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How To Choose The Right Yoga Class For You




Beginning anything new can be a little bit intimidating, but having the right information can ease you into almost anything. Choosing the right yoga class to suit your needs, goals, and current fitness level comes down to a few things: Have you practiced before? What is one thing you'd like to achieve by moving forward with yoga? Am I honest about where my current fitness level is at?



Let's break down each one. First, have you practiced before? Perhaps you've done a couple of classes online, at your local gym or with a friend, been a practitioner for years, or not at all. The biggest piece of advice I learned early on is to have the right information and this means knowing, at least to some degree, a little bit of yoga lingo and a couple of keys asanas, or poses/postures, to move you through a class. My early life until adulthood was spent on a dance floor I, too, needed to learn the ways of land when it came to yoga. My first yoga class was in my college livingroom with my roommate. Her aunt had given us a Bryan Kest Power Yoga video to try. Needless to say, I learned a lot that day, most importantly that yoga was way different that any dance class I had taken and I was clearly not as far along as I thought. However, from that class onward I knew I wanted to be able to move like Bryan Kest!


Taking a Beginners class is by far the best way to tackle yoga if you've never practiced before. There is so much wealth and knowledge to these types of classes for all yogis, not just beginners.

The pace in a Beginners class is much slower and most offer time for questions and adjustments. Be sure to let your teacher know of any past injuries, current ailments, or if there is something you'd like to focus on.

If you are a seasoned yogi, perhaps taking a multitude of classes at your local studio will help you find your perfect fit. Good questions to ask yourself and your teacher are what am I wanting to attain, learn, or move forward with? Is a fast-paced Vinyasa class that speeds up the heart rate and increases strength your jam? Perhaps, you're wanting to slow down your practice with a deep stretch class such as Yin, or go back to the basics and take a Beginners class. (Always so helpful for alignment purposes.)



Secondly, goals are superb building blocks to our lives. This is also true with yoga. As mentioned previously, taking stock of where you are is first and foremost, but after you've established that comes the 'why'. This doesn't need to be profound by any means, but having an achievable goal helps you choose where you'd like to begin.

Perhaps increasing flexibility is a good goal for you. (this is one of the most common goals I hear.) Being flexible isn't about being able to tie yourself up in knots. It is about being able to move through life with a decrease of injury.

Seeing a fellow yogi tackle a more difficult posture you'd like to work towards might be another goal. Maybe a past injury keeps you from a favorite activity and building strenth and flexibility is where its at.

Since yoga is multi-layered, maybe breath work, relaxation, or mediation is more your thing. This has been true for me in the last few years and I have noticed my physical practice as well as my everyday life benefitting from these techniques.

Whatever goal you choose, and it will surely change, will help direct you towards the right class to tackle first.


Lastly, ask yourself where am I in my current fitness level? Be honest with yourself here. The ego is for real, y'all. Most new practitioners know they need to start slow and learn. (My suggestion is to take at least 10 classes before deciding on sticking with yoga or any new venture. This gives you time to adjust to all the newness that happens and truly see and feel results.) But there are some who feel like they should jump right in. To them I say, you gotta learn how to walk before you can run before you hang out in an inversion. Speaking to a teacher is the best way to help narrow down which class is right for you in this instance. And remember, it is so good to be a beginner once again!


So in summary, be honest with yourself and your teacher about your current fitness and yoga level and make a list of what your goal omight be.

Then...come on in, sweat with us, get a little stronger, be more at peace, laugh, make great friends, and repeat.


~A solid yoga practice helps you find greater strength and balance, a quieter mind, and a greater sense of overall functionality. But these attributes are just the beginning. More on this topic later...



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