As beginner of yoga you are probably going to be uncertain what to expect on your first day. This article will let you in on the four secrets to finding the right class for you.
Secret #1: Decide what you want to achieve before choosing a style.
The reasons for taking up Yoga are usually different for everyone in a Yoga class. On the whole people will be looking for one of three things – physical health, mental health or spiritual health. All three are essential and are realistic goals in a Yoga class. As a newcomer it’s worth setting some solid goals. For whatever you are trying to achieve through Yoga there is a class and style that is suitable for you. You can research in a library, online, or you would be surprised how eagerly a Yoga instructor will be available to talk over these goals, and discuss whether they are realistic or an alternative way best suits you.
Secret #2: Join a class-by-class program
These are sometimes referred to as drop in classes, or pay as you go. This is a good way of getting a feel for Yoga. There will be a regular turnover of other students in that level class.
The advantage of this method is of course that you are not committed to an expensive series of classes and you can get a taste for the different types of Yoga that interest you. You will also quickly learn whether the goals you set earlier are realistic for you, or even too easy and need expanding upon. Your next step will be to choose a series of classes in the style that you found most suitable from the drop in classes. You will build on these classes from week to week, and guess what? You may even find yourself behind if you miss a week.
Secret #3: Ensure that you are being taught by someone who knows what they are doing.
Surprisingly, with the relatively low intensity and the many physical benefits of yoga, 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. Secondly, instructors with inadequate training or understanding of the individual level of their students (having too many students in a class is 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 beginner.
The Yoga Alliance is a United States organization featuring a register of teachers who have completed ‘appropriate’ training. This means having completed courses that meet a certain standard.
Secret #4: Be aware of hidden costs.
Unpleasant surprises can put people right off Yoga, like turning up to your first class and finding out that there are expenses that you haven’t allowed for. Be sure to call the studio beforehand or check their online site to see their requirements. If you don’t have your mat, towel or water, those would be the only things you pay a small fee to use, for that particular class. Books, CDs or DVDs are optional.
Do look at this article on what to take to your first class.
Go for it.