5 Tips for a Better Yoga Class Experience

Feeling out-of-place in yoga class? Perhaps you’re distracted or unable to relax? Try these tips for a better experience…

While practicing yoga at home is awesome, some people prefer a regular yoga class with an instructor – especially if you’re just beginning with your yoga practice.

However, there are times when a yoga class can be downright frustrating. Whether you feel like you aren’t at the same level as others in the class, you are distracted by your surroundings, or you sometimes just feel a little “off” and can’t get into the poses, there are things that can detract from your yoga practice and keep you from gaining the full benefits of your yoga session.

The 5 tips below will help you to make the most of your yoga class so you can relax and enjoy the experience:

1. Pain is no gain – How much pain is too much pain in yoga? Fear and ambition often cloud our judgment when looking at the pain that our body experiences while in a yoga pose. In our desire to compete with the rest of the class, we often misjudge our threshold for pain. If you feel a twinge or a strain, soften the depth of your pose and then breathe into that edge. Discover your body with respect.


2. My hamstrings are still tight – In yoga class, it is common to spend a lot of time working on opening up the backs of the legs. But while working on the hamstrings, it is also important to pay attention to the lower back. Next time you feel tight in the hamstrings, try a few twists in both directions to open up the spine. Now, as you return to the legs, notice if there is any change in the sensations.

3. I want a mat too! – If you are committing yourself to an ongoing yoga practice, it is a wise investment to purchase your own mat. As much as studios are vigorous in taking care of mats, how much nicer it is to have your own mat that is clean and well-maintained. And if you take a particularly sweaty class, you’re the only person who will be working on that mat.


4. That person next to me is so… It is not uncommon in large classes to be very close to your neighbor, and sometime their form of yoga can become very distracting. It could be loud breathing, noises, or even a really strong practice that makes you feel a little inferior. Rather than trying to “block it out,” try the opposite strategy by letting it all in. Become aware of everything you are feeling and notice how it affects your practice. Let this distraction be part of your practice to help learn more about yourself.

5. Sometimes we experience a day when we’re just not on our center and we have difficulty in poses requiring us to balance on one foot like in tree pose or warrior three. It can be helpful in these situations to lift the toes of the standing foot, forcing the weight of the body to distribute itself evenly across the four corners of the foot, providing added stability. Give it a try. It really works.

Read more tips at YogiTimes.com


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