Whether you are new to yoga, or have practiced before, click on the down arrows for answers to your questions. Please e-mail Audrey if you have a specific issue to discuss.
Do I need to sign up or call before my first class?
No need to call before class, unless you have a question. If you do, email Audrey or call (805) 484-8810. Your first class is free if you live in Ventura County, and there is no advance sign up required. We will need you to fill out a new student release form before class. If you would like to save time, you can click and PRINT, fill out and bring it with you. If you have any physical challenges or conditions, please let your teacher know, so your practice can be modified accordingly.
What is Yoga? Is Yoga a religion?
In the United States, the media often associates “yoga” with bendy people doing things that make them look like pretzels. The word yoga actually means “union, or joining together.” Yoga is a practice that incorporates physical movement, breathing and meditation to help you unite your body and mind, so you feel energized, balanced and grounded. Anyone can do it, and everyone should do it!
Yoga is not a religion. While the philosophy of peace and balance which is the essence of yoga began in India, the purpose of yoga practice is not to convert you to Hinduism or any other religion. In fact, many people have found that by practicing yoga, and experiencing the quiet space it cultivates within, they feel more connected to their own personal religious tradition or spirituality. In our classes you will not be asked to worship anyone or anything. During our short meditation periods you can reduce stress with quiet breathing, or pray in your own tradition, or just simply be. Yoga practice is a journey into your relationship with yourself!
I'm not flexible. Can I do Yoga?
Since the goal of yoga practice is to be more relaxed and balanced, and not a human pretzel or super athlete, everyone can do it. At Camarillo Yoga Center, our motto is: Yoga is for Every Body! So whether you are stiff or flexible, fatter, thinner, older or younger, an athlete or a couch potato, your yoga practice will be unique to your needs: Movements that will help you develop your range of motion, strength and balance, stretching the computer and driving out of your back, neck and shoulders. Breathing practices to help you utilize oxygen more efficiently and be more energetic and focused. Quiet meditative time for calming, replenishing and reducing stress. In our busy world, everyone is out of balance in one way or another, and yoga helps you find your way back to whole, and happy!
My doctor says I should do Yoga. Why?
Medical science is studying yoga thoroughly, and every year more studies prove that regular yoga practice can help you be a healthier person: eliminating back, neck and shoulder pain, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving digestion and elimination, lessening symptoms of arthritis and other chronic illnesses, and providing relief from depression, anxiety and other stress-related conditions. Of course, there is no guarantee that yoga will accomplish these things in every case, and one thing is certain: Yoga is not a magic pill. Taking responsibility for one’s own health and well-being requires regular practice and patience. We recommend practicing at least twice per week if possible, with daily attention to some of the practices we teach in class, including posture and breathing.
Do you have different levels? How do I know which class is right for me?
I am new to yoga.
If you have never practiced yoga before, remember that if you went to your first piano lesson, you probably wouldn’t play Mozart immediately. Any physical practice requires patience and persistence. In yoga class, the breathing and relaxation will help you feel better and more peaceful right away, and with consistent practice you will feel stronger, more balanced, more connected to your body.
It is a good idea to start in Yoga 1 or Yoga 1 & 2 classes. These classes might be a great fit for you, and just what you need as you continue your yoga journey, or they might be a place to learn breathing and alignment before you begin attending more physically demanding Yoga 2 classes. The beauty of yoga is that there are no “levels” which designate us as “better at yoga” than the next person. The “best” practitioner is he or she who is most at home and connected within their body, regardless of age, or level of athleticism. Our teachers will help you develop a practice that works safely and effectively for you!
I practice Yoga regularly.
If you practice yoga regularly, but are new to our classes, click here for our class descriptions and see which one feels right to you. At Camarillo Yoga, we teach a blend of the Iyengar and Viniyoga traditions, with variations from many other styles of yoga. Our goal is to support your continued growth as a yoga practitioner, so if we don’t approach a certain pose the way you have learned it, we are happy to explain why we make the choices we do, and offer you the opportunity to broaden your understanding of yoga, while also listening to your experience and needs.
I am a senior.
If you are a senior, we recommend our daytime Yoga 1 class, or Ultra Gentle Yoga Class. If you are a senior who is unable to attend daytime classes, our evening or weekend Yoga 1 or Yoga 1 & 2 classes will be welcoming. Click here for descriptions of these classes. If you are a senior who requires one-on-one classes at home, please click here for more information.
I have a back issue or another physical challenge. Can I do yoga?
If you have a physical challenge or chronic condition, click here to e-mail Audrey, owner and director of the Yoga Center. All of our classes are safe and back-friendly, however it is a good idea to discuss your situation with Audrey and your teacher before you begin. In some cases, we may suggest a private lesson to teach you how to adapt for your body before beginning our general classes.
