Getting The Most Out Of A Yoga Class

Yoga is a unique activity that combines body, mind, and breath. In a yoga class, participants go through a series of poses while controlling their breathing. Although each student is different, each practitioner enters a class hoping to leave it better than they were before. This article presents simple tips and suggestions to get the most out of each yoga class.

yoga class

Determine Personal Reasons for Taking Yoga

Taking a look around a yoga class can be daunting. Faced with one’s own physical limitations in a mirrored studio with yoga practitioners of various levels, it is easy for students to lose heart and interest in yoga.

The key to staying motivated and getting the most out of each yoga class is to focus on one's motivations for taking yoga. Whether it is to reduce stress, lose weight, build strength, or heal an injury, the simple act of remembering this will help alleviate worries and comparisons to others in the class. Realizing that others are likely to be just as self-conscious may also help.

Once motivations have been identified, focus on your own personal yoga journey. Ease into each pose and recognize that each will take time to master. Every once in a while, take a look back, and acknowledge personal progress.

Arrive Fifteen to Twenty Minutes Earlier and Meditate

Students often come to a yoga class after a long day at work or school. Arriving early before a class starts allows the participant to detach from the day's events and get into the proper frame of mind. This is essential as yoga is often called a “moving meditation.”

Once you have changed into your yoga gear, go into the classroom (if available) and take the time to meditate and go inward. For some this will involve sitting cross-legged with palms down and thumb and index fingers touching, while others might prefer lying on the floor in savasana. Taking the time to unwind beforehand will help set the tone of the class and allow the practitioner to delve into the experience of the meditation in motion.

Take the Time to Stretch

Stretching before class can be another way to unwind from the day and can take the place of meditation if desired. Students can stretch at home before a class or at the yoga studio. A good idea would be to start with meditation and then move onto stretching.

Stretching warms the body up and reduces the chance of injury. It also allows the participant to go deeper into a pose than they might have if they had not stretched before-hand. Some good stretches to do before-hand are downward dog, child’s pose, and touching toes.

Talk to the Yoga Instructor

Introducing oneself to the yoga instructor is a good way to get more out of a yoga class. It is especially important if one is new to the class or to yoga and if there are physical injuries that have taken place. The yoga instructor may be able to suggest some helpful poses to work on at home and modifications to poses in class. Talking to the instructor after class is also a good way to get feedback or ask questions.

Try Different Types of Yoga

Each branch of yoga is different and appeals to different people. Some people prefer one form of yoga while some enjoy incorporating several different types. Some do not have a preference and choose classes on a whim! Staying open to the different types of yoga is an excellent way to tailor one's yoga experience.

As we age, our bodies change. The beauty of yoga is that it is flexible enough to grow with you. Taking the time to get the most out of each yoga class will help practitioners improve and better reap the mind-body-spirit connection. Yoga is a journey and the quality of that journey is in your hands. The benefits of yoga are endless. Get the most out of each class so you can grow and flourish.

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