Qualities to Look for in a Yoga Studio
As far as popularity goes, yoga has become the prom queen of the fitness world.
With dozens of styles, hundreds of studios, and thousands of teachers, it can take a while before you find what works for you.
This article is intended to help know what qualities to look for in a yoga studio and teacher as you consider different options.
Keeping these points in mind, you’ll have an easier time finding a practice that not only keeps you in shape, but helps you thrive in all aspects of life.
First off, research and identify a few styles of yoga that sound appealing to you.
If you live a sedentary life, more active practices like Ashtangha or Vinyasa might be good options.
If you hit the gym everyday, on the other hand, a more restorative style like Yin or Hatha could be just what you need.
If you want something moderate but still challenging, try Anusara, Iyengar, or Forrest yoga.
Some people also like to jump around and change their practice style according to what is happening in their life.
Keep an open mind and stay curious, you might be surprised at what you like!
Next, find a studio that offers the styles of yoga you are interested in.
Some studios specialize only in one kind of yoga, while others have many to choose from.
When you visit a studio, evaluate if it makes you feel comfortable.
The space and people should be welcoming and soothing. It should feel like a safe place for you to turn inward and express yourself, free of competition or judgment.
Try out as many different teachers as you can fit into your schedule.
And remember, just because two teachers have been trained in the same style doesn’t mean their classes will resemble each other at all.
And this brings me to the next point of interest…
Qualities to Look for in a Yoga Teacher
Your teacher should love and live yoga.
This means that they don’t just teach yoga, but have a steady personal practice as well.
Age isn’t necessarily important, but you want to make sure your teacher has spent a few years on the mat.
They Focus on Breath
The power in both rigorous and relaxing yoga practices comes from an internal focus, specifically, a focus on the breath.
A teacher who does not guide you to breathe with the movements is missing one of the most vital component of the practice.
Attention to detail
Your teachers should teach you something about your body. They should be reminding you where your hands and feet should be for proper alignment throughout the practice.
A good teacher will also guide you to check in with different parts of your body, help you find stability, and safely come into the fullest expression of the pose available to you.
They won’t push you too hard
Good teachers will teach you to respect your limits, but they might still take you to the edge and show you how far you can go.
They will encourage you to sustain uncomfortable situations, overcome the limitations of your mind, while still honoring your physical limitations.
Good yoga teachers inspire. They might start the class off with an anecdote or poem, and bring your awareness to the metaphors that yoga and life share.
They will constantly remind you that there is no such thing as perfection, there is no destination.
They will teach you to stay present in the moment, wherever you are.
Yoga is called a practice because there is no ultimate goal beyond being where you are. You and your practice are always changing, just like everything in life.
Your yoga teacher should remind you of these life-lessons every time you meet.
The wisdom found in yoga is what separates it from other physical activities and makes it more than just exercise.
When you practice yoga with good teachers, yoga can lead you toward profound transformation.
And finally, #1 thing to look for is a feeling of bliss when you leave the studio.
(Photo source: http://www.corepoweryoga.com/classdescriptions)