People have many reasons for thinking about starting yoga. Maybe like me, you were advised by your midwife to take-up yoga as a form of relaxation during pregnancy.
Perhaps you are overweight, have a stress-related medical condition and been advised by your doctor to “exercise and relax more. " Or you may have seen an article in your favourite magazine featuring Madonna practicing yoga.
Maybe you are a parent and have to juggle the demands of parenting with a hectic work schedule. This can be exhausting and leave you with little time to care for yourself, relax and, recharge your batteries.
Yoga is the ideal form of exercise to help you relax, strengthen and nurture your body and calm your mind. To the novice student, it can be quite bewildering to know where to begin when want to start practicing yoga.
Types of Yoga
There are various styles and different approaches to yoga. In essence, postures (known as asanas) breathing exercises, relaxation and in some cases meditation and chanting form the basis of all yoga styles.
However, different schools of yoga place difference emphasis on these aspects. Some yoga teachers, may focus more on breathing techniques (known as pranayama ), whilst another may pay more attention on the alignment of the body in the poses.
Yoga classes can be taught in rooms which are heated more than 100F (Bikram Yoga, as developed by Bikram Choudury) or more traditionally, classes can take place in your local leisure centre or yoga studio. You can even have private 1-2-1 yoga lessons in the comfort and convenience of your home.
Given the array of styles and classes, how do you choose which style/class is “right for you?" How do you know what qualities to look for, what questions to ask when enquiring about a particular class?
So before you pick up the phone, or click on a prospective teacher's website email address for further information, make sure you have this list to hand as a guide to help you chose your style of yoga.
Five Things You Need To Know Before You Start Your First Yoga Class.
One: It is always best to learn yoga from a qualified yoga teacher. Ask your prospective teacher where they trained, how long their course lasted and what subject areas where covered. Also, find out how long your prospective teacher has been practicing yoga and who inspires her to continue with her practice.
Two: Enquire whether your prospective yoga teacher or yoga studio runs classes specifically for beginners’. A beginners’ class will be tailored to ensure you learn the foundations of yoga in a safe manner.
Three: Check out the average number of people who attend the class. As a beginner, look for a class that isn't too crowded - between seven to fifteen students - this allows the teacher to get to know you, observe your practice and make appropriate adjustments to your technique.
Four: The class needs to be at a time and venue which is convenient for you. Maybe you prefer to take a class on the way to or from work, or a class which is near your home. Anything too far, difficult to reach or held at an inconvenient time for you, makes it harder for you to start and integrate the class into your daily routine.
Five: Talk with your prospective yoga teacher. This gives you the opportunity to see how comfortable you feel working with the teacher. By talking, you will also find out more about their particular style of teaching, experience and to share any health related matters you may have.
It may take you time and energy to find a class or yoga teacher suited to your individual needs. Preserve. Once you start, you will feel lighter, calmer and glad you took the time to find a class and teacher suited to you.
Registered Polarity Practitioner and Hatha Yoga Teacher, Ntathu inspires and supports you in your health and wellness journey. She offers private 1-2-1 yoga at home sessions, yoga at work and yoga for children. Through the practice and teachings of Yoga and Polarity Therapy Treatments, she helps you learn simple yoga stretches, meditation and relaxation techniques which you can use to release stress, boost your energy, relax and, feel more alive. Email email@example.com to sign up for your free Yoga and Polarity monthly enewsletter, “Healing for Soul" - full of simple health building exercises, relaxation techniques and inspirations which you can use to reduce stress, boost your creativity and experience inner and outer peace.
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