How early should I arrive before class?
Doors open 30 minutes prior to class. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early.

Where should I park?
Please park in the gravel lot across the street from the center. Once the lot is full, park in the unmarked spaces in the paved lot next to the center.

How do I donate to the center?
There are many ways to donate. You can put cash or checks into the black donation box at the front desk before or after class. You can also donate via paypal on the website.

Is it okay for my friend to sign me in for class?
Please sign yourself in for class, as your signature also serves as your release waiver.

Is there a place to change?
YES! We have designated changing rooms, please change there (instead of the bathroom).

Where should I put my personal items during class? Please place your personal items in the cubbies (in the lobby) during class. The door is locked to the outside while class is in session, so your personal belongings should be secure.

Should I turn my cell phone off during class?
Please turn your ringer on silent/ off, and leave your cell phone with your personal items in the lobby.

Is the studio a cell phone free zone?
YES! Please refrain from talking on your cell phone in the center, as much as possible.

Can I take a water bottle into the studio with me?
We discourage this. The floors are heated, so any spills can cause a good deal of damage. Also, it is not recommended to drink water while practicing. If you feel it necessary to have water near you anyways, you may leave your water bottle on the long shelf to the right of the door as you enter the studio, and go to your bottle for a drink during class.

If I am taking a hot class, should I bring my own towel and props?
YES! Please refrain from using studio blankets and other props if you are very sweaty.

Should I clean my mat and props after class?
Please use the spray bottles on the long shelf, and a paper towel to clean your mat and block(s) after class.

Can we hang out in the lobby after class?
Until the next class begins, you are welcome to socialize in the lobby, but please be aware of the volume of students moving around in a relatively small space, and be mindful of your voice volume.

Can I talk in the studio?
Once class has begun, please refrain from talking while the teacher is giving instruction. If you have a question, find an appropriate and respectful way to ask the teacher for help.

Will I need props for class?
If so, which ones? We provide all the props you will need for a safe yoga practice. If you know you need to use certain props, please always get them before class. If the teacher asks you to have specific props, please get them before class begins. If at any time during class you are in pain or discomfort, ask your teacher to bring you a prop.

What are your policies regarding health and hygiene? If you are under the weather, please refine from coming to class. Also, many of our practitioners are sensitive to smells, so please come free of all strong odors and scents.

What if I’m late?
The outside door is locked ten minutes into each class. Until then, you should be fine to enter the studio quietly (please sign in).

What if I don’t feel well during class, or need to leave early?
If you need to leave the studio for any reason (other than using the restroom), it is helpful to let your instructor know why you are leaving. You are always free to care for yourself however you see fit, and if you need help, please let your instructor or one of the studio employees/assistants know what it is you need.

Should I wear socks to my practice?
It is recommended to enjoy your practice barefoot, as this helps keep your feet in place on your sticky mat.

What if I’m in pain during one of the poses?
Please get your instructor’s attention and seek guidance to alleviate your pain, OR simply come out of the pose and rest; you may want to seek help from the instructor to understand the pose better, after class.

What if I feel dizzy?
Have you eaten enough before class?  Have you had enough water? If you are dizzy during your practice, sit down, and wait for it to pass. OR, step out of the studio for a drink of water.  Energy bars are usually available to help your blood sugar safely support your practice; just ask.

How much should I eat before practicing yoga?
A small snack, for example an apple or an energy bar, 1-2 hours before practice, is usually just right. Too much food in your stomach can cause strain and lethargy, and can make poses more challenging.

The studio is Not-for-Profit, right?
YES! ACY is a 501 C-3 nonprofit corporation, run entirely off the donations of practitioners like yourself, friends, and the greater community.

Do you really offer free yoga classes?
Yes, Asheville Community Yoga provides free yoga classes for people who truly cannot afford to pay and would not be able to practice yoga otherwise.  It is a donation based community studio for those who can afford to pay, and the suggested donation is $5.00 to $15.00 per class.  Please come to experience yoga, feel the value it provides to your life and give according to your level of ability to pay.

