Frequently Asked Questions

Read below for some commonly asked questions around Japanese yoga. If you have a question that we have not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line via email or phone.

What is yoga?

The word ‘yoga’ means to ‘yoke’ or ‘unite’. It originated in ancient India around the 5th century BCE. Yoga was introduced to the western world in the late 19th and early 20th century and became a very popular form of exercise in the 1980’s and as we now know it today.

There is a broad range of yoga practises and schools in both Hinduisim and Buddhism. Among the most popular, is Hatha yoga. In the west all yoga is typically based on ‘hatha’ yoga – which focuses on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures. The Hatha yoga practice emphasises proper diet, processes to internally purify the body, diaphragmatic breathing and its regulation during yoga asanas (postures).

How is Japanese yoga different to other forms of yoga?

Unlike other forms of yoga, Japanese Yoga incorporates elements from martial arts and Traditional Eastern Oriental Medicine (5 Element Theory and the principles of yin & yang) and works with the same meridians as Zen Shiatsu and accupuncture. This means it works with the organs in the body at a much deeper and therapeutic level. It works by building energy in the ‘hara’ (lower belly area also diagnostic point in zen shiatsu) and this energy is stimulated around the body via its energetic pathways (the meridians).

It is a dynamic and vigorous style of yoga involving movement with the breath in a specific way.

Unlike other forms of yoga,  in Japanese Yoga we work to improve and correct the side which is tighter or that has less range of movement to bring the body into better balance.

Japanese yoga changes according to the seasons and the time of the day. Other forms of yoga typically repeat the same sequence and same postures in every class.

It is a very powerful healing form of yoga, requiring a lot of effort and concentration on the participants’ part. A lot of instruction is given with Japanese yoga, therefore listening skills are  important. It is difficult to think about or concentrate on anything else other than the session you are participating in. This is in some ways part of what makes it a mindful practice. You will completely zone out everything else going on around you and in your life, being totally present and within yourself whilst achieving amazing physical benefits. Once participants try this remedial form of yoga, they tend to choose it over other forms of yoga. It can truly be remarkable and life-changing for many as it has great ability to vastly improve and correct physical issues, anomalies, aches and pains with the body. Come and see for yourself!

I am not flexible. Can I do yoga?

Inflexibility can lead to long term side effects such as hip, knee, lower back, neck and shoulder problems. Yoga will get you moving those stiff joints again, relieving tight muscles. Relieving tight areas in the body also gets lymph moving through the system for better circulation improving health on a greater level.

The body is amazing at adapting to whatever it is you subject it to. You do not need to be flexible to start yoga. By doing yoga to the best of our abilities, we achieve results. Yoga is not about obtaining the perfect posture. It is about working the body to the best of your capability on the day, and still getting results. Through attending regular class, just once a week you will improve vastly, increasing flexibility and general health & fitness.

Will I lose weight with Japanese yoga?

Japanese yoga burns calories and tones the body. Unlike other forms of yoga, Japanese yoga is dynamic and vigorous. It includes a lot of ‘little big moves’ – in other words…it might be a small movement, but you’re using almighty strength to achieve it. The heart rate is increased and sustained in bursts with this yoga. We also target specific areas such as flabby butts & thighs, ‘wings’ on upper arms and bulging bellies.

How often should I do yoga?

Attending just one class a week will give you noticeable benefits – improved mood, increased circulatory system and digestion.

 

The best results are gained from attending 2 to 3 times a week – that’s when you’ll see big change – tones the body, sheds calories, maintaining a balanced emotional state all week.

 

Most clients find that once they attend one class a week, they want to schedule in atleast one other. The therapeutic nature of Japanese yoga shows improvements in your health very quickly & gives a wonderful sense of wellbeing. It reallyis a complete health maintenance system if done three times a week and a macrobiotic or wholefoods diet incorporated.

Why choose Japanese yoga over pilates or other forms of exercise?

Pilates uses one element of yoga (working on the core) whereas yoga is holistic and works with your core along with all the other areas of the body.

Unlike pilates or other forms of exercise, Japanese yoga is a very therapeutic modality as it works with the same meridians as Zen Shiatsu or accupuncture.

Japanese yoga can be used as a complete health maintenance system and lifestyle.  We work on improving digestion, circulatory system, joints and flexibility and structure & stability.

Each session thus results with the effects of a zen shiatsu or accupuncture session whilst toning the body and shedding calories along the way.

As this form of yoga changes with the seasons and time of day, you will never get bored. Research shows that the human body benefits both physically and mentally from different forms of movement when we exercise (as opposed to always cycling, jogging or walking for instance). Japanese yoga fits the bill perfectly as it is very diverse to cover all the meridians.

Finally, unlike other forms of exercise, Japanese yoga is a mindful form of exercise, helping with reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

I am pregnant. Can I do yoga?

If you are pregnant, and have not done any yoga before, you can join us from 16 weeks. We will help you with breathing techniques and specific exercises to ease common aches and pains in pregnancy as well as keep you fit and with a great sense of well-being. The yoga will help make you feel more comfortable and relaxed during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

I have an injury. Can I do yoga?

Yoga is a safe and effective form of exercise for everyone. Many people find yoga the solution to general fitness and pain relief, after trying other modalities such as pilates, physio, chiropractic or osteopathy.

If you have a past injury, please let us know and we can discuss how we can help you.

What is buteyko breathing and how can it help me?

The Buteyko method resolves and relieves symptoms of breathing problems such as asthma, anxiety and anxiety. It can also help exercise enthusiasts and atheletes looking to improve their performance eg runners and divers.

Our Breathing retraining classes involve the identification and correction of dysfunctional breathing habits to restore a physiologically normal pattern of breathing. This allows calm and easy, silent breathing whilst both awake and asleep, balanced blood chemistry, and optimal oxygenation of the blood to the cells, tissues and organs.

Our mental and physical wellbeing depend on correct breathing. Over 90% of people experience significant reduction or elimination of snoring, asthma symptoms, blocked nose and anxiety and panic attacks within one week of practising the Buteyko method, and have increased capacity for exercise.

Of particular note, we have had great success with arresting panic attacks within a few seconds of them beginning.

What is macrobiotic cooking & how does it relate to yoga?

Japanese yoga can be used as a complete health maintenance system. Part of this healthy lifestyle is to incorporate a macrobiotic diet (or similarly you can use a wholefoods diet) as part of the regime.

The Macrobiotic way of eating was developed and popularised in Japan. It is based on the 5 Element theory and yin & yang from Traditional Eastern Oriental medicine. The five elements are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Since the diet was developed in Japan, Japanese foods that are thought to be beneficial for health are incorporated in most modern macrobiotic diets.

The fundamental principles underlying macrobiotic cooking are to eat locally grown foods which are in season, reduce animal protein and to eat in moderation. Incorporating a macrobiotic diet is to result in a more alkaline ph of blood in the body, thereby reducing or eliminating inflammation causing disease.

Are your teachers insured?

All our teachers are insured with professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

Can I claim yoga on my health fund?

Our teachers are registered with Yoga Australia, and hold industry accredited qualifications which means that you can claim yoga as part of your extras cover with your health insurance. Please check with your provider to find out how you can claim.

What should I wear?

Yoga is practised barefoot or in socks if it’s cold! Clothes should be comfortable, stretchy and breathable.

Do I need to bring anything?

Yoga mats are supplied, or feel free to bring your own mat and/or yoga towel if you prefer.

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