What style of practice does Michelle Timek Yoga teach?
Our practice is based on Strala Yoga's method, the movement systems that ignite freedom.
This approachable and intuitive style focuses on movement, rather than posing or posturing. You get to be in charge of doing what feels great every time you practice. Each movement made is guided by the breath, so it feels natural, rhythmic and organic. Since every person is unique, every person's movement is also unique. This is great news for everyone, especially for those new to practicing yoga. This freedom of movement gives individuals the opportunity to truly be aware, listen, connect and feel into one's self — safely and easily, without force or strain — in any given moment or situation. People can get more tuned into their bodies and less out of their heads, free from obligation, judgement or pre-conceived expectations. By creating this expansive space to exist in, the only thing left is to discover what you're capable of doing and being!
What are your favorite yoga, health and beauty products and services?
We love sharing great things with you, especially when we've tested them out ourselves. Check out Michelle's favorite tried-and true personal or home products and services on our Pinterest page and follow us there. Let us know what you think and enjoy!
Before Class :
Do I need to pre-register for class?
You can online if you'd like, however, it's not mandatory. You can also drop in whenever you'd like — walk-ins are certainly welcome! If it's your first visit with us, come about 10 minutes before class so we can help get you set up with everything you need to enjoy your class.
I've never practiced any kind of yoga before. What classes are appropriate for me as a first-timer and what can I expect?
Whichever class will help you feel the way you'd like to feel. Meaning, if you'd like to feel calm, restored and relaxed, try our Relax class. Want to feel really strong and invigorated? Hop in a vigorous Energy class. Michelle Timek Yoga classes focus on how you want to feel, rather than what experience you have / don't have or what posture you can do / not do. We don't have "levels" because we believe everyone is capable of moving how they'd like and has the freedom to discover what great potential they have inside to accomplish bigger and better things, both on the mat and off (wow!). All of our classes happen to be ideal for beginners because we offer many ways to move in various shapes so you can always test drive what works best for you at any given time, in any given class. The bigger question ought to be, Newbie, is : Do you want to feel Relaxed, Energized or Flowy? In any case, we're here to support you all the way in whatever you want to try!
I'm not all that coordinated, balanced or flexible. Do I need to practice before yoga practice?
Nope. Yoga practice is called practice for the simple reason of you can start wherever you are, with whatever you have, anytime, anywhere. Our personal practice is a life-long journey of self-discovery. You don't need any prerequisites or have to know any postures names and certainly there's no expectations of what you "should" or "need" to accomplish in your practice, so that means no pressure! Everytime you practice, it will be a new, different and unique experience that you get to feel and discover into you. How exciting!
Ideally, how often is it recommended to practice yoga?
As often as you can so you can feel as good as you can. Whether you're routinely taking a 60-minute class 4x per week or practicing a 3-minute meditation while waiting for the subway, it's all part of your practice so it all counts. The more frequently you practice, the more benefits you can receive and the more amazing it will help you feel. And not to worry if it's been a while since you've last practiced. You can always come back to it because it's always there waiting for you.
What do I need to bring to class?
Most importantly, bring yourself. We do have yoga mats, blocks, straps, cushions and other props available for you to use in class as well as water. Otherwise, if you prefer to use any of your own items, such as a towel (these we do not supply), do go ahead and bring them to use. Also, you may want to have socks and and extra shirt or covering to keep you warm 'n cozy while we're resting in final relaxation pose (savasana). And certainly bringing friends is always great!
What do I wear to practice? Is there a place to change / stash my stuff?
Wear anything that's comfortable that doesn't feel restrictive so you can move easily and freely. Wearing layers is generally a good idea in case you get chilly or too warm. A great tip for guys: swim trucks work great! There's plenty oWe have facilities for you to change in, if needed. You can stash your belongings in the back of the room (including your bike). There's plenty of space for everyone and everything.
What are the advantages to practicing yoga in the morning vs. in the evening?
Yoga in the morning prepares you for embracing the full day ahead. Yoga in the evening prepares you for receiving deep, sound sleep. Either way, both are super great so you can't go wrong!
What's the advantage of working one-on-one or semi-privately with Michelle? How can I do that?
Many reasons. Sometimes newbies like to take a few private sessions to get the "basics" down so they can more confidently practice in a group setting. Or, someone might be recovering from an injury and need extra individual care. Others may find that having this higher level of commitment in scheduling keeps them on top of their practice. The convenience of Michelle going directly to you, at the time you want, simply can't be beat. Regardless of reason, you'll be amazed at what you'll learn and will love the enhanced benefits received from this exceptionally personalized, custom practice. If you're interested in taking your yoga to the next level, contact Michelle for details. Heads up: you're gonna love it!
During Class :
What kinds of people will be at Michelle Timek Yoga group classes (experience, gender, age)?
