“The word yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated. We can think of the union occurring between the mind, body and spirit. What is commonly referred to as "yoga" can be more accurately described by the Sanskrit word asana , which refers to the practice of physical postures or poses. “
There are several limbs of yoga, asana being one of those eight. All limbs are more concerned with the spiritual and mental well-being of one instead of the physical activity that is done. The other limbs are:
Hatha -Slow paced yoga class with gentle movements that are good for a basi yoga class.
Vinyasa -This class is full of breath-synchronized movements, which are much more vigorous and intense.
Ashtange & Power Yoga -Fast paced and very intense style for the more advanced individuals.
Iyengar -This style is concerned with boldily alignment, which provides the maximum benefits to your body.
Kundalini -This combines an emphasis on physical movement and breathing. This is so the energy can move upwards in your body.
Bikram/Hot Yoga - This yoga is referred to hot yoga due to the fact it is done in a room that is around 95 to 100 degrees. It’s thought to cleanse your body because of the profuse sweating .
When deciding on a yoga class you need to look at the limbs of yoga and decide which one will suit you best, not only your physical shape but also what you want to accomplish in the class. The most popular for beginners are Hatha and Vinyasa. As you become more comfortable you can move up to a more difficult class.
Check papers or local gyms for yoga classes that are offered. If you have a YMCA in the area you can check there too. You should be able to find one without a problem that will fit into your schedule.
Make sure you find out what equipment to bring along to class. Most gyms have yoga mats for rent, so if you don’t have one right away it is fine.
During a typical yoga class students will line up haphazardly, but not too closely to one another facing the front of the room. They will do some gentle stretching waiting for the teacher to begin. The teacher will usually begin the class with light stretching and “ohms”. Some other teachers will also begin with breathing excercises. Than proceed to other poses, starting slowing and not stresses your limbs with extreme stretches. The class will end with more light cool down stretching and more “ohms”.
Of course some people may choose to meet with an individual trainer and do their yoga in the comfort of their own house. This is a bit more expensive and not really a great choice for most people. While other’s have access to neither a gym or a trainer, these individuals can either rent video’s or dvd’s on yoga at the library or some movie stores. Or you can always buy one at the local store that way it is yours forever, and you don’t have to worry about returning it on time.
In closing a few do’s and don’ts for yoga classes:
Don’t eat a huge meal before a class, eat something light.
Make sure to drink water only before and after class.
Don’t wear your socks or shoes.
Make sure to review yoga etiquette so you feel comfortable.
Inform your teacher it is your first class.
Ask for help if needed.
Check out other students so you can get the poses down.
Practice the beginner poses before your first class.
Enjoy your class and come back for the next one!
Yoga is a helpful exercise that several people enjoy. Try it once and you may become hooked on it too.