Other than monetary donations, are there other ways I can donate my energy to ACY?
YES! By adding your name to our list of volunteers, you are offering your time and energy, which is invaluable. We can work with you to make the best use of your personal gifts and interests. Please see anyone at the front desk to add your name to the volunteer list, or send us an email.

Are the teachers paid for teaching regular classes at ACY?
One of the remarkable things about ACY is that all of our teachers offer the gift of yoga as a service, teaching entirely for free. Please take the time to thank them, or let them know you appreciate their offering.

Do the teachers make any money at ACY?
Every teacher has the opportunity to teach workshops, where they will receive half of the donations.

What does Namaste mean?
You may hear people greet each other with the word Namaste and teachers often use it at the end of a class as a way to thank everyone in attendance.  It means “the light in me sees the light in you.”  By addressing one another with that word, we acknowledge the divine luminous essence in one another and meet each other in that space.  Think of it as a handshake from the heart.

What does Om mean?
Om is said to be the universal sound of peace; the all-pervading sound that existed prior to the birth of the earth.  Chanting Om together is a reminder of the cosmic resonance and tunes the practitioner to that vibration.  You may sit and listen to the sound of Om as it is chanted or join in with your own voice.  It is one way of cultivating union and community within a class and is sometimes offered before the class begins, after the class ends, or both.

What is ujjayi breathing? 
The main type of breathing practiced in yoga is called ujjayi (ooh-JAI-yee).  It is a whisper-like sound that comes from a gentle close in the back of the throat. As the breath passes through the nostrils on both inhale and exhale, the breath becomes audible.  The main purpose is to synchronize movement and breath.  This way of breathing aids internal focus and relaxes the nervous system.  Merging the pose with the breath increases sensitivity and awareness, lessening the likelihood of injury and increasing the benefits and enjoyment of the practice.

How do I know which class is right for me?
If you are a beginner, choose a class with a star next to the name.  This indicates it is appropriate for new-to-yoga folks.  Once you’ve tried a beginner class such as beginner yoga, gentle yoga or therapeutic yoga, you can begin to explore other classes until you find a match that feels right.

Are there ways to help around the studio before/after classes? 
After the last class of the day we seek help from volunteers with studio cleaning. This includes a quick and thorough mopping of the studio, vacuuming the lobby, cleaning the bathroom, and collecting the garbage. This is a simple way to give back immediately after your practice, and takes 15 minutes with a small group of cooperative yogis!

Studio Etiquette

Personal Hygiene: The first of the moral observances traditional to the practice of Yoga is cleanliness (Sauca), and although the implications are for a clean mind, lifestyle, and body, we at the studio encourage and insist upon keeping a clean body for your practice with us. Please be considerate of the students with whom you are practicing, and come free of all strong odors and scents. As well, if you are feeling under the weather, please stay home, and join us for practice when you are in good health.

Shirts:  Shirts are required to be worn in the studio, even hot classes.

Shoes and Socks: Please remove your shoes and socks for your practice, and refrain from entering the studio with your shoes on (leave them in one of the cubbies in the lobby).

Personal Items: We do not assume responsibility for any personal items left in the cubbies during class, and although the lobby is locked during class, it is best for you to leave valuable personal items at home.

Lost and Found:  We have a lost a found area for items that have been left in the studio.  Please be mindful when leaving the studio and bring home personal items.  Every few months, we announce a day (by newsletter and verbally before classes) for all lost and found items to be claimed and if not, they are given away to those who can benefit from their use.

Talking in the studio: We love the community feeling that pervades the studio, and we love the friendships and new connections which flow so easily here. Enjoy talking with friends before or after class, but please refrain from speaking during announcements or while the class is being instructed, unless the teacher gives you permission or invitation to do so. This saves everyone the time it takes to repeat important information; also remember that some yoga practitioners prefer a quiet space. By simply maintaining a healthy awareness of others in the studio, and respect for the practice, your teachers, and the studio, we can enjoy a sweet and easy social space before and after class.

