Yoga Classes & Instructors Tips

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Can I ask questions during a yoga class?

Q And A Is A-OK

The best yoga instructors are happy to answer questions about the yoga poses during a class as long as you keep it to a minimum. It's OK to ask if you don't understand how you should be positioned; you don't want to hurt yourself because you are doing something wrong. If you simply can't do a certain pose, such as Lotus, ask, “what can I do instead of Lotus?” and most instructors will be happy to help you.

If you have more detailed questions about what poses you can practice at home to improve a certain series of poses, or to help open up tight spots such as hips and shoulders, talk to your instructor after the class is over.

   
Am I allowed to talk during yoga class?

Be Courteous: Don't Cause Distractions To Ears And Noses

Once the yoga class begins, don't talk to your neighbors. There will be time to chat when the class is over. Yoga is about inward focus, although that can be a challenge if the class is crowded or if it takes place in a sectioned-off area of a gym where you can hear the noise of the exercise bikes and stair-stepping machines. Use any distracting noises as challenges to you to improve your focus and block them out, and make an even greater effort to turn your attention inward and assess how your body feels on any given day. Listen to the instructor and focus on his or her voice and directions to help block out other sounds.

Use common sense about scents. Because many yoga classes involve exercises within a foot or so of others, be kind to your neighbors and avoid wearing heavy fragrances such as perfumes or aftershaves to a yoga class. Deodorant is appreciated, though.

   
How long are most yoga classes?

Timeliness Matters In Yoga Class

When you're attending a yoga class, respect your teacher and classmates by arriving on time. First, it's courteous. Second, some gyms and yoga studios won't let you enter a class if you arrive even a minute or two after the scheduled start time, so factor in enough time, even if that means forcing yourself leave for the class 5 or 10 minutes earlier.

Most yoga classes last at least an hour, so be sure to be prepared and block out enough time. Unless it's a dire emergency, don't leave a yoga class early. If you get up to leave during final relaxation, it is distracting to your classmates and discourteous to the teacher. If you can't block out the time for a class, try to go another day or practice at home with a yoga video or DVD.

   
What are some basic principles to use in all yoga classes?

Core Concepts: Belly In For Life

Throughout the course of any yoga class, try to devote part of your mind to pulling the belly button towards the back of the spine. Most teachers will remind students to pull the belly in during different poses, but remind yourself to do it when you start to tire in a certain posture. Not only will it distract you from your hard-working arms and legs, but also pulling your belly in can help you get deeper into a pose. Plus, you are working your core muscles, and strong core muscles contribute to better posture and overall fitness not only for yoga poses but also for the activities of daily life.

   
When is the best time to take a yoga class?

The Best Time To Take Yoga Class

When is the best time to take a yoga class? There are benefits to morning, day, and night time classes. Early morning yoga -- often held around sunrise -- is a great way to open your channels and start the day. During an afternoon slump, a yoga class is a perfect pick-me-up, and certainly better for you than a candy bar! However, you should be aware that after a yoga class the body and mind might not be in the best state to attend an important meeting or meet a deadline. Be sure to allow time after class until you know how you will adapt to yoga. Evening or night time classes are ideal to put you into a state of relaxation that will allow you to have a deep and restful sleep.

   
Why do I need a teacher to study Yoga?

Benefits

The best way to begin a yoga practice is with a qualified instructor, either in a group class or a one-on-one session.

An instructor will show you how to properly align yourself in a pose, as well as correct methods for getting into and out of poses. Instructors can also help students understand correct breathing techniques.

   
What is a benefit to attending regular yoga classes?

A Community in Yoga

Many of us spend so much time working that we rarely have an opportunity to meet and interact with others in a productive way. Yoga is a great way to build a professional or social network in your community. Yoga is an individual practice, true, but community can be found when you surround yourself with others on the same path. The benefits are not only social, however. Some members of your class may wish to meet outside of the studio to share insights about their practice. By sharing, you can all make your practice better.

   
How do I find a yoga teacher?

How to Find a Teacher

The best way to find a yoga teacher is by getting a referral from someone you know. But that's not always possible.

So here are some suggestions:
1) Look in the Yellow Pages
2) Check local YMCAs, gyms and adult education programs
3) Surf the Web

Finding a teacher through the Web is actually the most difficult simply because of the vastness of information on the Internet. So try the other options first.

   
What is a yoga studio?

