Yoga offers tremendous variety

Yoga offers tremendous variety, and students at any level may find that they enjoy more than one style and teacher. Attending workshops and seminars allows individuals to sample what’s available and expand their practice.

Options include:

• Vigorous practice that builds strength and stamina

• Gentle, restorative, relaxing practice

• Meditative styles

• Yoga with a spiritual focus that may include chanting

• Practicing in a heated room, or not

• Yoga as part of a cross-training regimen

• Therapeutic yoga for injuries, joint problems and other health conditions

Feel free to ask teachers the following questions:

How often do they personally practice yoga; is it at least four times a week?

How long have they been practicing yoga? A minimum of three years of regular practice prior to teaching is a reasonable expectation.

With whom did they train and for how long? Is the teacher still studying yoga? Professional associations like the Yoga Alliance require teachers to participate in continuing education in order to remain registered.

Is the instructor registered with a professional yoga teachers’ organization? These associations often keep teachers abreast of new research and developments in the field.

Does the teacher have specialized skills suited to special needs or health conditions? This may include prenatal, senior or kids’ yoga. Teachers who focus on therapeutic yoga practice may belong to the International Association of Yoga Therapists (

Could the teacher serve as a personal mentor or regularly be available to address questions during and after practice?

Can prospective students observe a class before participating or enrolling? Many teachers and studios offer drop-in classes or even a trial class, perhaps at a reduced rate. Health clubs also may include yoga classes in their membership fees.

Source: Adapted from Yoga Alliance

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