- Why you need to do yoga?
- Be practical in choosing location and time of your yoga class
- Decide your end goal to achieve from this yoga class
- Be aware of the constraints you might have in doing yoga
- Look for a good yoga teacher and good ambiance of yoga class
Deciding to become healthy, and further choosing yoga as the path to it, are two great decisions to make. As a holistic physical exercise that stretches, burns calories, brings relaxation and promotes a mind-body balance, yoga is the ideal exercise. Alongside this, it is doable by almost everybody irrespective of their current fitness level of medical conditions, and yoga also promotes other lifestyle changes such as a better diet and a calmer approach to life. However, you may not face a very important and complex decision – where exactly do you wish to practice yoga? More importantly what type of yoga do you want to engage in?
As you may know, there are numerous schools of yoga that exist today, each with their own specialities, training styles, and end goals. As such, you may be confused about what school you want to follow, especially when a wrong move can mean wasted time and money. Here is a handy guide to help you decide –
- Consider Your Practical Options
Choosing the best, most highly rated and revered yoga studio may be of no use if you are unable to commute to it regularly, or if the hassle of reaching the studio simply gives you more stress than the yoga takes away. So this also means select the location that has less crowded roads, parking options available and is conveniently located. Remember that with any exercise routine, the most important parts are commitment and regularity. Decide a radius from your starting point to which you can commute easily, and then look for the best options inside that radius. Also, look into other practical considerations such as time – you may love to get an early morning session, but do your office hours allow it? If you chose an evening session, will you be able to carry the required materials (such as a change of clothes or a yoga mat), around with you all day? Do weekends work better, or weekdays are when you feel the most active?
Taking care of the practical aspects of your decision can help you select a yoga studio near you that is convenient and easy for you to reach daily and on time, thus ensuring that you do not miss out on lessons.
- What Is Your End Goal?
Think not just about the immediate results that you want, but the end goal you are working towards. Do you want to loose weight? If yes, why? Is it just to look and feel better, or are you worried about your family history of diabetes or hypertension? If you wish to look into only the fitness components, Hatha yoga may be what works for you. If you want a more relaxed, laid back class that focuses more on stretching and meditation, Yin Yoga may be the way to go. If intense form and discipline is what you wish to inculcate, look for Asthanga yoga, and if something more fun, creative and flow in sync with breathing is up your alley, try Vinyasa flow yoga. (Read about various style and lineages of yoga here). Thus, looking into your end goals can help you decide which type of activity will suit you the best. This will not only motivate you, but also make the classes more enjoyable for you.
- Be Aware of Your Constraints
While yoga is for everyone, not all types of yoga can, or should, be undertaken by everybody. If you have some preexisting medical condition, a very low fitness level, or you are simply new to yoga, some schools of yoga such as Power Yoga and Ashtanga yoga may not be for you, and you certainly should not sign up for an advanced class. If you do so, you might further exacerbate your problems and waste time and money on top of it. If you are unsure about the studio’s methods or the level of skills required for it, do talk to the instructors or engage in a few trial classes before you sign up for something long term. In fact a good Yoga Studio would certainly try to find the right fit for your requirements before they suggest you a batch or a teacher.
And do not lose hope – with time and effort, you would surely be able to master the groundwork and take up the challenging asanas and practices that appeal to you.
- Yoga teachers and overall management are the pillars of Yoga Studio
A good yoga teacher will not only educate you about asanas and exercise but also impart on you the knowledge of philosophy that creates the foundation basis of yoga, and teach you about the broader lifestyle changes you can undertake for a healthier and happier life. A good yoga studio is not only one where the exercise is good, but also one where the ambiance is clean, comfortable and hygienic, the teachers are emotionally intelligent and sensitive to your individual needs and constraints, and a place where you can engage in both physical and spiritual growth. Yoga is just not set of exercise, it is for holistic development and hence you should see yoga as a tool that has great application in daily life. So, a good teacher (a yoga guru) could help you work on those mental challenges and botheration, thus bringing in far better results.
So talk and research about the quality of teachers viz. knowledge, practice, communication skills, nature and other things that are important for you to decide. You could also look into their social media handles like google reviews, Facebook recommendations, blogs, website etc.
- Don’t Use A Monetary Gauge
When it comes to health, any investment will surely be worth it. It may be better to invest in a costlier yoga studio where the teachers give you individualized attention and training as compared to a cheaper option where you simply go and follow whatever the person in the front does.
Good yoga studios can also act as great networking centres were you can meet like-minded individuals who can accompany you on your fitness goals and plans beyond the class. You may, in fact, develop some long-lasting friendships too.
Almost every yoga studio would give you the option to take up from (free or paid) trial classes. While the qualifications and testimonials are important, in the end, it is about how much you feel safe, comfortable, and motivated in the class. If you like the trial classes, there are high chances you will enjoy the regular sessions too. These are also a great time to communicate with the teachers about your expectations, studio rules and requirements, etc.
So if you have been able to answer all these questions to your satisfaction, then go ahead – the studio you have in mind is surely the one for you.