How to Find the Right Yoga
There are many different types of yoga to fit the endless varieties of body types. Finding the type of yoga and teacher that works for you can take as much determination and focus as finding the “perfect” pair of jeans. You know the kind I’m talking about: the ones that fit just right, not too tight, but tight enough to make your butt look fabulous, just the right length, soft, comfy, great to dress up or be casual. Or maybe the process can be likened to finding the perfect hair stylist, or the perfect auto mechanic, someone you completely trust to do what’s best for your hair or car, and when they’ve completed their work you really notice the difference. Once you’ve found them, you know, and it was worth the effort of endless hours of internet searching, reading yelp reviews, asking your friends and families advice, etc. If we are willing to go through all that for our hair, car, or a pair of jeans, doesn’t it make sense to spend at least that much effort to find a great yoga class that works for our bodies and mind?
Some people try yoga once or twice, have a bad or mediocre experience, and think that all yoga is like that one experience. Being a yoga teacher and enthusiast for over 8 years, I beg those to reconsider. There are so many different types of classes in the Bay Area alone. We are lucky to have a yoga smorgasbord at our finger tips. There are very physical endurance type classes, heated yoga, gentle yoga, yoga with a spiritual/meditative focus, children’s yoga, and more. For each of those general categories, there are many specific classes that offer just about any combination or specialty that one could desire. Why, here in our own town of Los Gatos, at Breathe Yoga Studio, there are even Flying Yoga classes and Floating Yoga classes which are done on a surfboard in the water. Surely, with all of these options, there is a class that can help us to relieve stress, release physical tension, address the pain and discomfort of a bad back, heal injuries, calm our minds, and make us feel goooooood again.
The process of finding the right yoga class for you has it’s own benefits, even before you’ve found “the class”. Trying different classes, styles, and teachers can help you become re-acquainted with your body. We live in a society that promotes dis-connection from our body. We are fed media images telling us that our body type is not “the right” body type. We are raised not to questions experts or authorities, so when we are told something about our bodies that conflicts with our experience we shut out and neglect our own feelings and physical experience. We sit in front of a computer all day ignoring our bodies pleas for movement, stretching, circulation, correct posture. All of this adds up to lack of awareness of one of the most intimate part of ourselves, our bodies. By going through the yoga class “shopping” phase, we learn what feels good for our bodies, what we like, don’t like, where our bodies ache, what pushes us beyond our physical limits, what deeply relaxes us, what inspires us, and so much more. We remember what it’s like to take full, deep breathes, and all of this begins seeping into our everyday reality. Suddenly, we find ourselves correcting our posture at work, taking short walks when we are tense and cramped from sitting to long, or taking a few deep breaths when we have lost our cool. Through this process of re-connecting with our body we begin to care for it in little ways that make a big difference.
Being a yoga teacher of a very specific style of spinal based hatha yoga, with an emphasis on gentle, rejuvenative classes, I know that my classes aren’t right for everyone. I believe most teachers are also aware of this and would be happy to assist in figuring out the most beneficial class for you. Even Web MD will attest* to the many benefits of yoga, such as calming the mind, releasing anti-stress hormones, lowering blood pressure, stabilizing and uplifting our mood, relieving depression, chronic pain, asthma, and a myriad of major benefits. They even have helpful guidelines to a safe practice. So what are you waiting for? Your body is here, working 24/7 and longing for you to pay attention. If you don’t pay attention now you will have to pay down the line, and the cost will be much higher than attention. If you have been thinking of trying yoga, or have tried it once or twice without great results, it’s well beyond worth it to give it another try. There are many groupons and great deals out there for yoga class shoppers. If at first you don’t succeed… just try more yoga classes!
currently is practicing massage therapy at Massage Works Los Gatos. Her combination of her intuitive, healing touch and her studies ignited a deeper passion in her for many styles of healing and bodywork. Since then she has also become certified as a Yoga and Meditation Instructor, Yoga Therapist, and Ayurvedic Massuese through Yogic Medicine Institute, training thoroughly in high quality healthy diet and lifestyle. She continues to take the art of bodywork to the next level through giving and receiving massage, feedback from clients and teachers, and continuing her training in Natural Health and Massage. She specializes in using a combination of Deep Tissue, Active Release, Heat Therapy, and Pressure Points to address the root cause of chronic pain and tension in the body, with a deeply relaxing Swedish style massage.