BOCAS YOGA, BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA
A Few things you should know to enhance your learning and practice of Yoga. We're glad you're here. Thanks!
Please remove shoes at the door. There are cubby-holes in the lobby specially built to hold your shoes.
Please turn of your cell-phones once you enter the studio.
Arrive 10 minutes early to class to set up your space.
No experience or flexibility is required to practice yoga. Yoga is for everyone.
We highly encourage you to use your own personal mat for hygienic reasons. We have private space to store your mat if you choose to keep it at the studio. If you're using our public mats, there is a 50¢ rental fee. If using our public mats, please wipe down the mat after use with the provided cleaner.
Yoga is noncompetitive. It is not just a work-out, it is not just techniques for relaxation, and it is not just cross-training. It is a spiritual practice that makes the body stronger, more flexible, and generally much healthier. The purpose is to calm the mind, open the heart, and get us in touch with our True Selves. By comparing ourselves to other participants, or the instructor, we are defeating the purpose of practicing yoga.
Be kind and loving to yourself by accepting where you are. It is okay to come out of a pose before the instructor says to. Yoga is not about "no pain, no gain". To the contrary, the body will respond beautifully when you show it kindness, compassion, acceptance, and love. Rest sometimes. Do what you can, with what you have, with where you are.
Come to practice with an empty stomach (unless a specific condition prevents this).
Ask questions about anything that is not clear to you. You may ask during class when appropriate, or briefly after class. Before posing a question to the instructor, internalize your question and trust your own process of inquiry. This will help you develop greater independence and confidence. If you are unable to answer your own question after reflection, then by all means please ask the instructor, if it is relevant to the topic at hand.
Stay for the entire class. If you need to leave early, tell the instructor beforehand and exit quietly before Savasana (final relaxation pose).
If you have a health issue (illness, injury, recent surgery, or medical condition) please notify your instructor before class. Not every pose is appropriate for everyone. The instructor can help you with modifications of poses. On hand will be props to assist you in poses - blocks, straps, & blankets. If you know you will be using props, please get them before class starts, and set them by your mat so they will be within easy reach during class.
No consumption or influence of alcohol, tobacco or cocaine is permitted on the premises. If you partake in these substances on your own free time, that's your personal choice, which is respected. If you choose to arrive at the Bocas Yoga studio under the influence, which is disruptive to the integrity of the class, and disrespectful to the other participants and instructor, you will be politely asked to leave. Will these substances get in the way of your yoga practice? Perhaps not, however yoga may just get in the way of these substances being consumed. As you find new vitality in your body, enjoying the detoxifying benefits that yoga provides, an increased lung capacity, and a clearer mind you will find you will crave these substances less and less.
Some classes will begin with the chanting of OM. If you are comfortable with this, please join along, but don't feel like you have to - it's a personal preference. Chanting OM is a form of meditation in which we are asking Isvara (a concept of the highest divine being who is omniscient, perfect in action, sees all things as they are, is the first teacher, and is a source of support) to protectively guide us. It is our way of asking for assistance - to lead us from ignorance, giving us mental clarity in order to avoid future suffering. It is important when chanting OM to keep actively in our minds the true meaning of OM and our quest for self-realization, otherwise it can lose meaning. By chanting OM, we have faith that we can become better, and trust that we are able to overcome obstacles in order to move forward in life and our yoga practice. You don't necessarily have to believe in a "divine" being when chanting OM, you can think of it as the benevolent universe, reminding yourself that you are an integral part of it, and getting in touch with your inner teacher.
Finally, most classes finish with the gesture and saying Namaste. This means: "I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one."