It seems that everyone has a different idea about which yoga class is the best. If you ask a few friends, you are likely to get several different answers.
Lately, yoga classes seem to be popping up in every gym and community center. This gives you a spectacular opportunity to give yoga a try. Choosing the right class for you will take just a little patience.
When picking an instructor for any learning experience, it is always advantageous to ask questions. While you are choosing your new yoga class, consider talking to the instructor prior to joining the class.
So, before you sign up for yoga classes, ask the teacher these three questions.
1. How long have you been teaching yoga?
Find out is she is a professional instructor or if she has just recently joined the ranks of yoga teachers. Make sure that she has experience with your chosen style of yoga. Let her know why you are considering joining her class.
Explain to the instructor that your goal is weight-loss or relaxation, so that she knows what you expect from her class. The Yoga Alliance recommends that all instructors have at least 200 hours of training prior to teaching. If she does not meet these minimum standards, it might be time to search for another class.
2. How large are your yoga classes?
Learning complicated poses in a class of fifty students can be intimidating. If many of the students are more advanced than you are, how will you keep up with the class? Large classes might make you feel a little more comfortable if you are the type to blend into the background.
Small classes give the instructor more time to concentrate on each individual student. Choosing a smaller class might give you the results you are looking for, at a much faster rate.
3. Are you still actively practicing yoga outside of the classroom?
Yoga instructors should have a love of the discipline. If the instructor is into yoga purely to create a financial income, he or she is less likely to combine both the spiritual and physical aspects of yoga into a class. To get the full benefit of yogic poses, the teacher must explain each step of the pose.
Many poses include positions which stimulate the body and the mind. An excellent instructor understands the poses and explains them to the class. The more she practices yoga, the better she becomes at understanding yogic principles.
It is also an excellent idea to audit at least one yoga session. This will give you a chance to see how the instructor handles the class. Even someone who practices yoga on a daily basis might not be adept at teaching the skills.
A good teacher will build a relationship with each student. Yoga is not only a physical pursuit; it affects the mind, as well. Having a teacher that you can trust is a wonderful way to begin the practice of yoga.
Yoga Mats Are An Essential Part of The Practice of Yoga
Your mat will ensure that you are comfortable during even the most strenuous of poses. Even just 20 years ago, there were very few choices when it came to yoga mats. Today, mats have more varieties than most people could ever imagine.
Yoga mats come in colors and patterns to suit any personality. Beyond the flashy colors, yoga mats have a variety of textures, thicknesses and materials that make choices difficult unless you are an expert.
The grip or stickiness of your yoga mat is what makes you stable on the floor. You do not want a mat that will slide around during your first Downward Facing Dog.
The stickiness of your mat includes its texture and absorbency. A mat with a raised texture will stick to the floor better than other styles. Within the category of textures is the material that the mat is made from.
Certain materials provide their own texture. PVC mats are generally softer than jute mats that are made from organic materials. A textured mat will stick to the floor without the suction of a sticky mat. This means that textured mats are easier to remove from the floor than sticky mats.
Textured mats often last longer than sticky mats, but they do not provide quite as much stability as a sticky mat. All mats should allow for some sweat absorption. You do not want to perform your poses in a pool of sweat.
When looking at mat materials, the choices come down to eco-friendly materials and standard vinyl or PVC. Most of the newer mats are made from recycled rubber, biodegradable phthalate or woven jute. Part of the philosophy of yoga includes a spiritual connection to the earth.
Using a mat made from recycled or biodegradable materials has become more popular in recent years. Mats made of cotton fiber are easy to clean and good for the environment. Many yoga masters require their students to purchase an eco-friendly mat.
Thickness is another factor to consider when buying a yoga mat. The thicker the mat, the more comfortable you will be in your poses. Thick mats tend to be a bit heavier than thin ones, so keep this in mind if you have to walk a distance from your car to the yoga studio. Thick mats might retain more liquid than a thin mat, so having mat wipes or a towel handy is also a good idea.
Choosing your perfect yoga mat might mean trying several styles. In the end, many choices come down to cost and durability. Yoga mats are generally made from materials that withstand the abuse of several years of use.
A PVC mat in a solid color will be the least costly for someone with limited training. These mats start in the range of $10-20 and the prices range upward from there. A high quality yoga mat can cost hundreds of dollars.