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frequently asked questions

your questions answered

is yoga right for me?

Absolutely! Yoga is for anyone who wants to find more focus, feel flexible and become stronger. If that sounds like you, you’ve found your yoga home.

Wherever you are on your journey, we have a range of classes for all levels and abilities:

Most of our students come to us as complete beginners. As they become confident with the basics, they move on to one of our more challenging classes.

what’s yoga all about then?

Yoga is a powerful form of fitness that stretches your body and mind. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago, with the purpose of helping us to achieve our highest potential and improve the quality of our lives. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yui’, meaning to unite. Aligning (or uniting) the body, the spirit and the mind helps you feel healthier and happier in all aspects of your life.  

Rather than something you do, yoga is something you practise. You’ll improve over time as your understanding deepens. However accomplished you feel in that first class, there’s always more to learn – and that’s the beauty of it.

Despite its spiritual component, yoga is not a religion; it’s more of a science. The benefits people experience through their practice are far-reaching and well-documented. Our students tell us that coming to Peacock Tree class is the best part of their day. Find out more about how becoming a member has helped our students here.

why should I practise yoga?

Yoga makes you feel great. That positive feeling then radiates into other areas of your life. A regular practice can relieve chronic pain, calm your mind and help to stabilise emotions. Ultimately, it makes you more resilient to life’s challenges. At the end of your class, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a little break from the world.

It’s also a fantastic form of exercise. It can be practised on its own or complement other activities, exercise and sports by helping you to build strength, flexibility and stamina. Yoga stimulates blood flow to your organs, increases flexibility and creates mobility in your joints.

what kind of yoga do you teach?

We predominantly teach hatha yoga in our classes. Our improvers and intermediate, dynamic classes also weave in creative vinyasa flow. Some of our online classes focus on ashtanga – a more vigorous form of yoga.

In all of our sessions, we synchronise our breath with the poses. This creates a moving mediation. The postures stretch and strengthen different parts of your body, systematically working all the major muscle groups – so you get a great workout.

what is the difference between hatha, vinyasa and ashtanga yoga?

Hatha yoga is all about holding physical postures (called asanas) and controlling the breath (called pranayama). We do more standing postures when we’re practising hatha yoga to build strength from the ground up. We focus on one pose at a time, resting in between. Therefore, it is a great choice if you’re a complete beginner, returning to yoga after a break or recovering from an injury.

With vinyasa yoga, we flow from one posture to another to elevate your heart rate, build muscles, support joints and improve your flexibility. 

Ashtanga is a challenging practice. It is a fast and energetic style of yoga. You’ll move through a set sequence of postures, with each pose synchronised by the breath. It is best suited if you have a high level of fitness or are at an intermediate level of yoga. 

what are your classes like?

Firstly, they’re enormous fun. We encourage a sense of lightness and good humour in our classes. They’re also full of imagination too, with evocative music and thoughtful meditations. 

Our approach is different from many other yoga schools; we alter postures with the changing seasons. We believe different times of the year give us the opportunity to learn something new about ourselves and the world around us. You can read more about our approach on our about page.

We also pepper classes with manageable chunks of yogic philosophy to give you a little bit of the ‘why’ behind what you’re doing, and something mindful to think about during the week. 

Peacock Tree is a community. While we enjoy the classes together, everyone commits to their own personal growth. Yoga can be as physically challenging as you choose to make it, honouring how you feel that day and moving in a way that feels right for you.

where are your yoga classes?

We have two wonderful locations in York that are easily accessible if you live in the Acomb, Holgate and Woodthorpe areas.

We hold our beginners yoga classes, intermediate yoga classes and seasonal workshops from our Woodthorpe studio. Our gentle hatha and dynamic yoga classes are held at our Holgate studio. Visit our locations page for details on how to find us.

how much do your yoga classes cost?

As the primary provider of yoga membership in York, we offer both in-person and online options. Prices range from £20 – £60, depending on the membership you choose.

Our in-person membership costs £60. We do have a £40 concession option for students, our gentle hatha classes and those impacted by financial hardship. If you’d like to come to our face-to-face classes but have a changeable schedule (for example if you work shifts), we can also make a bespoke package for you. Get in touch by emailing info@peacocktreeyoga.com.

Our online-only membership is £20 and offers live and pre-recorded classes. If you join us for studio-based classes, you’ll also receive access to our virtual sessions at no extra cost.  

All our memberships are rolling month to month. There’s no contract, and you can cancel at any time. 

We also offer a 12-week beginners yoga course three times a year in January, at Easter and from September for an investment of £120.

You can find out more about our timetable on our classes page and our membership and fees here.

am I too old, too stiff or too inflexible to do yoga?

Absolutely not! These are exactly the reasons why you should be doing yoga; not reasons why you shouldn’t do it. A regular practice boosts longevity and creates resilient, supple bodies.

what’s so good about being flexible, anyway?

Flexibility = youthfulness. Being flexible gives you a greater range of movement, improves sports performance, reduces injury from sports or falls – and helps you put your socks on more easily!

I have terrible back problems; can I do yoga?

Many students come to us because of long-term back or joint problems. The beauty of yoga is that it naturally develops strength and suppleness throughout the body, especially along the spine. 

It’s important that you go at a pace that feels right for you. You’ll be encouraged to build your strength with a regular, gentle practice. Over time, back muscles tend to become stronger and stronger. Working little by little is key.

It’s important to remember that everyone is different and will see different results. Many of our students find that yoga gives them a new lease of life. Like Danny, who found coming to our classes helped relieve his back pain. Watch his video testimonial here.

will yoga help me look fit?

We have students of all shapes, sizes and abilities in our community. Everyone brings good energy, so we have fun and engaging classes. Individually, students concentrate on their progress.

Yoga can encourage weight loss because we tend to sleep better after our practice. The next day, you’re likely to feel refreshed. When we’re well-rested, we naturally begin to make more nutritionally sound decisions. A lean body can be one of the by-products of yoga, but it’s not the main aim. It is about feeling focused, flexible and strong in your body and mind.

what do I need to wear?

Wear comfortable clothes you can move freely in, with layers that are easily removed. Leggings and jogging bottoms are ideal. Leave your jeans, walking trousers and belts at home – they’ll only restrict your movement in class.  

Yoga is a barefoot practice, so you’ll be asked to leave your shoes at the door. We’d recommend bringing socks and a sweatshirt, hoodie or shawl for relaxation at the beginning and end of class, so you stay nice and warm.

what do I need to bring with me?

You’ll need your own yoga mat, as well as a blanket or sweatshirt to keep you warm during the relaxation part of your class. You may want to bring a bottle of water to drink before and after class (ideally not during).

can I borrow a mat?

We provide a mat for your first session. After that, we ask you to please bring your own. This is for hygiene reasons, and so you have a mat to work on your practice at home. Check out our blog post for our recommendations on the best yoga mats.

can I eat or drink before class?

It’s important to leave at least an hour and a half between eating and practising yoga. We do a lot of abdominal work and twisting, which can feel uncomfortable on a full stomach. 

Make sure you’re well hydrated, just as you would with any other form of exercise. You can bring some water to drink before and after your class (ideally not during).

see you on the mat!

Ready to start your yoga practice?

Come and try a free class at one of our two York locations. Then, commit to the class and membership that is right for you.