Have you set a goal to add more movement and mindfulness into your life? Having better mind clarity and calmness is something many people want and strive towards achieving. So where to begin? Consider yoga.

Yoga is group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices and movements which uses breathing techniques, exercises, and meditation to improve your health. You may think this is only for those practicing a specific religion but that’s not true. People of all faiths, backgrounds, and ages can experience benefits from yoga. The purpose of yoga is to cultivate discernment, awareness, self-regulation, and higher consciousness in the individual.

You may wonder if yoga is right for you especially if you have physical limitations or are recovering from surgery. Perhaps you have questions about how to find the right yoga class? Let’s get some answers.

Choosing a Yoga Class

If you use these five things to choose your yoga class you should be able to find the ideal class for your needs.

1. Class Schedule: Seek out a class which fits your schedule and the frequency you desire. This may be meeting once a week versus daily or first thing in the morning or just after lunch. Do a Google search for yoga classes in your area and you’ll find these can take place during a wide range of times.

2. Class Level: If you’re brand new to trying yoga seek out a beginner’s level class or a class described as being for all levels. In a class geared towards all levels the yoga instructor will guide you towards the poses and alternative positions to match your ability and your body’s flexibility. If you’re working with a physical limitation or injury tell the instructor so they can help you choose the correct prop to use as an aid.

3. Yoga Props: Choose a class which makes use of the various props available to aid you in achieving (and mastering) the poses. An example of props can be blocks, blankets, and straps. For instance, if you’ve injured a knee the instructor may guide you towards using a block to decrease the distance you need to bend.

4. Class Vibe: Before committing to a specific class make a point of contacting the studio, dropping by to observe the vibe of the class, and get a feel for what’s going on. Do you think this is a place you’d feel comfortable? Can you feel the sense of community from the class participants? Is the instructor supportive of each individual’s growth and working to guide people individually based on their specific needs? These are all valid points to consider when choosing a class.

5. Instructor’s Style: Seek out an instructor who is encouraging and is supportive to guide you through poses which work for your body and yoga level. Listen to the words the instructor uses. Is this person telling you to place your foot here, pull your leg back, and so forth? Or is the instructor creating an atmosphere of comfort by suggesting you explore, ease into this position, or try this stance for greater pleasure and growth? Your yoga teacher is your mentor and guide to work with you to personalize your experience so your mind and body gains the greatest rewards from the class. Seek out an individualized approach.

Yoga is really about learning to love your body and the way it moves. It is about claiming the peace and natural relaxation which comes from being attuned to your body. For a deeper conversation around mindfulness, movement, and yoga listen to my podcast episode 18 with my guest, Kate Curry.

Jennifer L. Crisp, RN, is the founder of A Bridge To Wholeness. Jennifer believes strongly in both traditional western medicine and contemporary health practices as she understands the importance of client-centered care beyond conventional medicine. A Bridge to Wholeness invites traditional and alternative practitioners to get connected (bridging the gap) so your client/patient can experience enhanced benefits and care from these connections. Prior to launching this organization, she worked in a community hospital as a cardiac nurse and has been an entrepreneur since 2011. To take the Intersection of Wellness quiz and get a free report of your results visit her website abridgetowholeness.com.

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