All kinds! Since all our classes are "no experience needed" and "open to everyone", we are fortunate to have an interesting array of people, ranging from newbie to seasoned, practicing side-by-side. Beginners particularly love how approachable our classes are, especially the easy-breezy Relax and hugely popular Free Waterfront Yoga. In general, there are more females at class than males, although our robust Energy class routinely contains mostly guys. Our specialty classes (Pre/postnatal and Mommy & Baby) continuously draw women from all over Jersey City and its surrounding towns. The broadest range of ages can be found in the moderately paced Flow class, sometimes spanning from just 2.5 years old to people in their late 60's. You'll commonly encounter fellow athletes, young professionals, expecting or new moms and most everyone in between.
Does the room get very hot?
No. Since we're not practicing "hot yoga" we keep the room at a moderate temperature (usually 76-79 degrees) and are mindful to have good air circulation. Although, if we happen to be having class outside in the summer, you may get to practice "naturally hot yoga"!
I tend to sweat very easily and then slide around on my mat. Any tips?
Yes. Try using a microfiber yoga towel on top of your mat or wearing grippy foot socks to help minimize slipping. Both will help maintain better grip and the towel will help absorb excess moisture. You can use a yoga mat that contains natural rubber to help control moisture, which is also naturally antibacterial. Michelle's two favorite mats are Manduka's "PROlite® Mat" and Lululemon's "The Mat".
I have a past / current injury. Can I still attend group class?
Up to you. It might be a welcome reprise to be part of a group practice, which can energetically promote physical, mental and emotional healing just by being there. No matter what your practice "looks like", the benefits can still be very powerful if you're open to receive yourself exactly as you are. (Isn't that what yoga is all about — being present and adapting to "what is"?) Whatever you've got going on within your healing journey, we encourage you to continue exploring in your group or individual practice with gentle modification and ease.
My child wants to take yoga class with me. What's the appropriate age for him / her to participate? How much does it cost?
It varies. On occasion, we have little yogis (as young as 2.5 years old) and teens practice with their parent in Flow class, which seems to be best suited for a younger participant. If your young yogi doesn't want to do the entire class, that's ok. You're encouraged to bring quiet entertainment for them so they can relax in the back of class. In any case, please be mindful of those around you so everyone can have a wonderful experience. Cost : kids ages 10 and under are free!
I love the music played during class! How can I listen to the playlists on my own?
Awesome! Check out our eclectic playlists on Spotify and follow us : michelletimekyoga. During the Relax and Mommy & Baby classes, we stream Pandora's music station called "Ocean Waves for Deep Sleep". It's super soothing for all ages!
I've never practiced prenatal (or any) yoga before. Can I join the Pre/postnatal class?
Yes. We're glad you want to start your practice for you AND your baby! Prior to starting any new exercise routine (yoga included), be sure to speak to your doctor / healthcare provider to ensure it's appropriate for you.
What trimesters are appropriate and safe to practice prenatal yoga?
It varies. Since our class is conservatively paced and gentle in approach, it is safe to practice as early as the first trimester and can be enjoyed throughout the entire pregnancy — all the way to labor! Many women, however, simply find it too uncomfortable to practice very early on in their pregnancy due to the influx of hormones that typically cause morning sickness or fatigue. As a result, it’s common to start practicing late in the first trimester — early in the second trimester once those symptoms have subsided. The second trimester is typically the most physically comfortable stage of pregnancy, so practicing during this trimester is quite enjoyable. And it's not uncommon for women to attend classes or practice at home up to their due date or even beyond. In fact, yoga (along with other holistic practices such as massage or acupuncture) can all be incredible ways to naturally help induce and sustain labor, especially by practicing poses related to the pelvis (squats, kegels, chair, hip circles, etc.). It truly is a lifelong practice and journey!
I've been trying to get pregnant. Can yoga help with conceiving? Can I attend the Pre/postnatal class?
Absolutely! The Pre/postnatal class is specialized for those who are already pregnant, have been pregnant and who want to get pregnant. It literally functions as an incubator to support whomever is inside, including your potential future baby or your partner, should they want to attend. Yoga can certainly help improve fertility, prepare you for pregnancy and to get pregnant. For additional details, click here.
How often is it recommended to practice Pre/postnal yoga?
As much as you'd like. We offer the Pre/postnatal class twice weekly. Most people love to attend both classes because they don't want to wait an entire week to stretch, open, breath and feel great again. The prenatal and postnatal body changes so rapidly, that if you miss a class or an entire week, it could easily feel like a whole month until your next session! Also, we encourage you to practice on your own anything we do in class that makes you feel better, especially when targeting a particular part of the body or in preparing for labor. It all adds up to feeling your best as often as you can.
If I get dizzy, fatigued, thirsty, hungry or anything else during class, what should I do?
Attend to your immediate needs. If at any time while practicing you need to take a rest, modify a posture, use the restroom, drink water or eat a snack, take care to listen to your body and do what you need to do. You and your unborn baby’s health and safety are our top priorities within each class, therefore your needs are our needs. Feel free to alert us of anything questionable or urgent during the class, so we can assist you accordingly.
Should anyone in particular avoid practicing prenatal yoga?
