Connecting Yoga with Your individual Needs
Finding the yoga practice that works for you can make the difference on how you perceive yoga if you’re new to it. If you listen to your inner-self and observe the class, you’ll know if you feel safe and supported. Try different classes with different instructors and styles until you feel you’ve found the right one for you. Finding the type of yoga that fits your needs can be a good experience or a bad one.
Grab a friend and go together, that way you can bounce your thoughts off of each other as I did. We chose to try another class within the same network after the second session. The new instructor was more our age (late 50s and early 60’s) and it was a better fit. Connecting with your individual needs is very important, you must feel relaxed with your instructor.
How Do You Know if You’ve Found The Right Fit?
My friend and I continued going to the yoga practice and on the fourth class, there was a new instructor. Being a woman, we had two different women instructors and felt comfortable. Suddenly there was a male instructor substitute on our fourth visit. I was taken aback but thought I’d give him a chance.
Turned out, we really enjoyed his class and found that he instructed in many ways. We picked up some good tips from him that we didn’t see in the other classes. He taught me how to improvise as I have a bad knee and couldn’t get up and down from the floor easily, he introduced me to the “chair”. Instead of sitting on the floor, I held onto the chair and did different exercises. We were happy with him and sorry he couldn’t be our new instructor.
Searching for the Right Class Continued
While some instructors were slow and methodical, others were serious and stern. Some were playful and professional, others were just plain weird! We ended up going back to the second instructor and then Covid happened. We were sorry to see it end.
I got creative and bought a Hydrow Rower Machine and luckily it comes with yoga classes for online practicing. So the next 2 years I’ve been practicing at home, and that works out just fine for me. I still go online and check out the many videos on yoga and read up on as much as I can, as there are hundreds of variations of yoga.
Why Finding Yoga That Fits Your Style Is Essential
You must have an instructor that resonates with you and do whatever it is that makes you want to keep doing yoga. There is no right or wrong superior or inferior style. I totally agree that if a physical practice feels limiting due to mobility issues, explore other styles. I particularly found that Hatha and gentle yoga worked for me the best. If you’re sticking with Hatha, all forms of yoga practice have three things in common, breath, poses and opportunity to be in the moment. Conscious, diaphragmatic breathing performed through the nostrils is the cornerstone of most yoga practices.
Cultivate a Strong Mind-Body Connection
Applauding yoga for its physical benefits alone would only diminish what this entire system has to offer as a whole. By practicing yoga regularly, you may be surprised to find that you’re building much more than a strong, flexible body.
Initially, the whole purpose of practicing yoga was to experience spiritual enlightenment. In Sanskrit (The ancient language of India), yoga translates as Yoke, or Union, describing the integration of mind and body to create a greater connection with one’s own pure, essential nature.
Not All Yoga Styles Fit Everyone
It’s helpful to begin a list that clearly prioritizes and fills your needs. Do you want a hard work out, fast or slow, sweaty or more mindful and gentle? There’s a huge crossover among the various yoga classes and even a diversity in teaching approaches within each discipline.
Try attending a few different types of yoga classes as this will allow you to experience new practices and you may discover the right fit for you. If you’re not having any luck, maybe you need a list of different styles you would be ok with.
Healing Types of Yoga/Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT)
Two week integrative Therapy is offered worldwide, training health care professionals, yoga teachers and body workers to adapt gentle postures, guided imagery and breathing techniques for treating specific health issues such as heart disease, psychiatric disorders and AIDS.
Healing happens through each individuals’ connection within and who we are. The program emphasizes the healing process in detail. They address all levels of the patients physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Yoga should help us maintain health, inspire a deeper quest for self realization and protect our health and promote our ability to be productive in the world.
Located in the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health has helped guide thousands of people along their path of self-discovery by teaching a system of yoga developed over a 20-year period by yogi Amrit Desai and the Kripalu staff.
During the 1970s, while studying under Indian guru Kripaluvananda, Amrit felt his body begin to move in a spontaneous flow of postures without the direction of his mind. This deep release of prana (life’s energy force) brought about a profound transformation in Amrit, so he developed these movements into three stages of practice which he could then teach to others.
The three stages of Kripalu yoga include: willful practice (a focus on alignment, breath, and the presence of consciousness); willful surrender (a conscious holding of the postures to the level of tolerance and beyond, deepening concentration and focus of internal thoughts and emotions); and meditation in motion (the body’s complete release of internal tensions and a complete trust in the body’s wisdom to perform the postures and movements needed to release physical and mental tensions and enter deep meditation). Kripalu.org for more information.
It’s a good idea to ask the teacher or director of the studio where he or she was trained and if the poses are held for a length of time or if you will be expected to move quickly from one pose to the next, and if meditation or chanting is included. This will give you a better idea if the class is vigorous or more meditative.
If you’re new to yoga, you will find your way on your path to a perfect fit, you just have to put the effort in. Once you find a perfect fit, explore all the avenues as it will take you to whole new levels.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, keep reading this site for more articles.
Wishing you all the best,