Yoga with Jackie
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Frequently asked questions
I generally spend a good part of my day answering people's telephone and e-mail enquiries. Please don't stop contacting me because it's nice to chat, but hopefully this section will be of help. - Jackie
Questions about Costs
What are the costs and how do I pay?
The yoga classes are run as courses and follow the school term dates. Currently classes are £13.00 per session paid in advance and the average term would be 12 weeks in length. All classes are paid for in advance however, if there are places available, a student could start during a term and pay for the classes which are remaining.
Can I pay as I go? I am a beginner.
No. There are several reasons for this:
  • the course consists of structured yoga sessions, designed to offer a student progressive learning of some aspects of yoga. If a student attended only periodically, it would disrupt the teacher's class planning and would not be fair on the other students who would be prevented from moving on.
  • the static teaching costs and hall hire.
  • dealing with small currencies is time consuming and not cost effective.
  • the courses are usually full as the hall can only cater for a limited number of students.
I am an experienced student and would love to attend a few classes with you on a drop in basis to learn more about the Scaravelli inspired approach to teaching yoga, but can't come on a regular basis?
I have some experience but am unable to commit to a course. Could I drop-in periodically to a basic practice class?
Wonderful, but give me a ring or e-mail first to check for spaces. The cost would be £15 per class payable in advance by bank transfer.
If your classes are full, how can you accommodate drop-in students?
All students advise me when they cannot attend. That way they can make up any missed classes.
I am going on holiday for 2 weeks, can I deduct the cost of the classes?
No. However, you can make up missed classes by attending an extra class on another evening or during the day in the same term.
What about if I don't like it?
If after the first session you decide that Yoga is not for you, then you can have a refund of the remaining weeks.
Questions about Equipment
What do I need to bring?
  • A non-slip mat is essential for safety and I usually have them for sale.
  • A block and a strap are very useful and again I have them for sale.
  • A light blanket is very nice for final relaxation or meditation.
  • A bottle of water, especially in the summer months.
I'm just starting; can I borrow a mat?
Although we always carry spares, it is important to have your own mat, because it becomes your space and work area. There is also a hygiene issue as well.
What should I wear?
Wear lose fitting clothing, nothing restrictive around the body, Layers are good in case you get too warm and we work in bare feet.
I have a verruca; can I still work in bare feet?
Yes, but make sure that it is well covered with a plaster.
Can you recommend a video?
No. I am really quite anti videos because they are invariably watched while the student is practicing which puts necks and spines in precarious positions. The yoga practitioners on videos, without exception, have wonderfully bendy bodies, which encourages the student to copy a shape and not to feel the position from within.
Technical Questions
What sort of yoga do you teach?
It is often called Scarvelli inspired yoga, but as I never met Vanda during her lifetime and my main tutor is John Stirk, who certainly was initially inspired by Vanda, but is now very much his own person; it is a really difficult question to answer. We practice Hatha yoga, which is the yoga of postures/asanas, with great emphasis on how the breath releases the spine. It is a softer approach, but not a soft option. We do all the postures, but work more from the inside out, trying to let go and soften the often tension ridden exterior layer of muscles.
How long are the classes?
Each class lasts for 1 1/2 hours.
Do you have a general class format?
Yes. We always start with a quiet time focusing on the breath, usually lying on the back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. We will slowly work up towards the lesson aim and finish with either pranayama/breathing or meditation and always relaxation depending on the experience of the student.
What level do you teach and which level would suit me best?
The Yoga on offer is Basic Practise, which is accessible to a beginner and can also move on the student with some experience. Some classes are completly geared initially to beginners, but the teacher always has to follow the general ability of the students.
Can you recommend any books on Yoga?
The book which I always recommend is Vanda Scaravelli's "Awakening the Spine", which is not a book of 'how to do it', but of inspiration and images, published by HarperSanFrancisco. Other books in no particular order are:-
  • "Breath - the Essence of Yoga" by Sandra Sabatini
  • "Yoga and You" by Esther Myers
  • "Yoga Practise Handbook" by Chloe Fremantle
  • "Structural Fitness" by John Stirk (an early book but useful)
  • If the philosophy of yoga interests you, the following may be useful:-
  • "The Bhagavad Gita" by Mascaro
  • "The Bhagavad Gita - A Walk Through for Westerners" by Jack Hawley
  • "The Ten Principal Upanishads" translated by Purohit Swami and WB Yeats
  • "The Heart of Yoga" by TKV Desikachar
  • "At the Feet of the Master" by Krishnamurti
  • "The Original Body" by John Stirk
  • "Intelligent Yoga" by Peter Blackaby
  • "Deeper Still" by John Stirk
  • "a journey into being" by Bill Wood
Questions concerning Health
I have a bad back. Can I do yoga?