Yes, in certain cases. If a pregnant woman is considered “high-risk” or has been given strict instructions by her practitioner to avoid or minimize physical activity (such as yoga or other forms of physical exertion), then it would be permissible to heed the practitioner's advice. However, certain less physical aspects of yoga can still be practiced, such as gentle breathing (pranayama), visualization and meditation so the benefits surrounding this type of work can continue to be received mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I'm experiencing some uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms. Are these common? Can you recommend any holistic care?
Probably. Most women do experience certain fleeting discomforts or ailments during pregnancy such as : nauseousness; lower back ache; tightened neck, shoulders and ribs; calf cramps; general feeling of no space inside; shortness of breath; carpel tunnel or wrist sensitivity; stuffy nose; swelling; sciatica; pelvic pain; difficulty sleeping. The good news is, these discomforts are often temporary and coping mechanisms are available to provide relief. For example, practicing prenatal yoga, getting massage, or having acupuncture and chiropractic work done by practitioners specializing in prenatal body work. Click here for Michelle's favorite holistic healers.
How soon after delivery can I start exercising or practicing yoga?
It depends on your labor experience and how your body is feeling. It's ok to gradually resume exercising when you feel up to it, however, it's typically safe to slowly resume exercise 4-6 weeks after a vaginal birth and 6-8 weeks after a C-section. Your practitioner can more specifically advise what's best for your personal needs. Regardless, the most important thing to be mindful of when resuming physical activity is to gently ease back into it. Even though you're probably excited and anxious to start moving again, rushing or overexerting yourself will ultimately not serve you or baby. Being patient, taking your time and feeling your way into whatever you're trying is key so you can move safely and with ease. You'll gradually get to know your new postnatal body — it's different than your pregnant or pre-pregnant body, so enjoy the process and CONGRATS, you're officially a mom now!
Now that my newborn's finally here, I could really use a helping hand in learning how to care for myself and baby, get support and recover. Any suggestions?
Yes. No matter how prepared you are for your baby's big arrival, there's nothing like the real thing when baby's actually here! To help you smoothly and calmly transition into this extraordinary life change is someone called a Postpartum Doula. You can receive this comprehensive, holistic and loving postpartum care from Jesika Wachter and The Parent Garden. CARE FOR YOU includes : placenta encapsulation; birth processing; emotional and energetic support (reiki and postnatal massage); belly binding and moxabustion treatment. CARE FOR YOU + BABY includes : learning and giving infant massage; basic care and instruction to assist you in bathing, diapering and caring for your child’s umbilical cord; assistance and guidance on breastfeeding and lactation, aka Lactation Counselling, and learning baby-wearing 101. CARE FOR YOUR HOUSEHOLD includes : light cooking, cleaning and errand-running like grocery and supply shopping, etc. to help keep your homefront in happy working order. Remember, you don't have to do it all yourself — having help makes all the difference in the world!
Mommy & Baby
What's the appropriate age for my baby to participate in the class?
Up to early crawlers. Babies can start coming to class as soon as you're able to start exercising again (typically 4-8 weeks postpartum). Generally speaking, young babies (several weeks to a few months old) will probably sleep a lot during class, which means more focus can be on mommy. Slightly older babies (several months old) that are more active and curious will need a fair amount of your attention, which means more focus will be on baby. Up to early crawlers (nearing one year old or sometimes a little after) will probably be able to and want to entertain themselves, which means more focus on mommy again!
What should I bring to class for myself and for baby?
Most importantly, you and baby. FOR BABY : baby's blanket (and / or boppy pillow) for them to lay on (over your mat) and any necessary personal items that will sooth or entertain baby during class if they want to do anything other than yoga. FOR MOMMY : yoga mat (if you have one and are able to transport it), water and small towel (optional). WE PROVIDE : limited quantities of yoga mats, yoga blocks and knee cushions.
My baby can be unpredictable. I don't want to be disruptive, but what should I do if I have to feed, change, comfort or attend to any of baby's needs during class?
Not to worry. Babies will be babies, and you are free to be an attentive mommy. We completely understand that things can change on a dime and that's ok. Our class is incredibly accommodating for this very reason. (Isn't that what yoga is all about — being present and adapting to "what is" despite what's going on around us?) Go ahead and take care of baby and yourself and know that this is all part of the experience. Remember, whether your baby is sleeping, nursing, rolling, laughing, pooing, having a meltdown or getting zened out, you both will always be welcome and supported. By simply showing up to be part of this gathering, you and baby are bringing your energy to give and receive — so there's always something to gain!
I will be bringing the stroller to class. Is there elevator access? Where can I put the stroller during class?
Yes. We have plenty of room for stollers and the building has elevators and ramps. Wherever class is, you can easily access the space and keep your stroller and belongings within close reach. It's super convenient!
I have twins and want to come to class, but I need help with handling both babies. Can someone else come with me?
Certainly. Whether you have one baby or more, Mommy & Baby class welcomes babies, mommies and any other caregiver(s) to your baby (fathers, nanny, other family member, etc). The more the merrier!