We have all heard that yoga aids in flexibility, strength, balance and agility. But did you know that the most profound benefits of yoga are only discovered as we learn to release tensions with our breath? Tension can manifest in the form of physical pain, stiffness, stress, migraines and anxiety. Through yoga these blockages are diminished and a better state of balance in mind and body can be achieved.
Yoga helps us to grow stronger physically, but also mentally. Through a physical practice we learn to be intentional, focused, patient and more disciplined. We learn to take one breath at a time as we face challenges physically or emotionally. These are the qualities that help us on and off the mat.
Would you like to begin? If so, here are some questions you need to ask yourself to get started…
What type of school? Are you interested in doing more than just the physical poses? Would you like to use yoga to manage stress and learn about yogic philosophy, breath work and meditation? If so, you may be interested in a traditional practice rooted in styles like Ashtanga, or Sivananda typically taught in a studio environment. Looking for just the physical benefits of yoga? If so, then you may choose a fitness-based yoga practice taught in the gym environment.
What type of class suits you? A vinyasa flow class is a dynamic style of yoga that incorporates breath to build strength, flexibility and balance all while calming the mind. A restorative yoga class focuses on relaxation and letting go. A Yoga Nidra class is a guided meditation class. Ask about the different classes being offered.
What is the quality of the teaching staff? Will you get personalized attention? The best way to learn is if you have a teacher that will listen to you, watch you, give you feedback and correct your alignment and breathing technique.
What are the sizes of the classes? In traditional yoga, the relationship between a teacher and a student is very important. It is important to decide if you are in search of a school with a community feel or if you would rather attend bigger establishment.
What is the demographic of the clientele? Is the level of the class in line with your capabilities? Is there room for you to grow and to learn more at this school? Are the instructors trained to give you alternatives to suit your capabilities?
Do you feel welcome or does it seem intimidating? It is so important to find a place that feels welcoming and encouraging. Was the staff friendly? What is the vibe that you feel?
Can you take a trial class before committing? The only way to know if you like it is if you try it! Some studios offer a one-week introductory week at a reasonable cost.
In the hopes that these tips help you find the yoga that is right for you!
Rozel Gonzales is the Founder of the Energie EnCorps Wellness Centre in Kirkland. For more information on their West Island yoga classes and services please call (514) 505-9642 or visit: www.energieencorps.com