When it comes to yoga, you've got a lot of choices. From yoga studios and gyms to YouTube and DVDs, it's easy for ANYONE to get into yoga. But which one is right for you?
This yoga resource is great for the seasoned practitioner. It's a convenient way to expand your practice by learning more about certain techniques or poses. A quick search on the internet, and you can find a video detailing any technique, pose, or anatomy question you might have. For a newbie, trying to follow a yoga sequence with a person who cannot offer any individualized adjustment or modification is a recipe for injury! You may think you've got it down, but in reality you could be collapsing into the knee or allowing the arch of the foot to fall or tensing the shoulders. When you're just getting into yoga, body awareness is likely not your strong suit. Enter the yoga instructor...
As a beginner, it's much better and safer to begin your journey learning in person with an instructor giving you live feedback. This is also true for someone who's been practicing for years. Feedback is essential to safe advancement in your practice. Classes also create community and increase accountability and commitment to the practice. So, where should you practice?
Studio vs Gym
Only you can answer that question. And it will depend on many different factors. Styles of yoga offered, instructors, times, prices, location, all of these will likely factor into your decision. But ultimately, it often comes down to this, what kind of yoga do you want to practice? Generally, yoga classes found at gyms are focused more on physical exercise. And should you find a restorative class at your gym, don't expect a restorative atmosphere. Gyms are high energy places filled with people. Even if the class is tucked back in the a quiet corner, you still have to navigate the frenzy of people running on machines, lifting weights, or dancing to heart-pumping music to get there. Sounds like the perfect environment to you? Great! We all have our own paths to yoga, and looking for leaner and tighter muscles are one of the roads to it.
So what does a yoga studio offer? Do all studios have a zen atmosphere filled with people chanting "OM" and moving slowly and quietly through yoga poses? Nope, definitely not. Each yoga studio is different. And since the trend in yoga is pursuit of physical benefits, that has impacted the types of yoga offered at studios. Hot yoga and power yoga studios are popular, as are yoga studios branching out and offering other workout regimens, such as barre or Zumba. These studios are filling niches in the market and responding to consumer demand or lack of existing services in the area. These studios are eliminating that "gym atmosphere" and creating a more personalized experience and lessening the intimidation-factor many find unappealing at gyms.
What about the traditional yoga studio we first described? That does still exist, or something like it. If you look on their schedule, you won't find anything fancy or trendy. Many of these studios honor a long tradition and lineage of teachers going back a hundred or a thousand years. Some are specialized in one school, such as Ashtanga. Others have a combination of styles, offering Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, or other traditional styles of yoga. And whether or not you get a "yoga butt" or defined arms or a flat belly really is of no concern in these studios. This yoga is about your mind and your soul. The physical benefits are happy side-effects.
Where does Temple Yoga fit in?
Take a look at our schedule, and you can probably guess. We're traditional, non-fancy, untrendy, 5000 year old yoga. Our #1 goal is to make you FEEL good. Sometimes that means addressing physical issues, sometimes that means looking at emotional ones. If you want a tough workout, you may or may not get one. You want to get a little bit closer to Who You Really Are? That we can help you with, guaranteed - because we're not the ones doing it. That's the power of yoga. And all you need to do is breathe.