Props: Many teachers will ask you to retrieve specific props for their class; it is always best to get any props you know you will need before class. If you aren’t sure what you will need, get two blocks, a strap, and a blanket before class begins. Be considerate of the time it takes to get props in the middle of class, and the distraction this can be to other students around you, as well as your teacher. It is always best to come prepared with what your body requires.

Starting class: Many teachers begin class with a short talk. Please sit up straight and offer your attention, showing your respect for the time and effort your instructor has put into preparation for your class. This is an excellent way to get centered in your experience, and is an important part of the physical practice.

Listening: Many teachers do not practice along with you, choosing instead to give verbal and hands-on adjustments during class. Learning to listen to your teachers is a significant part of the mental aspect of practice. If something doesn’t make sense, watch the students around you. If you are still uncertain about executing a pose, please call the teacher to you, or do your best, bringing your attention primarily to your breath, until the class moves on to the next pose.

Savasana: Final relaxation is a time to surrender any physical effort, and to relax your breath. Please resist falling asleep, and do your best to stay quiet and still. If you do fall asleep, snore, have muscle spasms, or make noises (due to being so relaxed), know that this is natural and acceptable, also. Simply keep your awareness in a relaxed and present state.

Putting props away after class:  Take a moment to look at the organization of props and return props of the same type with their matching props.  Fold your blanket neatly and if it contains fringe, arrange the fringe facing the wall.

After class: Many students ask questions of the teacher after class. Please clean your mat and props, place them back neatly on the shelves, and then ask your teacher for their thoughts. This keeps the space clear and ready for the next class to arrive.

Eating and drinking: Traditionally, food and water are to be enjoyed prior to and following class, but not during practice. Too much in the stomach can cause discomfort during class, so please finish your last meal 1-2 hours prior to your practice, and give yourself 30 minutes after practice for your system to integrate.

Drinking water at the studio: Please bring your own water bottle, and fill it at home. We provide small cups of water for practitioners here, but please limit your intake to only your immediate needs. Do not fill up your water bottle to take with you.

Treat others as you would like to be treated: In general, this golden rule applies to all things within and without the studio. Please be courteous, helpful, and supportive of one another in any way you can while you are here at ACY. See your practice beginning from your entrance to the studio, and continuing for the rest of your day, at least! We are a center totally run by your generosity, consideration, and participation…let’s keep up the great attitude and feeling of our space together!

Studio talk: It is a fact that Asheville has a LOT of yoga teachers, practitioners, and studios, which is a rare and amazing gift. Limit negative talk about other studios, teachers, or anything that relates to yoga while you are here. Remember how great you feel when you leave class, and consider that every teacher, studio, and practitioner is serving someone. This is adds up to a happier, healthier community, so let’s all do our best to support that perspective!

Feedback for the teacher: You may feel that it is important to give your feedback on a class you have attended, especially if you felt challenged in some way, and weren’t satisfied. Consider whether your perspective is constructive for the teacher and the students, and if it is, please speak with one of the employees here, or send an email. We appreciate your feedback, and want to serve as many people as we can as fully as possible. Remember that your impression of a class may be very different from that of other students.

Om: As many classes begin, the teacher often invites the students to join them in chanting “Om.” This is not necessary, but it is an excellent way to bring practitioners together, and is very calming for the nervous system. Chanting Om is different than singing, and invites the student to use his/ her full voice and breath. You can sit quietly or chant silently to yourself as an option.

Modifications: Some poses are simply more challenging than others. Often, due to injury, pain, or stiffness, it is smarter to modify a pose to keep oneself safe, rather than push through pain and risk injury. Please modify a pose when necessary, or call the teacher over to ask for help. At any point during practice you can rest on your back or in child’s pose.

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