If you've never done yoga, you may be confused by all the different styles. Follow these tips to find a yoga class tailored to your specific needs – without bending over backwards.
: Always consult a physician before attempting to do any exercise or exercise plan.
Step 1: Assess your goals Take stock of your physical abilities and limitations. Do you want an intense aerobic workout, as provided in a power yoga class? Or a slower, gentler, meditative style of yoga? There are classes that address both goals.
TIP: Many books are available that describe the various styles of yoga.
Step 2: Talk to the instructor Talk to an instructor. Ask whether they are certified and which styles they have studied. Discuss any special needs you have as a student.
Step 3: Observe a class Ask to observe a class. If allowed, note whether the teacher provides good verbal cues and whether a non-competitive environment is fostered in the class. Also note whether the teacher does hands-on adjustments.
Step 4: Try a few classes Try a few classes to see whether the style of yoga and the teacher agree with you. Start with a beginner's class, even if you are in excellent physical shape, and slowly progress up to more advanced levels. Get to know the teacher, the techniques, and the style of yoga being taught.
FACT: The earliest written records documenting yoga as a health practice are recorded in sacred texts in India that date back thousands of years.