Mention the words “yoga class” in , and most people will immediately know what you’re talking about, and conjure images of people walking down the street in svelte yoga pants, with their yoga mat on a strap, bumping along beside them on the way to a class.
However, as trendy as yoga may now appear to be in , , don’t just write it off as a low grade, exercise activity meant primarily for young professional adults looking to stay in shape while remaining fashionable with today’s trends. Yoga can be many things to many people, but one of the things that surprise many is that it can be a complement to an already established fitness regimen.
Define What You Want
For some, yoga is just an activity that lets them get out of the house and attend a class, creating a routine with some fitness benefits. To others, however, yoga can be a very important way to develop good meditation practices, relieve stress, and live a healthier emotional and mental life.
For others, however, yoga can make you fitter, helping to develop flexibility, which can be important in a number of different physical activities or even build up stamina and strength. As with exercise in general, many different types of yoga accomplish different things. So you need to find the type of yoga that gives you what you want.
Research Your Options
If you’re already physically fit, and you’re looking for something that can “keep up with you,” then basic yoga classes may not be what you want. Introductory yoga classes tend not to be very strenuous or demanding, as they are designed to accommodate a wide variety of different age groups and physical ability, so they’re naturally more forgiving.
More advanced training needs may need more advanced classes. If this is you, then look around your area for advanced yoga options. These will be less about introducing people to basic yoga concepts and more about holding challenging poses for longer periods, pushing the envelope of physical performance for the students.
Find The Right Instructor
Once you’ve got a class that fits your goals, it’s time to see whether or not the instructor will be a good teacher for you. Evaluate a class, or talk to the instructor first to see whether your goals align. You want to make sure that you are challenged so that you get the conditioning and physical improvement you seek, but you want to do this safely.
If you find an instructor is more concerned with doing things quickly, but not accurately, or you feel that the instructor ignores safety considerations, and puts people at risk of injury by pushing them towards activities they may not ready for, you may want to keep looking.
However, once you find the right yoga class in , that meets your needs, don’t be surprised if these classes end up challenging you and augmenting your physical conditioning in ways you never imagined. Yoga can lead to a lot of self-improvement in more ways than one.