Attending a new yoga class you haven't been to can be a little intimidating. With so many different types of yoga, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. SO- here is a little guide to help you find your way to your mat.
Step 1. Consider your WHY.
Why do you practice yoga? What are you looking to get out of a class? This reason can help you navigate all of the different classes your local studio has to offer. If you are the type of person who wants to create a strong foundation, learn about the ancient history and philosophy of yoga, all while building strength and discipline, Ashtanga Yoga might be the right choice for you. The purpose of Ashtanga is purification of the body and mind, in part to prepare the practitioner for deeper meditation. This practice is highly structured and allows the student an opportunity to memorize parts of the sequence for use in his or her home practice. A focus on breath, energy locks, and gazing points creates a moving meditation on the mat, encouraging focus, a quiet mind, and incremental growth over time. Although the level of physical exertion can be higher in Ashtanga than some other forms of yoga, all asanas (poses) can be modified for your body's abilities.
Now, if you are feeling drawn to the mystical and magical, Kundalini might be your calling. In Kundalini Yoga, you will experience breath work, mantras, meditation, and movement. Think of it as going to church, but with your body as the altar. In this practice, we work to tap into the latent female energy coiled at the base of the spine. We pull this energy up through our chakras, or energy centers located along the midline of our bodies, and out of the crown of our heads. Awakening this energy allows us to recognize our full potential, deepen our intuition, and live out our greatest good.
Do yourself a favor and test out a few different classes and teachers. Not every class will suit your wants and needs. Not every teacher will be your cup of tea, and that's okay! Find a class that leaves you feeling as if you are on on Cloud 9, as it should. Have questions? Reach out! Yoga instructors are more than happy to point you in the right direction.