

·     Caution should be taken for people at risk or people presenting with conditions that, by participating in yoga exercise, might result in pain, trauma or discomfort.

·     In you have any concerns about your health - in particular, Heart or Blood Pressure (Hight ot Low) - Please consult with your doctor before starting this, or any other, exercise program.

·      Please consult with your doctor before starting this, or any other, exercise program. Please consult with your doctor before starting this, or any other, exercise program. 

·      It is in your interest to inform your Yoga teacher of any illness, injury, medical condition or anything else that may adversely affect your ability to practice Yoga.

·      Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in this Yoga program may result in injury, if not performed correctly. If you experience pain during exercise, stop immediately, inform your teacher, and consult with your doctor.

·      Women who are menstruating should not practice inverted poses, back bends, or vigorous standing poses. There are poses more suited for women experiencing menstrual discomfort and pain - your teacher can advise you.

·      Women who are pregnant should inform their teacher before practicing Yoga.

·      This class does not accept students who are pregnant – we do NOT offer Pre or Post-Natal Yoga, however we are happy to refer a pregnant student to a Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Yoga teacher.

·      It is not necessary to execute every Yoga Asana (posture) or breathing exercise. Not every part of the practice will suit every person. Yoga should be tailored to suit every individual. If there is anything that does not feel right, leave it out, do not attempt it – rest, and then try something else. Your teacher will assist you to find a practice that is suitable specific to you, to your individual needs.

·     Always work within your range of limits and abilities.

·     Do not push through pain.

·     Do not push yourself to try more advanced postures if you are a beginner. Work with simpler versions and only move to more advanced postures and sequences when you have mastered these, and can practice them easily and without discomfort, pain, excess exertion or stress to the body.

·     If a posture, movement, or sequence does not feel right, for any reason, or if you experience pain, dizziness or any feelings of unease - stop immediatley and rest.

·      The teacher cannot guarantee that this Yoga practice is safe for every individual. Any liability, injury, loss, or damage in connection with this program is expressly disclaimed.

·      Please practice Yoga with Mindfulness, for You, and others.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for caring for your body.


Here are some Tips to consider before starting Yoga: 

·      To reduce risk of injury, never force or strain during excerse. If you experience pain or discomfort during exercise, stop immediatley and consult your doctor or health care professional.

·      Make sure you warm up and limber the body before attempting bigger stretches.

·      Shortness of breath or sweating is the first sign that you may be over doing it. Reduce the effort, slow down, take smaller movements, breathe deeper, or just pause and rest for a while.

·      Other special cautions may apply to individuals with special health issues. For that reason, you should consult your doctor or health care professional to find out if special restrictions apply to you. If so, please advise your teacher immediately so they can respect these restrictions and work with you to achieve greater health benefits, safely.

·      Make sure you always have plenty of water available to drink before, during and after your pratcice. A small rest and a few sips of water between postures is good.

·      Not every posture is right for every person - Yoga is an individual practice: find what works for you; allow your instructor to help advise what is right for your body and level of fitness; do not push past pain, or your level of fitness; there are hundreds of postures - the rule in Yoga is: if one posture does not suit you, leave it out as there are many other alternatives that you can use.

·      Relax into the postures - always use the breath in synchronisation with movement.

·      Always listen carefully to your instructor and ask questions at any time, especially if you are not sure about anything.

·      Constantly self-assess what is happening in your body and how you feel - then adjust your practice accordingly. Never push past your comfort zone. (Yoga is not a "no pain, no gain" practice). There must never be pain. Yoga is practiced by gentle movement, always linked with the breath and mindful attention to the practice.

·      Yoga is a practice that requires mindful attention, and Hatha, Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga, and Chair-adapted Yoga are practices that are based around mindful awareness - Yoga IS meditation, so please be aware; be cautious and mindful about your practice.

·      Practice YOGA with Mindful Awareness - for You and others.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for caring for your body.


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