FAQ

What to Expect

Public Classes

Welcome to class! I teach bhakti flow yoga, a blend of vinyasa, ashtanga, power, and bhakti yoga. This school of yoga is guided by an 8-limbed approach outlined in historical yoga texts. In public classes, I offer minimal lecturing and demos for maximal student attention and assists. Class is guided by breathing cues, alignment cues, and vibrant music. The music is inspired by my Indian-American culture, musical, and dance background. I share yoga philosophy, sayings or prayers, and history in its root language, Sanskrit, and in simple English with respect to modern and historical contexts. Emphasis is placed on acknowledging the teachers in our lives. I practice and teach yoga from an athletic, scientific, and spiritual point-of-view. Expect to sweat, be challenged, rebalance, learn, grow and meditate in motion with breath!

Private Sessions

Kudos for giving the gift of yoga to Self and/or Others! In private classes, I offer a personalized practice to meet your goals. Gain the foundational tools and confidence to attend any public class, refine your chaturanga, understand alignment and injury prevention, inch towards and achieve a state of meditation, conquer arm balances & inversions, learn modifications for your own body, and more. For group sessions, I theme classes to the occasion. Learn more and purchase your session here

Corporate Classes

Here’s to a productive mind and body! Yoga classes are a low-cost, time-efficient solution for companies seeking to reduce healthcare expenses, alleviate workplace stress, and promote employee satisfaction. Depending on the type of health insurance your company carries, when you incorporate yoga in your corporate wellness program, you may be able to take advantage of reduced annual premiums which can affect your bottom line. With experience leading health technology product development at startups and corporations, I offer meditation and yoga customized to help teams do their best work. With a engineering degrees (BS/MS/PhD) from MIT & Carnegie Mellon University, my understanding and passion for technology, science, and my cultural roots gives me unique tools for teaching yoga intelligently. I tailor classes to meet your teams needs and time. No yoga or meditation experience necessary. Regular yoga, desk/no change yoga, and meditation classes available. Learn more and bring corporate yoga to your team here

Real questions from real students of Rowena Mittal Yoga

 

I'm inflexible and can't touch my toes, would I be able to attend your yoga class?

Yes! To touch the toes in a forward bending pose, bend the knees. From there begins your practice of yoga. But what's the big deal about your toes anyhow? There are many poses and yoga practices which do not involve touching toes. Moreover, not all poses are for all bodies, or, not all bodies are for all poses.

What should I wear?

 

Wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Fitted clothing is helpful so the cloth doesn't fall down when inverted. You do not need fancy cute spandex to do yoga. They do not have Lululemon in India. You do you.

What should I bring?

Public classes:

Bring a mat and water bottle. All the studios where I teach provide complimentary props and water fountains. For heated vinyasa, some practitioners bring a hand towel and/or mat towel. You will figure this out at your first class. If you are changing after class, it is a good idea to bring a plastic bag for your yoga clothes. The only studio where I teach that has fully stocked showers/locker rooms is Love Story Yoga. For direct links to each studio's page for more information about their facilities, please visit here

Private classes at Private Studio in Mission Dolores:

All inclusive! We provide mats, towels, blocks, straps, therapy balls, water and restroom/changing room. No showers. Come as you are (or bring a change of comfy clothes). Bring a water bottle to rehydrate after class. 

Private classes at a public beach of park:

Bring a mat, water bottle, hoodie. Wear sunscreen. Dress appropriately for the weather, which in San Francisco, CA usually means 1-2 light layers and a hoodie. 

What's your number one tip for someone's first yoga class?

 

My number one tip for an enjoyable yoga experience is to practice non-harming, or ahimsa. This means listening to the body and mind during practice and to back off when you are unable to breath or sense any pain or strain. Ahimsa also applies to the thoughts and interactions we apply to ourselves and others within and outside of class. 

I'll sweat in yoga so I can shower after class, right?

Contrary to what you may have smelled at some yoga practices, one of the personal observances (or niyamas - there are 5 niyamas) of yoga is cleanliness or saucha. Cleanliness helps us stay healthy and minimizes distractions while practicing some of the other 8 limbs of yoga such as withdrawal of senses (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), and meditation (dhyana). Please come to class clean and keep your mat sanitary/odor free. 

Can I eat before class?

 

It is recommended that you practice yoga on an empty stomach or eat at least 2 hours before class. It is also helpful to minimize intake of liquids 30 minutes before practice. Having food and liquid in the stomach while inverted, practicing breathing exercises, or studying all those components of your core, is no fun at all!

I want to go to your class! But I'm a newb...will I be embarrassed? 😄

Try to imagine that each time we enter the yoga studio, we have folded our egos into our jackets and gym bags which are stuffed away in the lockers or cubbies. We arrive the mat accepting the teacher and unknown practice in front of us. No two practices are the same, so in a way, we are beginning again. We accept that we are a beginner. Our unknown friend on the mat next to us may struggle with a pose, and to them we wish non-harming, non-judgement, strength, love and happiness. Without judgement, we become free to take risk towards finding strength, progress and contentment on and off the mat. 

It also helps to learn that each pose has modifications or alternative poses tailored to each body's needs and level. Even seasoned yogis continue to use modifications and props to grow. Come learn and try it out! 

I want to try this out. I've tried once before but fell on my face!

This isn't a question friend. But hey, your face still looks intact. ;) 

I've been doing regular yoga long enough, but think I may struggle a bit with the advanced poses?

 

One can only be a great student and never a master.

 

To RMY, there are no beginner or advanced poses. There are just poses. Even the most seasoned yogis may struggle with seemingly simple poses because each body is unique: genetic & physiological makeup, life's scrapes & bruises, and given state of mind-body connection. Not all bodies can do all poses. Some people can do certain poses on certain days and not others. With this said, we must learn to take adaptive risk without harming our bodies. For every pose, there is a modification. Without modifications, yogis would have no where to start and no where to grow. Learn and apply your modification for your body when you are presented in class with a posture that feels harmful to your body. Or substitute the pose entirely for one that serves a similar benefit but is a better fit for your body. Then breath deeply and express gratitude for this gift, this body.

What does "bhakti" mean?

To RMY, bhakti is the study of relationship with self, others, and Other with dedication. By directing devotion at something/someone -- anything/anyone you choose -- we stir the heart and allow ourselves to reach their highest potential for unconditional love and equanimity.

What does "flow" mean?

 

To RMY, flow is moving through forms (physical poses or asanas in a sequence or vinyasa) with breath & control without ego. This movement, time, and space gives the body and mind an opportunity to strengthen and rebalance from the work - physical and mental - that we do everyday.

What is yoga?

Yoga in the west is a set of lifestyle practices and guidelines - philosophical, spiritual, and physical - to help rebalance the body and mind towards equanimity. These practices and guidelines come in many interpretations, forms and schools; they originate from historical Indian philosophy, theology, and literature.

 

Yoga has changed ​throughout history and across cultures. Moreover, we may find a shift in our yoga practice to meet our needs through this journey called life. There is a yoga for every age, body, and state of being. Some days, we are too tired to bring ourselves to an active yoga practice -- so we sit still for 5 minutes instead or restorative yoga class. Other days, we choose to let someone in a hurry pass in front of us or ask the stranger who is serving us how they are doing today before they take our order. It is all yoga.

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