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, so this article will let you in on the four secrets to finding the right class for you.
Secret Number One: Decide on what you want to achieve before choosing a style
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.
Secret Number Two: Join a class-by-class program
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 different 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.
Secret Number Three: Ensure that you are being taught by someone who knows what they are doing
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.
The Yoga Alliance is a United States organisation that features a register of teaches who have completed ‘appropriate’ training. This means having completed courses that meet a certain standard. A nice rule to work by is that less than 200 hours of instruction would mean a part time Yoga education.
Secret Number Four: Be aware of hidden costs
An unpleasant surprise that can put people right off Yoga is turning up to the first class and finding that there are expenses that they haven’t allowed for. Some studio’s require each student to have their own mat, a special strap or other props. Some classes will work through a book which you are obliged to buy and some classes will have a dress code ranging from specific colours to specific articles of clothing. Being unaware of any of these things and being refused your first class because of them can be very off-putting.