So it is Spring and you are finally ready to take the plunge and begin to really take a good inventory of your life and take charge of your health and well being. You are finally ready to begin a Yoga practice and you really don’t know where or how to begin.
Maybe you’ve already been practicing and you wish to go a bit further and you wish to join a class. So your curiosity begins to build and you begin to look for a Yoga Studio, a Yoga Studio near you…Perhaps you begin by asking your friends where they are going. The truth is that no one Yoga Studio is right for everyone and what might feel really wonderful to your friends may not be the right fit for you. Whatever the case may be, these days, there are yoga studios on every corner, so how is a yogi to pick a studio that is right for them?
Below are 5 suggestions to help you on your quest to find the right Yoga Studio and the right teacher. I would also encourage you to visit as many studios as you are able. Many studios offer a complimentary trial class so you it may make it easier for you to decide. I also encourage others to find a Yoga Studio that is affordable, offers Yoga for Beginners and to choose a Yoga Studio that is near you and convenient.
The teacher’s certification and experience is really a must have. Before visiting any yoga studio, check out their website and read the teacher’s bio for their certification and where it came from.
This is also a great way to determine if your specific needs and interests will align with the teacher and studio.
2. Class Schedule
A schedule that is easy to understand and consistent. A well-developed yoga studio provides consistency for you, both through class times and teachers.
It’s important that those class times remain consistent and you have the ability to create a relationship with the same teacher that can understand your progress and help you excel in your practice
3. Atmosphere and Experience
When you visit the studio for the first time, the teacher should introduce themselves to you and give you a tour of the studio. The studio should feel peaceful and be very clean. All the props (mats, blocks, blankets, etc.) should be easily accessible, clean and available to support all levels of students.
4. Once You’re in Class . .
Now that you’re ready to start your practice, first of all Congratulations! There are a few things to look out for. For example, Pranayama (which is the Sanskrit word for conscious breathing exercises). If your teacher leads you through them before the physical poses, that’s the sign of a good teacher.
Next, how does the teacher interact with the students? Does s/he ask your name and inquire about injuries, areas you’d like to focus on, etc.? These are things that teachers should do to make their students feel welcome and supported.
Finally, music. Music can make or break a yoga class. Soft, calming background music, motivating, upbeat music to help power you through, or perhaps no music at all? Look for what resonates with you and gives you the most out of your practice (whether that’s the type of music, no music, etc.).
5. Teaching Style
Your practice time is not the teacher’s practice time. The studio you choose should have teachers that walk around and help students with their alignment. A teacher that is willing to help you after class or takes the time with you before class. The teacher’s main focus should be walking around and offering assistance.
Your teacher should skillfully be watching the placement of your hands and feet, or the way you might lean to one side in a given pose. Teachers are there to help you see what you cannot. They are there to help you create symmetry and alignment within your form.
More than anything and above all, you should feel like you are welcome, part of the community, and are being supported on your path.
This is your body and your beautiful spirit. Your practice should be something that you look forward to, and your yoga studio should play a major role in supporting you through your personal journey. I wish you success in finding the Yoga Studio that is right for you and the teacher that will help you on this amazing journey….