…at least every once in a while!
Yoga has been around for thousands of years and there’s a reason why: it balances the mind, the body, and the spirit. No other physical activity asks us to connect to our breath quite like yoga does. It allows us to welcome an awareness of our body in this fleeting world and to stop thinking about that soccer practice we have to get Johnny to or about the bills we have to pay or about that relationship that’s just beginning or about our in-laws who just left town… well, it allows us to try to stop thinking about those things at least, which is just as important.
“We know, we know! It’s important,” you say, “but I can’t fit it into my schedule!” Many of us struggle to commit to a weekly yoga class. In our hectic lives, it’s hard to fit it in, which is why we’re lucky that there are many alternative options to get on your mat. More about that below, but first, get rid of all your preconceived notions about what yoga is and read a little bit more about why it might actually be a healthy solution to some of the challenges you face.
What Is Yoga Really?
Yoga originated in India and is thought to be about 5,000 years-old. It has morphed its way into American culture and you can find bits of old and new in different yoga classes. While the Oxford dictionary defines yoga as "a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline,” you shouldn’t be scared away if you don’t think of yourself as a spiritual person or if the idea of meditation freaks you out. Some classes tend to focus on the physical aspect and some on the mental, but most incorporate both into the practice. The Sanskrit word "yuj", which the word "yoga" comes from, means "to yoke or bind" and it’s often thought of as a “union.” You might be more attracted to the physical benefits of yoga or you might be looking for the mental side of it, but either way, you might be surprised at what you find.
Why Should I Do Yoga?
You’ve probably heard about the many benefits of yoga. It keeps you limber. It helps you age well. It aids in blood circulation, posture, digestion, and muscle strength. It’s quite American to stop at just those physical points, but the mental benefits are resounding as well. Yoga asks you to stop. It asks you to breathe. It asks you to turn off your brain. It asks you to **gasp** be present in this chaotic life we lead. And, on top of all of that, it asks you to let go.
If you’re a beginner to yoga, it’s important to note that ANYONE CAN DO YOGA! And everyone is welcome. You don’t need much — just a pair of flexible leggings or shorts, a shirt that isn’t too baggy, and your curiosity. Most studios will have mats to borrow or rent as well as props you may need in class. It might seem intimidating, but if you look around at a yoga class — everyone there at some point started right where you are now. And they’re still there because yoga feels good for the soul. The truth is, we should all stop looking around the class and turn our attentions back on ourselves. You’re why you’re here. To further yourself. To grow. To move. To breathe.
A lot of people have an image of the ideal “yogi.” People are often intimidated. They think they have to be thin, they think they have to be flexible, they think they have to own expensive workout outfits. The truth is, yoga is great for all body types -- and all ages. Don’t let your idea of what yoga is stop you from trying.
So, what next? Where do I start? Well, there are many types of yoga and there’s surely one that will fit your needs. The hottest yoga instructors in your town are likely right around the corner, you just have to find them. How do you know who the best yoga instructors are for you? You might need a hot yoga instructor (sometimes also known as a Bikram yoga instructor), a Hatha yoga instructor, a Vinyasa or power yoga instructor, or a different type of yoga teacher who becomes “the yoga instructor” for you. The best way to start? Try them all. Go to yoga studios and sample all of the different classes they offer. Stick with the practice, and notice how you feel after each class. Sometimes you’ll find that the classes you’re most opposed to are actually the ones you should be attending more because there’s something in yourself that needs to be worked through. The only way to find out is to do it.
What Options Do I Have To Find My Yoga Instructor?
Look up a yoga studio near you. There are likely many places to choose from, each offering multiple classes a day taught by local yoga instructors. The benefits of practicing in a studio is that you are breathing and moving in a room with many other people who are there for a similar reason. It can create a lovely community.
Online Yoga Classes
If you’re a busy person who is able to hold yourself accountable, having an online yoga instructor is a great option for you. There are many yoga instructor websites from small solo operations to large corporations offering hundreds of classes taught by top yoga instructors from around the globe. You can even watch a yoga instructor HD class for added clarity! It’s easy to find popular yoga instructors by searching for top rated yoga videos, which is a good place to start if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.
Private Yoga Instructor
For a flexible yogi (yes, flexible in body, but also flexible in schedule), an in-home yoga instructor is paramount. You can take the best yoga class of your life right in your home and you can choose exactly who will teach it. You may want a female yoga instructor, a male yoga instructor, a yoga instructor who works with pregnant women, one that specializes in couples’ yoga… you get the picture!
