Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19......You MUST pre register before attending a class.  Thank you.  Please be safe and well.
We no longer share props. Bring your own, mat, pillow, cushion, blanket.

Old days.....Cash, check or charge, you choose....may we all get to the other side and back to the "way it was"
Stay safe and well.  
No...we know that many yoga establishments ask for a "pre registration", on line, before coming to class to "hold your space".  We consider ourselves to be a little old school around this, as our studio is build on community, and not a membership (gym) model.  You are welcome to simply "show up" for your first (and any) class.  The studio is welcoming and spacious, and there is always room for all. As a new student, try to come a little early to fill out some paperwork and get oriented to the space.  We have everything you need, so if you do not have a yoga mat, you can borrow one of ours.  (We suggest folks get their own, just feels better to have your own mat.) We say it and we mean it...attending a yoga class even once a week can bring fabulous positive benefits to your life!

COVID-19 Policy:
You must pre register and pre pay before attending class.  Thank you for understanding.

Old days.....Cash, check or charge, you choose....may we all get to the other side and back to the "way it was"
Stay safe and well.
You can pay at the desk when you come to class. 
Pay as you go, class by class, or purchase a ten class card if you want to come once or twice a week and be pre paid and save some money per class. If you want to come more often, at least twice a week, or as many times as you want, per month, consider a monthly unlimited membership for your best value. There is an option to pre pay for a class card or membership, on line, but you do not have to, you are welcome to pay at the desk when you arrive.

We are located on Rt. 83, North Main Street, in East Longmeadow, MA. It is a low brick office building called the "264 North Main Street Condo East" building, with a huge sign that only says that! It does not say "Heartsong Yoga" anywhere until you enter the building. There is a large lower parking lot for our guests, and come in the side door and right up the circular stairs. If you have any physical restrictions, park in the top lot, and come right in the front door. (We are located on the top floor of the building.)

A good idea is to look at the drop in class schedule and click around to read the class descriptions.
Here are a few quick guidelines:
Gentle Yoga:
Are you looking for a slower paced class or relaxation, stress reduction, and a way to ease your way into movement? Kripalu Gentle/Beginner Yoga and our All Levels classes are a great way to start, or choose Chair Yoga for extra support.
Looking to flow and be more active or athletic:
If you want a more physical or vigorous style of yoga, choose from our traditional Ashtanga Yoga classes or any of the Flow classes on the schedule. Be prepared to sweat, the room will be heated but not super hot. (75 to 85 degrees)
Contact Us to request more information, and to help us guide you to the perfect class for your first visit.

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.

Yoga has numerous benefits to physical and mental health. Regular yoga practice can help address back pain caused by tight muscles or poor posture. Yoga practice has also been linked to lower blood pressure, stress reduction, and a stronger immune system. This list recgonizes the most commonly known benefits of a regular yoga practice:

  • More flexibility

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Increased muscle strength and tone

  • Balance your metabolism

  • Help protect you from injury

  • Weight regulation

These are awesome benefits. And, Something special happens when you do yoga. When you connect with your breath, you are connecting with your life force (prana). And when you connect with your prana you are connecting with your soul. This is some of the magic that happens within your body! But, before we get all woo woo and lose you,  where yoga really goes above and beyond as a modality is in the neuroscience.
Let’s talk about your bodily systems:

  • Yoga can help take your joints through their full range of motion. What this means is that your joints are being used in a low-impact setting, keeping them from drying out and causing pain and inflammation.

  • A well rounded yoga practice with forward bends and back bends can help protect the spine and keep the disks supple.

  • Better circulation, especially in hands and feet

  • Drains your lymph system and boosts immunity. When you contract and stretch your muscles and organs you help increase drainage to the lymph system, which helps fight infection and improve cellular function

  • Regulates your adrenal glands and lowers your cortisol levels. Cortisol. You’ve heard of it! You know what causes it. STRESS! We all know yoga is a great stress reducer!

  • Lowers blood pressure and LDL (bad) Cholesterol while boosting HDL (good) cholesterol

  • Calms the nervous system

  • Greater lung capacity for easier and deeper breathing. What happens when you breathe deeply? This oxygenates your blood which releases endorphins into your blood stream.

  • Endorphins reduce stress and pain in the body.

  • Increased parasympathetic response.

  • Activate the relaxation response in your body more easily

  • Reduces pain by transforming the bodies response to pain

  • Struggling with addiction? Many yogis come to yoga to aid in their recovery. Yoga helps give you coping methods for depression, anxiety, mood and disorders.

More about the Science of Yoga (and Meditation) here:

If you have questions about a specific health condition, please speak to your instructor before each class as you meet new teachers.
Listen to your body, and never force or strain during your practice.


