Guest Post by Anna Kaminsky
When you need to work off some stress, there’s nothing better than turning your body into a pretzel with a yoga exercise! Actually, you don’t have to do the type of pretzel exercises that you may be imagining when you think of yoga. In fact, the best thing about this form of relaxation therapy is you can push yourself as far as you want without having to worry about keeping up with others. This is an individual exercise program that works on not only your physical body but your emotional and spiritual side as well. You can do as much or as little as you want and still feel the incredible benefits that yoga provides.
Finding the right yoga practice that works for you
When you’re deciding on a yoga class, there are a few things you’ll want to consider first. Not all yoga therapy is created equal, and you’ll need to find the one that fits into your lifestyle and your physical limits the best. Here are 5 easy steps you can use to help find the right one for you.
1. Take it easy at the beginning
Look for a slow and gentle type of yoga class that concentrates a lot on breathing techniques. It’s the breathing that will help get you through your classes and get you de-stressed as much as possible. These types of yoga programs will allow you to start with slow motion exercises and then gradually move forward to more advanced ones when you are ready.
2. Look for smaller class sizes
The smaller the class size the more individual attention you will end up getting. This means that the instructor will have more time to show you individualized poses that would be best for you. Smaller classes can also lead to a closeness between the members that could not otherwise be found in a larger setting.
3. Look specifically for a beginner program
Try to find a class that labels itself as being for beginners so that the instructor knows exactly what he can expect from you when you get started. Not only will you need to perform the exercises, but you’ll also have to get used to the poses and the terminology used in this beautiful form of exercise. If you’re uncertain about a certain yoga class be sure to call up first to find out whether or not it is suitable for beginners.
4. Look for peace of mind
Yoga can be an enjoyable moment, where you get to really appreciate yourself for who you are. This is the chance to really be kind to yourself and not have to worry about catering to any others. You’re allowed to have total peace of mind when you’re practicing yoga and this is the beauty of it. Once you’re able to experience the feeling of oneness with yourself, it will spread into other areas of your life. You’ll feel more relaxed and better able to cope with situations and experiences outside of the yoga gym.
5. Have fun with the props – they are there to be used!
Oh my! You are going to be surprised when you see all of the different props that you can use during your yoga classes. There are straps, blankets, blocks, balls and all sorts of other props that will help you with your poses. They can also be used to help you feel more comfortable especially when you’re first getting started. You’ll be working on a lot of tension areas and sometimes a rolled up blanket can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your level of comfort. A great yoga class will have a variety of props available for the students.
In order to get the most out of your yoga classes, make sure that you choose the right one at the beginning. If you do happen to make a mistake and walk into a course that you feel is out gradient for you, don’t continue with it. Find out what type of class you should be in and get transferred to it. By starting out small and taking baby steps you may just find yourself in the advanced yoga classes sooner than you think!
Author Bio: Anna Kaminsky is a fourth year psychology student at the University of Toronto. She is collecting data for her undergraduate thesis and works as an intern at Richmond Hill Psychology Center. In her free time, Anna likes to read, go biking and hiking, and enjoys yoga and meditation. You can also connect with Anna on Google +