Below are the most frequently asked questions of our students and clients and the answers to those questions:
Q: Do I need to bring anything if I'm coming for a yoga class?
A: We do encourage all returning students to purchase their very own yoga mat, but for beginners we are happy to lend you one of ours. Some people like to bring a closed bottle of water to keep themselves well hydrated during the class. Bringing a small or medium sized towel is also an option.
Q: What do I wear to a yoga class?
A: Wear clothing that is easy to stretch in like shorts, sweat pants, a t-shirt, and perhaps a sweat shirt. Shoes or sneakers are put off to the side and not used during the class.
Q: Do I need to pre-register to take the yoga class?
A: No. You can just fill out our short health and release form and pay when you come in for your first class.
Q: Do you sell gift certificates if I want to buy something for another?
A: Yes, we do. Any of our staff can help you with that and you can also purchase a gift card on-line.
Q: I have heard that a lot of people get injured doing yoga. Is this true? How can a student avoid injury?
A: Practicing Yoga Safely and Avoiding Injuries 101.
As yoga practitioners we should think and talk about practicing safely among ourselves. We never want to have an injury come out of the practice of yoga. Let's learn together to make yoga safer for everyone by talking about what works and what doesn't. There was a recent article about yoga and injuries in the New York Times Magazine. Below are some important parts of the conversation:
We should only move into poses with awareness and gentleness and in a way where
we can stay in control of our movement the whole time. We are also in control of our ability to get out of a posture. We don't fall into a pose or bounce into it or fall out of it in an out of control way. We back off if we feel or sense any risk of injury or if we cross over the line from a bit of discomfort into pain.
I thought I would share some of Maureen Carroll's response with you to the above mentioned article here. It was a written in response to an article "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body" in the recent Sunday NY Times magazine.
"All Bent Out of Shape, the Problem with Yoga”. The author, William J. Broad.
Thank you Maureen for your clear response.
Letter to the Editor
New York Times
January 8, 2012
Yoga is a wonderful way to develop one’s mind, body and spirit. Just like any other form of physical activity, if done incorrectly or without careful attention to underlying physical weakness or problems, injury can occur. I agree with Black on several points: there can be too many people in a class, teachers and students can often be working from their egos, and teachers need a ton of experience to know when a student should not do something.
One of the most important and challenging aspects for me, as a teacher, is to get my students to use a block, strap or modification. Many of them don’t want to take my advice, they want to do the more challenging version of a posture. It is my responsibility not to let that happen. Fortunately, my classes are small so I am able to monitor what and how they are doing the pose. I also know most of them fairly well. If someone is taking a class with 100 people, they will look around, compare themselves to others and ignore their body’s pain signals that are asking them to back off. They are putting ego ahead of awareness.
The man in India who “threw himself into a spinal twist” was not doing yoga consciously and with awareness. Of course he got injured. The student in downward-facing dog who tore his Achilles tendon was not paying attention to how it felt and how much he was straining before it popped. Ego instead of awareness. When going into shoulder-stand, the upper back and neck areas are being stretched. These are areas of extreme tightness for many of us. That is why you learn half shoulderstand first and always keep the weight on the shoulders and not the neck. Hyper-extension of the neck or any joint can cause damage to that area. You must also remain in the pose for an amount of time that feels right for YOUR body NOW, instead of vigilantly adhering to what BKS Iyengar instructed in his book 47 years ago. A forward bend should be done while hinging from the hips, not with a round spine which puts pressure on the lower back. An individual with lower back problems must always be cautious in forward and back bends...
Q: According to the New York Times, it seems that many celebrity yoga teachers get mixed up and have claims that they have acted sexually inappropriately with their students. Is this true and how do you protect against this?
A: I think this is a meaningful and timely conversation. Of course, I don't agree with all of the article below. It seems that the New York Times is really painting some very one-sided pictures lately. See the article at
Nevertheless, obviously there is some truth to it. Many gurus and teachers who have accepted credit as having gained self-mastery succumb to the readily available temptations. Students of yoga are also quite vulnerable to acting on impulse. I think it is also true that yoga wakes up energies that then need to be channeled. Waking up the energy is pretty easy. The hard part is channeling the energy over time in a constructive way to develop and maintain inner peace and promote what is good and worthwhile in the world rather than pain and suffering.
It is seldom necessary or wise to fight a war all alone. In my own life I have moved toward reliance on God along with Jewish practices, observances, and community because I found that I needed this support. I do not wish to follow in the footsteps of yoga Amrit Desai (aka Gurudev) or other bright lights who have had their name, their reputation, their work, and their home-life damaged.
There is nothing more difficult or more rewarding than self mastery and when one has it they have a positive and powerful effect on the world around them.
Q: I love this place. How can I help you reach even more people and grow?
A: There are so many ways you can support the studio. After reading below, please talk to Andrew if you have any questions.
We have been blessed with the gift of many good friends.
We have a dedicated staff and clients who support us with their participation in our classes, workshops, and other services. We also have the good fortune to have many who support the studio by referring other clients to us. Our aim is to continue grow in this community and to reach out to other communities who could benefit from our services.
If you like you may contribute to the operating expenses of the studio or our broader efforts, we deeply thank you.
You can make your contribution in person, by mail, or by credit card (including over the phone). Just indicate what your contribution is intended for or that your contribution is intended for the peaceful presence discretionary fund to be used however we see fit.)
Examples of specific contributions:
make improvements at the Cedarhurst, NY facility
offer affordable or free training and yoga (at the studio and elsewhere)
advertise your 60 second commercial
produce a video for instruction
produce literature to share the Peaceful Presence philosophy
give a presentation
Tavel and teach in another state or country...
We also welcome positive book reviews on Amazon.com, along with personal letters of reference or quotes from you that we can use to help us grow. Yelp.com is another place to post if you wish to assist us in this way.
For Posting to help promote our Cedarhurst studio you might also
click on the following link to download:
This page is for helping to spread the word about how we are serving the unique needs of the religious Jewish community. It can be posted in Shuls, Temples, Judaica shops, and other places frequented by this population.
Do you have a question of your own that is not currently answered here?
Let us know what it is and we will do our best to get you an answer.