The Benefit of Yoga Studios

If you can't find yoga at your gym or local community center, you may have better luck locating yoga studios in your area. Studios are slightly different than general class locations. Many studios specialize in one or two styles of yoga. If you have found a style that best suits your personal needs, a studio is an ideal place to begin or continue your practice. At the studio, several levels of yoga are usually taught so you can be sure that the class fits your level. Classes are usually smaller for more individual attention.

   
What questions should I ask before taking a class?

Questions to Ask

You shouldn't be afraid to ask questions once you find a teacher or class. Here are some examples:
* Are the classes good for beginners?
* What do you need to wear and bring to class?
* What is the cost?
* Where was the teacher trained?

You'll find that teachers are usually happy to answer questions. Some will even invite you to observe a class before signing up.

   
How often should I attend yoga classes?

Yoga: A Lifelong Practice

Once you have found a yoga class that suits you, do your best to attend at least once a week. This will get your body and mind into a routine. Yoga is a lifelong practice that requires constant revisiting and learning. It's ideal to go more than once a week, if your schedule permits. Once you have developed a base knowledge of asanas and pranayama techniques you can reduce the amount of classes you attend. Either way, you should also practice every day at home to stay limber in mind and body.

   
Where can I find classes in yoga?

Searching For Yoga Classes Online

Finding a yoga class is not as difficult as you may think. The easiest way to find a yoga class in your city or town is to search online. There are now search engines available throughout the Internet which allow you to enter your location and find all the studios, schools, end even health clubs and gyms that offer yoga classes. Some search engines also allow you to enter the style of yoga you wish to study. This narrows your search even more, and gives you the best possible match for your needs.

   
What are the health benefits of yoga?

The Health Benefits of Yoga Classes

Regular yoga classes are beneficial for your health. The proven health benefits of yoga are numerous. From better respiratory health to improved physical strength, your body will quickly show signs of better health. Yoga is also known to reduce or eliminate disorders of the body such as gastrointestinal difficulties and even insomnia. In addition, one's mental health improves as peacefulness and a clearer state of mind are developed over time through meditation.

   
Where is a good place to start taking yoga classes?

Yoga at the Gym

The best way to become familiar with a style of yoga is to take a yoga class. If you are a beginner, you can generally find basic yoga classes at your local gym. This is an excellent way to get familiar with essential postures and breathing exercises. Most classes offered at gyms are rooted in Hatha yoga. However, larger gym chains may offer a wider variety of yoga styles.

   
How can I save money on yoga classes?

Cost-cutting Yoga Classes

A yoga studio may offer series of classes. Based on your level of experience, you can take yoga classes that enhance your practice. What's even better is that more often than not, you don't have to purchase each class individually. Regular practitioners can buy blocks of classes and save money. Some studios even offer unlimited passes that allow you to take as many classes as you want, as often as you want.

   
What are some pointers for taking yoga classes?

Yoga Etiquette

Class sizes in yoga instruction can range from one-on-one instruction to large groups of people all practicing at once. Regardless of your class size, there are a few things you can do to be respectful of other practitioners. > Approach the class in as calm a state as you can. Agitation and stress will affect other class members. > Avoid wearing perfumes or colognes. > When possible, give yourself and others as much space to work in. > Show up early and get in the right mindset -- don't rush into class late or frazzled > If you don't know what the teacher is talking about -- gesture to them silently so they can come over and help you > If you have to leave do it quietly When everyone works together, the true effects of yoga are more readily attained.

   
How do I determine the appropriate cost for a yoga class?

Class Cost

Determining how much a class should cost will really depend on where you live and how many options are available.

In general, classes at YMCAs and schools cost less than private studios and gyms.

From personal experience, I can tell you that the average cost in my area is about $10-15 per class. Sessions at YMCAs and adult-education programs usually run for six to eight weeks. Classes at gyms are often included in the cost of membership, but not available to outsiders. Private studio rates may vary with the level of instruction and class size.

   
How should I find a good yoga instructor?

Yoga Instructors

Although yoga is a personal practice, good yoga instruction is essential to the purity of your studies. Do research online or in local publications to find instructors who have extensive training. Ideally, you can talk to others who have taken his/her classes and get personal feedback about the instructor's skill. Whenever possible, try to arrange a personal meeting with a potential instructor. This is the best way to see if you both connect and can benefit from working together.

   
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