The right yoga studio and instructor can clear a path in your journey to improve your mind, body and spirit. With thousands of yoga studios open across the country, how do you find a studio that's just right for you? Here are some tips for finding the best place to practice yoga.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India and that helps those practicing it find inner peace. Most recently, it's been associated with alleviating health problems and reducing stress, and it's become popular as an exercise program.
Did you know, however, that there are nearly two dozen types of yoga that are commonly practiced? Anusara yoga, for example, is great for beginners because it guides students to express themselves through poses that aren't necessarily cookie-cutter positions. Power yoga, on the other hand, is more active and athletic in style, and it focuses on sparking metabolism and burning calories.
Before choosing a yoga studio, check out which types of yoga your local studios offer. If you're a beginner, choose a studio that offers classes for newbies, and if you're an advanced student, choose a studio that offers many types of yoga that will maintain your interest and challenge you on different levels.
Are you interested in burning calories, or are you more interested in finding inner peace and minimizing your stress levels? When first visiting a yoga studio, share your goals with the instructor, who can then help you narrow down your choices and let you know whether that studio is for you.
For example, if you're pregnant, your goal may be to get help with breathing, relaxation techniques, and adjusting to the physical demands of pregnancy and labor. Choose a yoga studio with a prenatal class that focuses specifically on those goals.
One of the easiest ways to choose a yoga studio is to simply ask around. Many people practice yoga and are likely to offer you their two cents about their yoga studio. Local recreation centers and fitness facilities also may be able to tell you where yoga classes are offered in your community.
Make sure to do a background check on the yoga studio you're considering. Inquire about the training and experience of the teachers and check to see whether your state requires yoga instructors to be licensed or certified.
Although teachers and yoga studios are not required to register with Yoga Alliance, this nonprofit organization is the standardizing body for yoga in the United States, and it can be a great source of information about a yoga studio you are considering.
Some yoga studios may allow you to sit in on a class, and most will at least welcome you to stop by and chat with the instructors and owners. You should inquire about things that are important to you, such as class size, various experience levels, class times that suit your schedule and costs.
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