May 272010

What images does Yoga bring to your mind? If you are picturing a bunch of unusual people twisting their bodies into difficult poses while chanting at the moon you need a reality check. A Yoga class is filled with people just like you. They are learning to control their bodies and minds through carefully planned techniques.

You will discover several different styles of Yoga class in the western world. The most common is the class which leaves out the mental and spiritual practices of many eastern Yoga experts. They focus on the physical poses, stretching, and breathing techniques to give you a healthier body. These classes give you tremendous benefits without much mental preparation.

The next style of class is going to take the time to integrate your mind and body into one. You will learn not only the physical poses of Yoga, but learn to be meditative, breathing will become a central focus of your training. You will learn how controlling your mind, and thoughts, can benefit your overall health. When you can take a break from your overactive self-talk and experience calmness for the duration of a Yoga class it gives you not only a physical boost, but a tremendous emotional and mental boost.

It is uncommon in our western society to find a Yoga class which steps deeply into the spiritual aspects of Yoga. If you want this kind of class you will need to dig a little deeper than your local fitness centers. This type of training will help you see the connection between yourself and the universe itself. You will learn about releasing your inner thoughts and pondering the grandness of everything. It is the same feelings and processes many people feel through deep meditation, or sometimes deep meditative prayer.

Which type of class is the best fit for you will be dependent on your goals. Irregardless of the type of class you select, plan on taking care of a few basic needs. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes to every class. You will want clothes that slide easily over your limbs and body allowing you to transition between positions easily. Do not worry about stylish workout clothes, they will not aid in efforts. The second item you may wish to bring is your own yoga or exercise mat. While most Yoga centers and classes have a selection of mats, they are used by many people, with varying levels of cleaning in between usage. If you want the confidence of having a clean mat you can either clean one of their’s before use, or bring your own.

Make sure when you attend your first Yoga class to not be worried about matching the movements and positions of long term practitioners. It will not happen. You must slowly work on your flexibility, your mental thoughts, and your muscle strength before some positions are possible. Not all bodies are created equal, so some positions may never be possible. The most important thing, bring an open mind to your class. You are journeying into a new experience in body and mind control which will pay huge dividends.

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