When you are new to Yoga you are probably going to be uncertain as to what to expect when you first enter a beginner Yoga Class on your first day.
Most people are uncertain about what they should even be looking for in a beginner Yoga class,
This article will let you know what to look for in finding the right class for you.
Yoga has been around for an incredibly long time and over that period different practitioners have added their own refinements and styles into the basic Yoga discipline.
There are so many styles now it is nearly impossible to count.
They all stem from the same core philosophy and methodology.
Unfortunately the multiple different styles often lead newcomers to the exercise discipline to become very confused as to what they are doing and what they can hope to achieve with Yoga.
What is Yoga?
This question is the most common from newcomers.
Most people have a general idea but they are not sure where Yoga fits into the world.
Is it an exercise?
Is it a philosophy?
Is it a form of physical therapy?
Is it a spiritual process?
The answer is that to different people Yoga is all of these things.
At it’s core it is a group of exercises and poses which are very low impact and work by strengthening the body and increasing it’s flexibility through static exercise.
This means that each pose will ‘stretch’ a certain area and the body benefits from this stretch by increased blood flow and energy release.
Many of the exercises release tension from areas of the body that regular activities do not cater to.
Yoga is performed slowly and with a strong emphasis on correct breathing patterns there is also a strong mental and spiritual element to the exercise.
It is seen as a way of cleansing mind, body and spirit.
Where Can I Do Yoga?
Many people practice Yoga in their homes every day.
Others will go to the local park and practice Yoga with a group of friends.
To begin with it’s a good idea to inquire at your local gym about Yoga classes, many of them will be holding Yoga every day.
Even if they aren’t they will be able to tell you where the best place to learn Yoga is.
Some local councils sponsor Yoga classes in their area in recognition of the benefits to people who exercise regularly.
One of the big advantages of a Yoga based exercise regime is that there is no expensive equipment to buy and then store around your house.
Some poses are assisted by cushions to support the body, but in general the only thing you need is your body.
I’m Not Very Fit – Can I Do Yoga?
Very much so.
One of the fantastic things about Yoga is that the exercises and poses you will learn can be adjusted to your level.
Fitness isn’t usually a problem because the exercises are slow and often static.
Your body will become better at performing them over time as your strength and flexibility improves.
Knowing your limit and ensuring that you don’t ‘ease up’ out of habit gain the best benefit.
What Do You Want Out Of Yoga?
The number of different reasons for taking up Yoga is usually at least as high as the number of new people in a Yoga class.
Broadly people will be looking for one of three things – physical health, mental health or spiritual health.
All three are important and all three are realistic goals in a Yoga class.
Whatever it is you are trying to achieve through Yoga there will be a class and style that is suitable for you.
You can research in a library, online or even by asking various Yogi and this will hep you find the Yoga that will get the best result for you.
It’s worth actually setting some solid goals and many newcomers are surprised at how willing a Yoga instructor is to talk over these goals with them and discuss whether they are realistic or an alternative may be better suited.
Go To A Casual Class At First:
These are sometimes referred to as drop in classes, or pay as you go.
These are a good way of getting a feel for Yoga.
There will be a regular turnover of other students in the classes and the contrasting level will mean the instructor will keep the classes at a relatively mild level and give everyone a taste of many aspects of Yoga.
The advantage of this method is of course that you are not committed to an expensive series of classes and you can get a taster for Yoga and see what types of Yoga interest you.
You will also quickly learn whether the goals you set earlier are realistic for you, or even too low and need expanding upon.
Your next step will be to choose a series of classes in the areas that you found most suitable from the drop in classes.
These classes will build on each other from week to week and you may find yourself behind if you miss a week.
Find A Good Yoga Teacher:
Surprisingly enough considering the relatively low intensity and the many physical benefits.
Yoga has begun to regularly show up on the statistics for sports injuries. Two key causes are identified.
Firstly students pushing themselves too fast too soon, and secondly instructors with inadequate training or appreciation of the individual level of their students
Large classes are sometimes to blame for this.
When you are considering a new class don’t be embarrassed to ask your Yoga instructor what their qualifications and background are.
Many ‘instructors have nothing more than a three-day training course in ‘gym yoga’ and many people put this in the ‘enough knowledge to be dangerous category’.
Traditionally a student would train for many years under a guru before they would be considered fit to pass on even the simplest of Yoga techniques to another novice.
Do I Need To Be Religious To Begin Yoga?
As mentioned above Yoga is different things to different people.
There are many people in the world who perform Yoga purely for its spiritual benefits.
There are many others who perform Yoga purely for the physical benefits associated with it.
What you get out of Yoga will depend largely on your mindset, your openness to new ideas and your ability to let yourself fall fully into a meditative state.
For some people this is very difficult at first, but that is still not going to prevent them from getting the physical benefits associated with Yoga classes.
You will find that even if you do not have any strong spiritual base you will still benefit from an increase in your self-confidence and personal contentment.
Hopefully you will now have a good understanding of what yoga is and why you should be doing it.
Remember that Yoga is something that once learned can be practiced anywhere you like and as often as you like.
Indeed, this is one of the key components of Yoga’s popularity.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.