There are a few things to watch when selecting a yoga studio, especially if you are new to yoga or unique to the region and searching for a new studio to call your home. As yoga has grown in popularity, more and more gyms and fitness centers have started to include yoga classes as part of their offerings. Given the current lack of oversight in the yoga industry, you must have a plan for finding a qualified yoga instructor who will see to your safety, comfort, and progress. Yoga poses no physical barriers to entry, yet it is not without potential risks. Selecting a yoga instructor should be treated with the same degree of attention you would give to choosing a doctor.
The First Steps
It’s important to know why you’re looking for a yoga studio in the first place. The majority of yoga practitioners start practicing because they want to get in better shape physically, according to studio surveys. Many participants come to the classes to focus on the mental and spiritual dimensions of the physical exercises. Some participants are recovering from other sports-related injuries and have heard that yoga can help. Think for a second about why you practice yoga. Why do I practice yoga? What do I want to gain from it.
What’s with all the varieties?
Yoga has been around for a long time. Different yoga practitioners have developed unique approaches to the practice as it has evolved. These days, it’s crucial to identify which yoga tradition will best serve your needs and help you avoid harm. Which types emphasize proper alignment and tailoring your practice to your fitness level, for instance, or focusing primarily on physical exercise instead of integrating spirituality?
Ashtanga-Classes are focused on a sequence of poses that emphasizes flow and cleansing and are practiced rapidly.
Every Bikram Yoga class follows the same sequence of 26 postures and is performed in a room heated to 105 degrees and humidified to roughly 60%.
Precision and proper alignment in each position are emphasized in Iyengar-style classes. Alignment aids such as props are employed. The ideas of Iyengar yoga are incorporated into many different types of yoga, making it one of the most well-known schools of yoga in the United States.
Kripalu classes emphasize mindfulness and gentle movement. Kripalu yogis place a premium on the contemplative potential of physical postures.
Mantra meditation, chanting, and rapid breathing methods are at the heart of Kundalini Classes. The purpose is to release and activate the dormant kundalini energy at the base of the spine.
The Ashtanga yoga practiced in Power Yoga Classes has been adapted for a Western audience. Classes are not based on a predetermined sequence of poses but rather change often.
Purna Yoga Classes incorporate Iyengar accuracy and alignment while gently giving students awareness of their body, mind, emotions, and spirit. This modern take on yoga equips students with practical skills for healthy living by drawing on ancient wisdom.
Viniyoga-Classes emphasize a non-intimidating, all-encompassing practice. There is a fraction of flow, but the tempo is significantly lower than in other lessons.
The Questions You Should Have
So now you know why you’re doing yoga and what kind of yoga will help you achieve those goals. The moment to start dialing studios is now. Here are five inquiries that any studio worth its salt should have the answers to. You could not work with a professional studio if they didn’t answer these questions.
Inquiries to Make of the Studio:
Just how long has your gallery been on display? Find a place open longer than the recent four-year yoga craze.
Which yoga tradition do you specialize in? You know enough to discuss the various yoga traditions with the studio’s representative. Make sure the person you speak with on the phone clearly understands the yoga practiced there.
Can I use my tools, or do I need to rent them from you? Most studios will give you props to help you maintain proper posture while you practice.
When do you typically deep clean your sets and props? Yoga incorporates a focus on cleanliness.
Have you ever held workshops? When looking for a yoga studio, selecting one that provides opportunities to learn more than simply asanas is preferable.
When do you have your classes? You should have minimal difficulty getting to your classes.
At what tiers do you provide lessons? Ensure several levels of classes are offered, rather than a “one size fits all” mentality. You should avoid taking courses that are too advanced or too basic for you.
Questions to Ask Instructors:
Where did the instructors get their education? How in-depth is their instruction? Ensure your prospective asana teacher is familiar with the therapeutic uses, contraindications, and advantages of the asana, as well as its anatomy and physiology. Was it an annual event, or did you have to do it all in one shot?
Where did your educators get their education? Has the same person taught all educators to ensure cohesion in the classroom, or did they come from different places? Is there an overarching teacher who imparts their wisdom to the studio’s instructors?
When did the instructors begin their yoga practices? The best yoga instructors have years of experience in the field as practitioners and educators.
When and how often do instructors participate in ongoing professional development? Educators and their pupils benefit greatly from continuous professional development, which motivates and enhances their teaching.
Have the instructors studied yoga’s therapeutic potential? Does your potential customer aware that yoga can aid in recovery from injuries and help you stay healthy when facing difficult times? Because yoga can positively affect your health, choosing a qualified instructor before beginning classes is essential.
Synthesizing the Whole
Practicing yoga involves both art and science. It is a complex and nuanced art form on par with classical music. It’s a rigorous and exact science on par with physics. The fun is in discovering all there is to find. Now that you know what to look for in a good yoga studio and instructor, you can make decisions that will help you take the next step toward greater happiness. Try your hand at yoga’s rewarding and sometimes tricky practice and discover its depths for yourself.
2008 Aadil Palkhivala. All rights reserved.
Aadil wrote “Fire of Love” as a guide for Yoga instructors and people from all walks of life.
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