If you’re looking to increase your physical fitness and overall health, then yoga is right for you. Yoga is a great way to help with stress relief, increases flexibility, balance, and build both physical and mental strength.
In a culture where we rush from one day to the next, constantly trying to change our health, our body, or our emotions, or to plan our future, yoga opens up the possibility of connecting to what we already have and to who we already are. So why not give it a try?
No time like the present to add yoga into your workout regimen.
When choosing a yoga studio that is right for you, here are some things that you should consider.
1. Where is the studio located? Choose a studio that is convenient to where you live. If it’s too far, the likelihood of you committing to a regular practice is decreased.
2. What type of yoga is it? There are many different types of yoga, so you may have to try a few types before deciding what feels right to you. If you are looking for a more athletic based practice, going to a studio that offers power or vinyasa flow classes is great. Looking for something more restorative, consider a yin class.
3. What are the class offerings & times? Does the studio offer a variety of classes to try- i.e. Power, Restorative, Heated. What are the lengths of the classes? 60 min., 75 min., or 90 min.? Are the classes held at times that can accommodate your needs? Are there early am classes? Mid day? Night classes? Do they offer classes for beginners?
4. Do you have to sign up for classes in advance? Each studio can only accommodate a certain number of students. Classes held at prime times (I.e. evenings and weekend mornings) can become crowded and even sell out, so knowing in advance in important so you can sign up and reserve your spot.
5. What is the studio’s core values? Are the core values listed and followed? Do you have similar values? You want to find an environment that is authentic and truly believes in and lives by their mission and values. Find a place whose values resonates with your own.
6. Are the teachers Yoga Alliance certified? Yoga Alliance provides the minimum standard for which a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher training must meet. The Yoga Alliance outlines a minimum number of hours to be spent on each topic: philosophy, anatomy, practicum, methodology, etc. You want an instructor who is Yoga Alliance certified and is well trained and versed in what they are teaching.
7. Where is the teacher in the room? When taking a class, is the teacher in the front doing the class with you or walking around ensuring that everyone is safe and using proper form and alignment? Remember, the yoga class is about YOU, your experience and your safety. The teacher should be monitoring the class and not teaching from his/her mat.
8. Do the teachers offer variations? You need someone who is going to help you modify a pose (especially if you’re newer or injured) as well as help you enhance a pose (if you are more of an advanced practitioners or looking to advance your practice). Either way, having options is always a good thing. Everyday is different. How a pose feels may be different so listen to your body and take what you need.
9. Is the studio clean? If they don’t properly care for the facility or aren’t mindfult to what has to be done, than how will they properly care for you?
10. Is the studio fun? Most importantly, if you aren’t enjoying yourself or having fun, why bother. Find a place that you can connect with. People who you enjoy being around and a community that will support you and your practice.