3 Ways to Choose the Right Yoga Class ...

You should never start a new exercise routine or diet without learning more about its benefits, reasons it's right for you, pros and cons, and opinions of experts. This is the same for yoga as well and today we have guest blogger Paul from Holistic Yogahere to share** 3 Ways to Choose the Right Yoga Class**...

Choosing the Right Yoga Class – Mental, Physical & Spiritual Considerations...

If you are interested in practicing yoga, you may need some guidance in choosing the right class for your needs. Fortunately, yoga can be done by people of any age and any level of fitness. Believe it or not, yoga practice may be modified so that it can even be practiced by people who use a wheelchair or who are confined to a bed. Some yoga styles are better for beginners and for those who want a gentler workout, while other styles of yoga can give a serious workout to the most dedicated athlete. Yoga classes also have varying levels of emphasis on mental and spiritual aspects of yoga, but all yoga classes address mental and spiritual aspects to some degree. Your choice of yoga class will be determined by your age, fitness level, lifestyle, and by what you want to achieve with your yoga practice.

Read on, and find out how to Improve your Life whether you would like to know How to Get Started with Yoga or have been doing it for years...

1. Physical Considerations when Choosing a Yoga Class...

Those who have never tried yoga, those who have a low level of physical fitness, older people, and people who have physical limitations often gravitate to basic hatha yoga classes. These classes emphasize gentle physical stretching and strengthening, as well as proper breathing techniques and simple meditation practices as part of the class. If you have conditions like high blood pressure or arthritis, consult your physician about your desire to learn yoga. Some asanas (postures) may be unsuitable, and you should modify or avoid these asanas. Good yoga teachers are compassionate and do not demand “perfect” poses. In fact, because each human body is unique, there is really no such thing as a “perfect” asana. Speak to your yoga teacher about your physical limitations as well. Most will help you modify asanas or teach you how to use various props, such as cushions, straps, or chairs, to adapt the asanas for your particular needs. While hatha yoga is also good for beginners who are already fit, other types of yoga may appeal to those who want more of a challenge once they have learned the basics of breathing and asanas. Ashtang yoga and Bikram yoga are two forms that are much more physically demanding, giving the yoga student a fulfilling, challenging workout. These forms of yoga, however, may not be appropriate for children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with high blood pressure.

2. Mental Considerations in Choosing a Yoga Class...

Yoga is about the mind and spirit as much as it is about the physical body, and many people choose yoga specifically for the mental and psychological benefits. Yoga is particularly suitable for people who want to learn a natural, drug-free way to cope with stress. Parents of children with attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity often find that yoga is a great adjunct to a child’s educational program, because it teaches concentration, focus, and learning to cope with stress. Likewise, yoga is very beneficial to the hard-driven successful career person, because it provides a physical workout while at the same time helping students learn to release tension in the body and the mind. On the other hand, yoga is great for people who lack self confidence. Yoga classes are not about competition or being “the best,” but rather about compassion and improving the self physically and mentally. While the breathing and meditation techniques are the most obvious ways in which yoga teaches coping with mental stress, the physical asanas in many cases also provide emotional release. It is not unusual for people to try several different yoga classes before finding one that is the best fit for their particular emotional and mental needs.

3. Spiritual Considerations in Choosing a Yoga Class...

While every yoga class touches on spiritual considerations to some degree, some types of yoga emphasize the spiritual more than others. Yoga is about unity of body, mind, and spirit. Some classes place more of an emphasis on meditation techniques designed to help the student become a more well-rounded person and to strengthen his or her unity with the divine. If you are interested in pursuing the spiritual aspects of yoga, finding the best yoga teacher is essential. Finding a yoga teacher (yogi) who understands your spiritual needs is the best way to incorporate yoga into your own spiritual journey. However, it may require a certain amount of trial and error. What is right for you may seem boring or uninspiring to your neighbor and vice versa. However, even people who are more interested in the physical benefits of yoga practice would do well to find a teacher who is “on the same page” in terms of spiritual philosophy. Though all good yoga teachers are compassionate and helpful, finding someone with whom you are comfortable and inspired can take time. In many cases, yoga studios and yoga classes at fitness centers will allow a person to observe a class for free, or even participate in a free class to see if it is right for them. With yoga, there is something for everyone, regardless of age or physical condition.

Paul Edwards is the author of Holistic Yoga, a website about the wonderful benefits of Yoga. He believes that Yoga has the answer for Well-Being & Healthy Lifestyle: Once the body is in balance, the mind naturally follows.

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