Often students are recommended to yoga from their doctors. Most back pain is caused by compression of the discs and the spinal nerves. As we age gravity takes it toll, combined with bad posture, stress and modern living. We become shorter as the discs compress. Yoga and working with the breath to wake up the deep postural muscles, slowly allows the disks to hydrate, freeing up the hips and shoulders.

So the answer to this question is a giant yes, providing the back is not in acute pain. Never work through pain. It is the body's message telling us to stop and rest.

Do I inform my teacher if I am on medication?
Yes please do. This is very important, especially if you are taking pain relief, which masks symptoms.
I am pregnant. Can I start yoga?
Yoga with Jackie does not offer specific Yoga and Pregnancy classes. However existing students do continue to practise in my general classes very successfully during pregnancy. For new students it is advisable to wait until after the first Trimester, usually 12/13 weeks and then find a class which specialises in Yoga and Pregnancy.
How soon can I start yoga after giving birth?
The body normally needs 6 weeks for the estrogen levels to return to normal after giving birth. However, experienced students can return to simple practice before then, provided they do not overstretch their ligaments. A C-Section needs 3 months to heal.
I suffer from asthma. Will yoga be beneficial?
As the yoga we teach looks at correct breathing from the outset and asthma is faulty breathing, all sufferers who come to classes get substantial benefit from practicing. However, if you are concerned about shortness of breath, you should always consult your GP first.
General questions
Can I have a meal before yoga?
A light snack is fine. Personally I would never eat anything 2-3 hours before practicing.
Am I too old to start yoga?
No. Vanda Scaravelli was still practicing at 92 years old, a short time before she died and she did not start until she was 50.
What is the age range in your classes?
Enormous - from teens to 70 year olds. Everyone benefits.
Are there any men practicing yoga?
Yes, Yoga is becoming much more popular with men. Sometimes nearly half the class will consist of men.
Are there women only classes?
No. Its hard enough getting men to start, without restricting them to certain classes.
Will yoga help me to relax?
If yoga does nothing else, it will certainly help you to relax. A common remark is that "I never have trouble sleeping after yoga."
Will yoga tone my body?
Depends what you mean by 'tone'. If you are looking for Madonna 'muscles', then forget it, however, if your idea of tone is a yoga body, which looks grounded, with good posture and core strength then the answer is yes.
Will yoga help me to lose weight?
No, only eating less, however, if your overeating is due to stress, then yoga can help. The improvement in posture will also lose you 7 lbs.
Will yoga get me fit?
No, but if combined with a good diet and an exercise programme it can help.
Can I come and watch?
No. Would you like someone watching you? You have to experience yoga and feel it from the inside.
How big are your classes?
The rooms we work in can accommodate 25 students and the average number of students in a class is about 18-20.
Can I bring my young daughter with me to do yoga?
Yes, if the child is well behaved. Young children, provided they can be still for the 10 minutes of relaxation and be attentive are very welcome. The youngest child has been 9 years old.
Do you have crèche facilities?
No, sorry. It would be too costly to implement.
Are there changing facilities?
Yes, both venues offer spacious toilets to accommodate any change of clothing.