- I have never taken yoga before (or I have only taken one or two classes). Can I start in one of your classes?*My classes are labeled Level 2, Level 2/3 or Power Vinyasa. This is not an appropriate start for a beginner. Having said that, the door is always open and often there are a variety of levels in the class. Those who started as beginners are not beginners anymore! The kind of yoga class experience you have will be largely based on your own expectations. It helps to have a willingness to be patient and let your practice develop while learning to stay safe and modify as you go with the flow and enjoy the journey.*I teach at Equinox. All classes are open and unlimited to members of the club.
- What if the class feels too hard for me?There are always ways to modify a pose if it is too challenging for you, even if it started out feeling just fine or it seems like everyone else can do it. There are props in the studio which are quite helpful. There is always the option of taking a break, inhaling a deep breath, staying present and focused, and doing the best you can! It is when we are challenged that we can best use our breath to calm the mind and focus our practice. No one can argue with a pure intention and a conscious effort.
- What if I don’t like the music or it feels too hot/cold for me? The best thing to do is prepare. Bring layers so that if it is too hot you can take something off and if it feels cold, you can add a layer. The music in class generally will change a bit from week to week. After some time you don’t even hear it anymore, you are so focused on your practice and your breath. Perhaps give it a try another time and see if anything has changed for you before you make any decisions or judgments.
- What if I have to leave early, or I really don’t like savasana, at the end where we are lying down? The ideal way to leave a class early is to tell the teacher first or at any point during class. They may want to assist you earlier in the class, knowing that you are leaving early. You can also build a relationship with a teacher whose style you like, and if you can never stay for the entire class they can help you accordingly. Savasana is the most important part of class! If it feels uncomfortable, consider that it is a pose like any other and it might take some practice, just like a Warrior II or a headstand. You may grow to crave savasana just like some other poses in class that you enjoy.If you are an experienced practitioner, you may want to do your own inversion, back bend, savanasa or meditation practice, as these are aspects of class that typically finish the practice. This ensures that you have a complete experience.
- Some teachers are more spiritual, or more physical. Some use hands on corrections, some only verbal, still some demonstrate every pose and play all types of music and others do not. What is the right yoga class for me? The only person who can answer this question is you! There are too many variations in yoga teaching styles and methodology to delve into any specifics here. It is worth the time and effort to try different teachers, even if you have found one you like. If that person is not available or you miss their class, you want to have a wide breadth of experience with teachers and styles so that you can easily continue your own practice, regardless of the particulars of the teacher. Teachers who have large followings are popular, and many students like them for various reasons. Teachers who don’t have this following may be a little newer, or teach in an odd time slot. You never know when or where you will find your teacher…but it is said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Now go to class!