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Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Choose the Right Yoga Class

By Sydney Garrison

People of all ages are realizing that yoga can be beneficial to their lives. Whether you are looking to practice yoga as a primary fitness activity, or you are looking at it to improve your performance in other sports, there is something for everyone. Yoga is a great way to lose weight, stay toned and limber, and relax your body and mind with regular meditation. It is also however, a great way for participants in other sports such as football or wrestling to become more flexible, improve their coordination and balance, and their overall performance. When you are thinking about beginning a yoga practice, there are a few things to consider.

Beginning practitioners should join a class. While you can learn from a DVD in the comfort of your own home, you will be better off learning from a qualified instructor. Getting into yoga positions can be challenging, doing them incorrectly can actually be dangerous. To minimize your risk of injury, you should learn how to properly move into positions and hold them. There are classes for all levels of practitioner and for specific ailments as well. In addition to being excellent for your overall health, certain poses can assist your body in healing from some diseases or conditions. It can ameliorate symptoms for problems such as IBS, Depression, back pain, etc. Finding the right class will get you on the road to feeling better.

When you look for a class, keep a few things in mind. The first is what level you are at. People new to yoga should start with a beginner class. There are different types of yoga as well. Kripalu yoga is good for beginners and those not yet at an advanced level, where as Ashtanga yoga is better for those who have been practicing for awhile and are looking for a challenge. Classes within a school will also vary so once you find a studio you are comfortable with, try a few different classes and instructors to see where you click.

If you have decided to go the class route, there are a few places that you can go for advisement. The best obviously is if you have a friend or coworker who is involved in yoga. They may be able to share their experiences with you and suggest a studio and instructor with whom you would be happy. There are private schools that specialize on yoga, though there are also generally yoga classes at leisure centers, gyms and colleges. Look around and do some investigating to see where you would be most comfortable. The internet is a great resource, as is Yoga Magazine which generally has a section once a year or so, listing different schools throughout the country.

Yoga is such a great activity, get started today!