5 Tips for Choosing a Yoga Instructor

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Did you know that only 40% of Americans meet the minimum weekly exercise requirements set by the government? If you’ve been hoping to get in better shape and improve your mental health in the process, there’s never been a better time to get started. Turning to yoga is an excellent way to improve your strength, balance, and mental clarity.

But how do you find the right yoga instructor? Read on to learn about five tips that can help you choose!

  1. Know Your Goals with Yoga Workouts

Some people choose yoga workouts because they want to improve core strength or develop better muscle tone. Others are looking for a more relaxing way to work out that can clear their mind. And then some simply want to lose weight or try something new to avoid a boring routine.

Before you sign up for a yoga class, be clear on your goals. Taking this initial step can help you find a yoga teacher who meets your needs as a student. Know whether you’re taking a yoga class to supplement your workout routine — or you want it to be the focus.

You may want to mix yoga classes with other mindful ways of getting in shape. For instance, you can learn yoga as well as kickboxing and karate at Golden Rule Karate. You’ll end up with a well-rounded fitness routine that will leave you feeling anything but bored.

  1. Look at an Instructor’s Qualifications

As you research potential instructors, pay attention to their qualifications. After all, you want a qualified yoga teacher who will ensure you move your body safely during a class. An unqualified teacher may not know how to hold a pose properly, and you could pay the price through aches and injuries.

A reputable yoga teacher will have a Registered Yoga Teacher certification, which includes 200 hours or more of coursework and instruction. Those teaching more advanced courses may have additional specializations and accumulated hours, as well. It’s fair to ask a yoga teacher if they hold this designation.

You also want to choose a yoga teacher with CPR certification in case of health issues during a class. Your yoga teacher should be very willing to share where they studied, what certifications they hold, and how experienced they are. If they don’t do this, look elsewhere.

  1. Get Input from Friends

Do you have friends or coworkers who attend yoga classes? Getting reviews from those you know best is a great way to create a list of potential yoga instructors. You’ll be able to get a more honest perspective on the instructor’s sense of clarity and helpfulness.

Especially if you’re a beginner, you’ll want an instructor who is willing to help make corrections. Ask if the instructor circulates during class to help correct poses. If the instructor is hands-off, you might end up causing more damage to your body if you’re not positioned properly.

Ask about the structure and content of a class, too. For instance, do the classes build in terms of difficulty each time? If so, you may need to commit to taking a set number of classes to gain the most benefit.

Some instructors may run classes that are open to anyone at any time, however. This means that the class could start to feel repetitive over time. If you’re looking for a challenge, steer clear of classes that are run this way.

  1. Explore the Types of Yoga

As you decide on a yoga instructor, you should also decide on a style of yoga. Hatha yoga, for example, is a great style for those new to yoga to consider. You’ll learn new poses without moving too quickly, and you’ll get a meditative experience.

If you’re seeking a more athletic approach to yoga, Vinyasa yoga could be the right choice. You’ll move at a faster pace during class and develop a stronger sense of endurance as a result.

Or maybe you want to give hot yoga a try. With this style of yoga, you’ll take a class in a hot and humid setting. In fact, the room may be as hot as 100 degrees or more.

With hot yoga, you’ll follow a sequence of different poses as you would with other styles of yoga. But if you like the idea of sweating actively during a workout, this yoga could be the right choice.

  1. Try Out Different Classes

One of the best ways to choose a yoga instructor is to dive in and take a yoga class. Don’t feel obligated to commit to the first class that you take, either. If your friends and coworkers have given you several studios or names to consider, try them all out.

You’ll be able to sense whether you like the vibe of each setting and instructor. You may prefer a more intimate setting where you can count on personalized attention. Taking a yoga class at a large neighborhood community center may not provide that perk.

Look for a yoga teacher who demonstrates a strong understanding of techniques and can explain them well. They should talk about mindfulness during classes and explore meditation techniques, as well. And, of course, you should feel motivated to improve because they are effective teachers!

Choose the Right Yoga Instructor

A good yoga instructor will help you feel both comfortable and challenged during a workout session. Determine your goals for yoga workouts, and ask friends for instructor recommendations. Finally, try out different styles of yoga as well as classes to find the best fit.

Need more tips to get in better shape? Check back soon for more informative articles!

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