What the heck is O2 Yoga? What makes it different from other types of yoga?
O2 Yoga is a vigorous, athletic, heat-building practice rooted in Astanga yoga. Innovated by studio founder/owner Mimi Loureiro, the O2-style is meant to focus and strengthen you, body and soul. All class levels are taught progressively with options for modification so that students can access the postures to the best of their ability with maximum opportunity for challenge. All of our teachers have been trained by Mimi, so you will notice a similarity in the way classes are put together, especially in regard to safety in postures. While some other forms of yoga are more restorative or slower-paced, O2 Yoga will get you up and moving and feeling fantastic! For more details, click here.
Do I need to register online for class?
No, online registration is required for workshops and special events, but for all regularly scheduled classes, just come to the studio. If you do opt to sign up online, please note that this does not guarantee your spot in class — we still ask you to come on time for class (there is no late admittance to class permitted). For more online registration FAQS, click here.
I couldn’t find parking/the T was running late/I tried my best to get here on time. Why can’t I join class after it’s started?
Our highest priority is to get you on your mat, so we do our best to get you in the door whenever possible. But it can be extremely disruptive for the other students and the teacher if there is a late arrival, especially if the class is full and “squeezing in one more mat” would mean a lot of maneuvering. There is also a safety issue for you — missing the warm up is no bueno. Please understand that we know that being late is sometimes out of your control, but we need to think of everyone’s best interests (including yours!!).
Can I borrow a yoga mat?
Yes. We have mats for you to use. You can borrow one for free on your first visit and we ask for a cash donation after that (and we in turn donate that money to a local charity).
Can I use my class card or membership at both studios?
Absolutely. Come to whatever class fits your schedule. Just check in at the reception desk.
Can I let my friend take a class using my class card?
No. Your class package is restricted to your account profile with us and cannot be shared.
I’m moving away — what’s your return policy? Can I give my classes to a friend?
All sales are final on class cards. Your classes are only usable by you. Your classes expire after one year. Click here for all the specifics.
Can I sign my friend up online for a workshop or class?
You each need to register for a workshop or class as individuals, so your friend would need to have his or her own online account and purchase his or her own workshop or class package.
You have student rates, but why can’t I buy a class card at the student rate online?
Because we need to see your ID to confirm you’re a student, we have to restrict the sale of the student rate packages to the front desk. There’s no way for us to manage that via the web, so the student rate isn’t available online.
Do you do Hot Yoga? How hot is your studio?
We think of ourselves as a ‘warm’ studio. We keep the practice space around 80 degrees: warm enough that you won’t feel a chill but not so hot that you’re baking (most ‘hot’ studios will heat the room to ~100 degrees). We do a vigorous practice at O2, so you will sweat, but we want most of that heat to come from the work you’re doing. Prenatal and postnatal may be kept a little cooler.
My doctor told me I should start doing yoga. Is this the right kind of yoga for me?
It depends. Here at O2 Yoga, we practice a vigorous form of yoga. Many people find that with minor or some chronic injuries that this form of yoga helps them to heal and to feel better. However, if you have a severe injury or mobility issue, you may want to try a slower or gentler form of yoga.
I’m new to O2 — where should I begin? Can I skip right to a Power class?
We recommend that all students try a Basics class on their first visit to O2, regardless of their experience level. Our Basics classes are designed to be a solid examination of fundamentals of the style of yoga we offer here. That said, you are welcome to attend any class you like — there’s no “test” to move on to a more advanced class. But you WILL get more out of your practice if you’re familiar with Sun A’s (vinyasas) and other foundational poses before attending Intermediate and beyond.
It is best not to come to a Primary Series class unless you have taken a Power class or have previously practiced the Astanga Primary Series. Our Primary Series classes are fast-moving with less instruction than other classes; the teacher assumes that students have familiarity with the sequence and postures. Second Series is recommended only for advanced practitioners.
How often should I practice yoga?
As often as feels right for your body. The more often you practice, the quicker you will notice progress in your practice. However, if you are just starting out, two to three times a week will help you become familiar with the postures and the pace of the practice. Once you have been coming to class for a few months, you may want to increase your practice to four to six times a week.
I can’t figure out the deal with the MP3 downloads. How do they work?
First, you must purchase an MP3 and then the links will become active. Think of it like purchasing a drop-in or class card and having your class(es) banked until you want to use them. Be aware that the first one you click will be the one you buy. For other FAQs about the MP3s, click here.
Can I bring my child with me to class?
Our classes are designed for adults (+18) unless otherwise specified. Anyone under the age of 18 who is interested in taking an O2 Yoga class must have consent from a parent and approval from the teacher before being allowed to participate in class. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about that.
What is a Rajas Hour?
Rajas Hours are Intermediate-level O2-style classes that are one hour in length. The emphasis in this class is dynamic movement (versus seated postures).
What is Astanga?
Aṣtanga Yoga is the form of yoga that underlies everything we practice at O2. In aṣtanga classes, students practice a set sequence in the same order every class (and there are several sequences of increasing difficulty). This allows the student to focus, over time, on building a consistent practice, on keeping the breath steady, and on taking ownership of the practice and knowing when to modify. Because the sequence of the series remains consistent, these classes move at a faster pace and feature less detailed cuing (the classes are less taught and more led). In our O2 Yoga Basics, Intermediate, and Power classes, in comparison, sequencing is improvisational – built around an anatomical focus or pose – and more time is spent breaking down postures and offering alternatives.
Aṣtanga classes are not recommended for students new to yoga or without experience with sun salutations, lotus/padmasana, backbends, and inversions like shoulderstand and headstand.
You will see the foundational aspects of aṣtanga – gaze point/driṣti, locks/bandhas, and breath/pranayama – in all O2 classes. You’ll also recognize other ideas essential to aṣtanga informing everything we do: flowing vinyasa transitions between poses; pose followed by counterpose; intelligent sequencing toward deeper poses; the importance of generating internal heat; a narrative of warm up, progression into deeper poses, ending with cool down; and a focus on strength and balance as much as flexibility.
O2 does not offer ‘Mysore’ style self-led aṣtanga classes. It’s been our experience that students benefit most from the experience of the full sequence, even when modifying. The community of an aṣtanga led class working together is powerful. We also ask that students working on advanced sequences practice with the led class.
What’s the parking situation?
There’s street parking at both locations. In Somerville, there’s free 2-hour parking on Highland Ave. In Cambridge, there’s 2-hour meters out front on Mass Ave – as well as lots and garages 5 or so blocks away in Central Square. Please allow for extra time if you’re planning on driving to an evening class in Cambridge since both Harvard Square and Central Square are quite busy then and parking can be trickier.
Google says you’re closed — are you?
Google says we’re closed unless there is a class currently in progress. If you’re curious about any potential class cancellations, please check the online class schedule as it will always be your best resource for any class changes.
Wait, I still have questions!
The fastest way to have your questions answered is either to ask teachers/management/desk staff in person when you come to class or to email email@example.com. We do have a phone in the Cambridge office, but email is still your best bet.