Yoga is amazing — even if you only practice one class a week, you will experience the benefits of the practice. If you can do more than that, you will certainly experience more benefits. Don't let time constraints or unrealistic goals be an obstacle, come when you can, and don't worry about it. You can come to different classes and different days, whatever fits your life. You will likely find that after awhile your desire to practice expands naturally and you will find yourself wanting to practice more often.

COVID-19:  You must bring your own mat and any props you use.


Old days.......We provide blankets for relaxation, meditation cushions, and straps and blocks for classes that use them. We also have a limited number of yoga mats for students to use for their first few visits, but over time it is a good idea for students to own their own yoga mats.

You probably have a comfy pair of stretchy pants to wear to class, and for most of our classes you would choose a tee shirt, and maybe another layer for comfort, especially when seasons are changing. In our Ashtanga, Flow, or heated classes, it is good to have a more form fitting athletic style of clothing, stretchy leggings and a tank or fitted tee. We are barefoot in yoga classes. Guys can wear compression shorts under shorts, or other athletic style pants. For hot yoga classes, wear a tank or lightweight athletic jersey.

Most classes begin with sitting on the floor, on a cushion.  This helps prop you and is comfortable for most. You do not need to sit cross legged, you can stretch out your legs anytime.  If you want a chair, we can set you up with one you can use to sit on, to rest on, or to use to help you stand up after sitting for a while!  No worries.  If you want to do yoga in a chair, try our Wednesday morning Chair Yoga at 11 am.

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Come as you are and you will find that yoga practice will help you become more flexible. This new found agility will be balanced by strength, coordination, and enhanced cardiovascular health, as well as a sense of physical confidence and overall well-being.

Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. Ancient yoga scriptures provide a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga sometimes interweaves other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, and often brings in poetry or uplifting readings from wise spiritual leaders and teachers from around the globe. It is not necessary to surrender your own religious beliefs to practice yoga.

You will probably be invited to share the sound of Om before or after class. Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is said to be the "sound of the universe." Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us, that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. You are welcome to just listen, or join in. Our Ashtanga classes typically begin with an "invocation" that is in the language of Sanskrit, (the language of yoga, poetry and prayer) that simply means "thank you!"  Again you are welcome to just listen, or join in.

Eat lightly or not at all before class. This is because of the folding, twisting and bending of the practice, a full belly does not feel good when we do yoga! If you are a person with a fast-acting digestive system and are afraid you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiment with a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.

Please bring your own water bottle, we encourage students to use a re-usable bottle and drink filtered water from the tap, not to purchase commercial plastic water bottles! Come fully hydrated to an Ashtanga yoga class, as it is suggested that you refrain from drinking water during the class.

Be on time. Arrive ten minutes before class begins, if you can. We know life, and traffic, can sometimes get in the way. If you do end up coming to class late, please quietly settle in, it is "ok"! Keep quiet conversations before class to a minimum. If you have to leave early, tell your instructor before class that you are planning to leave early and set up in the back of the room for the class to get out quietly.

There are no childcare facilities at Heartsong Yoga, as the classes are designed for adults.

Midde School and High School students are always welcome, at a very special price.

Younger children are invited to join our twice monthly Family Yoga Classes for all ages.

Moms and Dads, the best way to share yoga with your kids is for you to attend classes, and share and model yoga and mindfulness for them at home! 
(Our regular drop in classes are too long for children, and have themes that are geared towards adults)

This is a No Cell Phones Zone: For the privacy of all our students, and the chance to unplug...turn OFF your cell phone before coming to class. (Remember, vibrate still makes noise!) (Emergency at home? On call for work? Let your teacher know you need to have your phone!)

This is a No Scent Zone: Be conscious of our students who have allergies or are sensitive to scents, so pease do not wear scented body products and no perfumes.
We do not burn scented candles or incense in classes, however we occasionally do diffuse an essential oil blend known as "Thieves" which has a cleansing effect on our rooms, but never during classes.

If you are a brand new student, come early! If you have to leave early, let your teacher know before class starts.

If you use a studio mat make sure that you spray it down and wipe it dry after your use. If you are taking hot classes and tend to sweat, it is just good sense to purchase your own mat!

In this clip from Channel 22's Mass Appeal, Sheila guides host Danny New through the things you might want to consider when starting a new yoga practice. 

April 27, 2018.


Sheila presented at the Mass Mutual TEDx Conference in October, 2016, where the theme was "Einstein's Theory of Relativity" and e=mc2.  Sheila's topic was mindfulness, yoga and meditation, called "Energy Shared...It Matters" View the YouTube video, here.