What do I need to bring, and what do I wear? Can I eat first?
It is always nice to have your own yoga mat, but use ours if you don’t have one to begin. We have all the other yoga props you will need- water and tea, too!
Yoga isn’t about how you look, so don’t worry about a fancy outfit. Just wear exercise type clothes that stretch, take off any jewelry that might catch or distract you, and have bare feet available. Since some people have allergies, we request no perfumes, please.
Don’t eat a big meal before class, but fruit or something light within an hour or two of class will usually be fine.
What can I expect from my first Yoga class?
Our classes range from 60 – 90 minutes, and are ongoing- in other words, you don’t have to sign up for an 8 week series. You may start your practice anytime. Click here to decide which class to begin with. There are no real “levels” in yoga, since it is not a linear practice with a series of achievements to accomplish. We think showing up and being open to trying something new is an achievement in itself!
In general we begin with a quiet introductory meditation to bring your mind out of the day and into your body in the present moment, followed by a warm up with range of motion practices, and then more active physical practice including strengthening, stretching and balance-enhancing movements, all with slow sustained breathing. The end of every practice includes deep relaxation and quiet meditative time to absorb and enjoy the effects of your practice. In our restorative and meditation classes, we forego active physical movements for postures which are supported with blankets, chairs and other props, to allow the body to rest and renew deeply.
In all classes, our teachers circulate around the room to help you learn the practice safely and effectively. Our job is to teach you to practice yoga, not simply demonstrate at the front of the room. Your comfort level will evolve as you become more familiar with the practice, so please feel free to ask questions!
Is there any special etiquette I should know in Yoga class?
There are a few points of yoga etiquette, such as removing your shoes before you enter the yoga room, that will make your first experience more comfortable and familiar. Click here for our “Welcome to Camarillo Yoga” information. We are looking forward to sharing yoga with you!
What can I expect to feel once I’ve taken some yoga classes?
Generally, people feel lighter, more alive and relaxed even after the first class. You may experience some muscular soreness at first as your body adjusts to this new experience, but if you begin with a patient attitude, and work slowly and with kindness towards yourself, this should be minimal. Generally yoga practitioners feel happier, have more range of motion, strength and endurance, and mental focus after just a short while. Like anything, once the newness and excitement wears off, it becomes one’s own responsibility to continue to deepen the experience with regular practice. Many of our students, including 95 year-old George Benson, have been practicing since we opened in 2001, and consider yoga practice essential to their health and well-being.
How much do I pay after my Free First Class?
We have an ongoing new student special rate of $45 for a first month of unlimited classes. This way, you can try all our classes, and see which ones meet your schedule and life needs. About 70% of our students have chosen 6 month membership, because they practice more than once a week. They pay $85 per month by check or credit card (no lump sum required) for 6 months at a time. If you know you are only able to attend once per week, or even less, then the single class rate of $15 for adults and $10 for adults 60+ would probably be preferable. We never pressure you for any kind of sign-up. Enjoy our free first class, and our reduced rate month first, so you can really have an idea of the difference yoga can make in your life. Then, you can decide what works best for you. Click here for all of our fee information.
Do you offer private lessons?
Private lessons in our yoga school are available by appointment, with Audrey or another member of our teaching staff. If you have a physical challenge, e-mail Audrey to discuss your needs. If needed, a 90 minute lesson can be arranged to help you adapt your practice so you can attend general classes. If you require more than one lesson, a three lesson package is available. Fees for private lessons are $90 for one lesson, $240 for three lessons.
If you are simply unfamiliar with yoga, we encourage you to attend our Yoga 1 classes, where you will learn the same fundamentals we would teach you in a private class, for the price of a group class, and the first class is free! Being a beginner is part of any new activity, and our classes are friendly and welcoming, so you will feel at ease despite being new. Once you have learned the fundamentals of breathing and movement, you will get more out of a private lesson to fine-tune your practice. If you still want a private lesson, e-mail Audrey!
Do you offer in-home lessons for seniors?
Seniors who cannot attend our Ultra Gentle yoga classes due to physical restrictions are offered in-home 45 minute lessons, with our Ultra Gentle yoga teacher, Christi Harman, at a rate of $40 per class in Camarillo, and $55 per class elsewhere. If your parent or relative is simply tentative about trying our group classes, even with our “free first class” trial offer, a home lesson with Christi may break the ice and lead to attendance at group classes, which are recommended if possible. In- home lessons are offered on a limited basis as space is available.
Please e-Mail Audrey to discuss your needs.