When the student is ready, the teacher will appear -Buddha

I love that old adage.

What are your goals*?

Today’s blog is about getting it right when choosing a yoga style or teacher. How does one find the right yoga studio or yoga instructor? What kind of yoga is right for me?

There are as many answers as there are yogis and yoginis in the world. It’s a personal thing. What do you need in your life right now? Often times, we don’t truly know what we need, but that’s normal.

One way to effectively start or grow your personal yoga practice is to experiment and try various styles. Take advantage of the intro deals and Groupon offers that abound, try some new studios, and then check in with yourself at the end of each class. Ask yourself “how am I doing right now?“, without judging any part of the situation or yourself.

  • Did the instructor and her sequence of poses help you reach your goals*?
  • Do you feel serene or happy?
  • Are you smiling (have you released any emotions, and have you “lightened up”)?
  • Do you feel “present” and “here” (is your head pleasantly cleared)?

Something I love about practicing yoga is reaching a state, or a feeling, that I don’t need anything right now. I reached this temporary state after my very first yoga classes, and it continues now after each time I practice, and for longer durations. I simply feel “whole”, complete, and a bit disengaged/non-attached to anything, in a good way. “Zen-ed out”. Needing nothing, craving nothing – just at peace and very centred. (Well OK, sometimes I really want that glass of water!)

*What, specifically, are your goals when it comes to yoga or any other kind of workout? Do you want:

  1. sore muscles, so you know you have really worked out (a great antidote to an otherwise sedentary job or lifestyle)?
  2. weight loss/water loss and a gorgeous, skinny appearance in the studio mirrors?
  3. a change in mood (more awake, reduced sadness and depression)?
  4. rejuvenated creativity, that you can take back to work, or maybe home to deal with things there?
  5. a stronger body or reduction of pain?
  6. answers to deep, spiritual questions (eg. Why are we here)?

This short list illustrates just how personal and varied each person’s yoga practice can be. My own goals with yoga have broadened to include everything on this short list and to include things not on this list. I guess I want it all, yet increasingly I am worrying about getting it all less and less. I know someday I will have all my needs met and will no longer be “wanting”. Already, in the rear view mirror, I can see suffering and “needing”. Yoga. Gotta love it!

Namaste.

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Author: Ian Batt

Yoga blogger and digital marketing & commerce guy.

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