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Choosing the right yoga class for you
With so many yoga teachers around, it may be
difficult, especially for a beginner, to choose the yoga class that best suits. The
following are a few guidelines for choosing a yoga class that's right for you.
|1 Choose a style of yoga that
There is no point in signing up for an ashtanga class if you are
sixty five, slightly overweight, and only want to relax, or to go to a viniyoga teacher if
you are taking up yoga as an alternative to jogging or weight lifting to keep fit.
If in doubt, ask to watch a class before enrolling. Even better, most teachers will
actually let you do one trial class, perhaps at a reduce rate, before asking you to commit
for a term. This gives you a chance to see for yourself if their style of teaching, and
the style of yoga they teach, suits you.
your teacher carefully
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Here are a few points you
should clarify with any teacher before enrolling in their class:
- Do they practice themselves? How often?
Someone who doesn't practice yoga regularly (i.e at least three times a week,
preferably 5 or 6 times a week) should not be teaching yoga.
- How long have they been practising yoga?
Someone who hasn't been practising regularly for at least
seven years probably
doesn't have enough experience to teach.
- Who did they train with and for how long?
Training as a yoga teacher takes a lot of time and effort. Riding on the popularity of
yoga in the Western world, some organisations have tried to train "yoga
teachers" in a few months. This is ridiculous, possibly dangerous, and will only give
yoga a bad name. All serious yoga organisations involved in training teachers such as the
Iyengar Yoga association, the Irish Yoga Association, the British Wheel of Yoga or the
European Union of Yoga have a minimum requirement of two years training. For more
information on teacher training and qualification, read on.
- Are they still studying yoga?
Some yoga teachers, once qualified, stop studying. This goes against the philosophy of
yoga. Anyone who teaches yoga owes to their students to attend regularly classes and
seminars with more senior teachers, so their practice, and therefore their teaching,
- To them, is yoga a
way to make a living, or a way of life?
Yoga teachers should do their best to live their life in
accordance to yoga ethics. Ask any prospective teacher what are the
five yamas, or the
eight limbs of yoga. If they can't name them nor explain them,
yoga is probably just a way to make a living and they are not
teaching from their heart...
There's a saying that to be a teacher, you need a teacher, a
practice, a love and knowledge of the subject you teach, and students. Make sure the
teacher you choose meets the first three requirements before becoming one of their
|3 Other points to
- The student-teacher relationship is more than a commercial one.
Make sure you study yoga with someone you can trust and respect. Basically, choose a
teacher you like.
- Class size. It is well worth paying extra for smaller class size.
If your teacher never looks at your practice and corrects it, because they have 50
students in their class, then you might as well learn from a video...