Yoga, as practiced in the west, has become a symbol of patience, health and tranquility.
Yoga is a thriving industry and the data reveals significant growth. Nearly 37 million people in the US alone are attending yoga classes, up from 20 million in 2012 and the numbers continue to increase.
Along with this growth comes numerous variations of yoga styles available today. Offerings at studios and gyms across the country can be confusing and you may find the task of how to decide which yoga is right for you overwhelming.
Yoga is a form of holistic medicine that shapes and harmonizes long-term well-being. It’s as close to a single source solution to you overall health as you will ever find.
While widely known for its benefits in developing flexibility, yoga is less likely to be known for its significant curative powers. It offers more bang for your buck with regard to your physical and emotional conditioning than meets the eye. Rather than a quick fix, it is a powerful, yet slow medicine to improve the quality of your life.
A regular yoga practice encourages involvement in your own healing; having the tremendous potential to be a transformative and insightful journey. Calling on all of your physical and mental senses, it requires you to cultivate and deepen the connection between your mind, body and spirit.
The fundamental principle to choosing a class that suits you best is to match your personality, what you wish to accomplish, and your individual physical abilities with the practice being offered.
Yoga’s focus on your physical well-being provides undeniable benefits to your body. Preparing it for complete health, it strengthens your body from the inside out. But yoga is not just about working out. It also has the potential to transform your emotional well-being. It’s about shifting from days full of to-do lists, to one in which you create a more well-rounded lifestyle.
With so many styles of yoga and varieties of hybrid classes available, selecting the best one for you will be a personal choice. From an intense and sweaty Bikram class, to the alignment-based, slow-flow of a Kripalu practice, to the athletic and adventurous spirit presented in an Aerial yoga, each style will give you a different way to connect with the wisdom of this ancient modality.
To learn more about what style is a perfect fit for you, visit The Chopra Center and take their simple, ten question quiz, ‘What Kind Of Yoga Is Right For You?’
#1. What is your personal level of fitness? Classes that are labeled beginner, basic, or gentle are generally suitable for all and a great place to start. To get the most benefit and enjoyment, it’s important to try different classes to see what suits your fitness level and goals.
At first, you may not even know what you’re looking for until you try several different classes. Be mindful of how your body feels during and after class; paying attention to the emotional and physical aspects you experience. The best indicator of a good fit is that you will be excited to attend the class again.
#2. Why do you want to practice? Yoga encourages involvement in your own healing and offers many vital physical and mental health benefits. Some physical gains, like increased energy and circulation, better posture and muscle control, and improved balance and coordination are noticeably evident. Other mental health benefits, such as a reduction in stress levels, anxiety, and irritability; improved focus, creativity, and mood; elevated self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-control may be subtle but they are just as effective.
Yoga allows you to be who you are and gives you considerable control of how you interact with the world around you. Practiced regularly, you will experience steady growth; you will be blown away by how good your body feels and how your mindset shifts in a positive direction.
The individual teacher will have as much to do with your level of comfort as the yoga class itself. It’s important to tune into and listen to your inner voice and decide if they are a good fit for you.
Every teacher will have their own unique style based on their personality, fitness background, and with whom they trained. Look for someone you can relate to. Choose someone who inspires you and encourages you, someone who has an understanding and compassion for where you are in your journey to well-being.
A genuine teacher does not seek to impress you with their greatness, but impress upon you that you possess the skills to discover your own.
When you look at how yoga can transform your physical, mental and spiritual health it’s easy to see why it has become so popular and is now a widespread practice in the United States.
And while it’s not a panacea, experts agree that yoga has a restorative effect on the mind, body and spirit and contributes to a heightened sense of health and happiness.
Bend so you don’t break.
I am a corporate wellness consultant. As a master yoga instructor, I support in-house wellness programs, seminars, trade shows and executive retreats. I help business leaders build and maintain physical and mental well-being. If you would like to learn more about offering a health and fitness program to your busy management team contact me at [email protected] or 386.871.0582
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