Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for years or you’re just starting out, it’s important to remember that yoga is a journey. It’s a twisting a winding road that sometimes leads us to unexpected places – places we never imagined. On this journey, it’s quite possible that what used to work for your body may not work anymore or the reason you originally started practicing is no longer your main concern.
That’s not a bad thing! It simply means you need to revisit, reevaluate and revise your practice as your journey progresses.
One way to do that is to find a new or different approach to your practices. To find a yoga class that works best for you, you have to ask yourself six questions:
- Who do you want to practice with? (Yourself? Beginners? Intermediates? Advanced?)
- What do you hope to get out of it? (Peace of mind? Strength? Flexibility?)
- Where do you want to practice? (In your home? Outside? In a studio?)
- When will you have time to fit it in? (Do you have a limited schedule? Do some days work better than others?)
- Why do you want to practice yoga? (To get fit? To relax? To gain flexibility? To improve balance?)
- How long will you try practicing a style before deciding it’s not the right fit? (A month? 6 months? A year?) [Note: Attending one class in a certain style of yoga is not enough to judge whether or not you’ll like it long term. Try to commit to practicing at least 2-3 times per week for a month before making your decision.]
Each of these questions will change how your yoga practice looks and feels. Practicing by yourself outdoors for 30 minutes a few times a week to improve your balance will be a completely different practice than choosing a studio with intermediate and advanced yogis who practice every day for two hours in order to gain flexibility and peace of mind.
The great thing about yoga is that there is no right or wrong way. If it works for you, great! Of course there are some suggestions that can help you get the most out of your practice no matter where or how long it is.
- If you’re looking for general guideline for any yoga practice, start with these five to get you off on the right foot.
- If you’re crunched on time but are looking for ways to intensify your practice, there are three things you can try without adjusting your time.
- If yoga hurts, that’s not a good thing. That’s your body telling you that you need to find a modification or back off completely.
- Just remember, no practice is too small to reap the benefits yoga brings.