The yogic lifestyle and philosophy encourages taking responsibility for oneself. Being proactive rather than only reactive is an opportunity to take control of our life, we don’t feel like victims. The choices we make restore or keep us in our natural state of balance.
We are all different: what works for you may not work for me. Know what you want. What is your Ishta goal/aim? If you need to de-stress, relax and quieten down, don’t go for a boot camp, strenuous approach, or a sergeant major type teacher. Investigate options & recommendations. Never be too shy to ask/speak.. Introduce yourself, explain any limitation.
Mary, a gracious lady in her 70s, needed to strengthen her skeletal structure and restore her equilibrium. She could not keep up with the strenuous Ashtanga type class she attended; she lost her balance and toppled to the floor. Although the yoga was exactly what she needed to restore her confidence, she was further humiliated when the teacher told her not to come back to that particular class for fear the she would injure herself.
The yoga should meet you where you are, in the present moment. You work at your energy level, in a safe space that enables you to grow. Having said this, you don’t go to a group class and do your own thing – it is disruptive for the teacher and other participants. We also want to extend ourselves, move out of our comfort zone, so we shouldn’t be too complacent, or attend a class that is too easy. If you are not going to make an effort, rather stay home and read a good book…. You are as special as every other person in group so don’t expect exclusive attention in a group. Have a one on one initially, if necessary.
Yoga is not competitive. Irrespective of the qualification of the coach/instructor, they cannot possibly ever know you as well as you know yourself. Although they need to encourage, know your strengths & limitations – don’t show off, or overdo to keep up with your group. The class is not for the instructor. A good teacher should know how to moderate the class to include and keep present all sudents in the group, from entry level to proficient students as groups can’t always be graded as beginners, intermediary and advanced.
If you have high blood pressure, exercising in a heated environment is not for you. Should you need extra flexibility or joint mobility, hot yoga is ideal. If you prefer consistent repetition, investigate styles that concentrate on a limited number of postures.
If you prefer variety, find an integral or classical yoga teacher.
A wise coach guides and sustains our momentum and discipline, but can’t do it for us; ultimately we empower & uplift ourselves.