Why Should I Have A Personal Yoga Instructor?
Every yogi should take a class with an in-home yoga instructor, at least once. When a class is private, you are only pushing yourself instead of comparing yourself to others in a class around you, which can be much better for preventing injury. The teacher will work with you and your unique body to help you stretch your limits because their eyes will be on only you. A yoga instructor at home will be dedicated to you, so you can hone your practice and grow from exactly where you are.
Grow - Wherever your practice is now, be it non-existent or advanced, your teacher will work with wherever you are to help push you to greater heights.
Work On Personal Goals - When someone else knows your goals, they will hold you accountable for achieving them. Someone is there asking you the questions you need to answer and setting boundaries and goals for you, so you are more apt to reach them.
Flexible Schedule - Decide what works best for you, whether you’re a busy mom or you only have time for a class during your lunch break and you can find someone who will come to you for your practice.
Develop a Plan For Your Personal Yoga Routine - Having a personal teacher will help you understand how to practice on your own, so you can fit in your own yoga class whenever you need to.
Overcome Health Concerns - If you have physical injuries or health concerns you want to address, yoga is the perfect place to start. A personal teacher will help you identify what poses are best for you, so you can begin to heal or work with your condition. Many people need help counteracting the effects of sitting in an office all day, carrying a backpack around town, or working themselves too hard during physical activity. Many people need help learning how to meditate and breathe. Whatever it is, there’s something that a yoga teacher can pinpoint and help you conquer and having a personal teacher makes it easier to address these issues right away. Having a personal teacher is also helpful for those who feel they cannot share their personal health history with a teacher in a large class, either because it feels too personal or because there is not enough time beforehand when taking a public class. Having one teacher who knows your own history can address the entire class to your needs.
Privacy of Your Own Space - Yoga asks us to move into some pretty uncomfortable positions! Sometimes it’s nice to know that no one is watching you, so you can relax fully into each pose. You can choose for a teacher to come to you at your private home or for them to find and provide a space for your private lesson in a studio outside your home. Having a yoga home instructor is helpful for flexible scheduling and for the utmost privacy, but sometimes there are unforeseen distractions in the home and choosing a space outside your familiar space is useful as well. Most teachers provide service for both options.
How To Find a Personal Yoga Instructor Near Me
Search online. Type in “private yoga instructor near me,” “looking for yoga instructor,” “seeking yoga instructor,” “need yoga instructor” -- you get the picture! Chances are, there is already a yoga instructor directory for your city that you can look through. In order to weed out a fake yoga instructor or a bad yoga instructor, you’ll want to make sure their credentials are good. Give them a call, and find out who you connect with! Some even take insurance and some provide free or inexpensive trials so you can make sure you’re choosing the right person.
Ask your yoga studio. Many studios offer private classes with their teachers and they can lead you in the direction they think will be the best fit for you. This is nice if you find yourself particularly drawn to a certain teacher when taking classes and you know that you want to take private lessons from them. It’s also helpful if you want a studio to weed out yoga teachers for you, so you don’t have to do as much research.
How To Become A Yoga Instructor
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced yogi, anyone can benefit from yoga teacher training. Many people use this as a next step to knowing the practice from the inside out, whether or not they want to teach. It’s a very valuable tool to know how each pose moves from one into the next, what the proper alignment should be, and how to structure a practice from beginning to end. If you’re thinking about yoga instructor education, here are a few tips and ideas.
There are yoga instructors needed around the whole country, especially now that yoga has become so mainstream in American culture. Many people choose to become a freelance yoga instructor and there are also yoga instructor jobs within larger companies.
Whether you have a yoga instructor resume or not, you can start by taking a teacher training course. A minimum standard for teacher training is a 200-hour program, which can be spread out over the course of a short intensive length of time or up to two years. After this initial 200-hour certification period, there are many options on more intensive courses, but some teachers stop at this level and begin teaching. You may want to get a certification in a particular area, such as specific yoga techniques, aromatherapy, or teaching children’s yoga classes.
If you are interested in creating your own schedule, helping others find more peace in their lives, and finding more balance in your own life, then becoming a yoga teacher is a fantastic career opportunity. It is a difficult road at the beginning, as any career can be, but once you find your niche, it is incredibly rewarding.
Are you looking for a private yoga instructor to teach you? Are you looking into becoming one? The benefits of having a personal yoga instructor are huge, especially if you are interested in furthering your practice. If you’re new to yoga and need to know more about alignment in basic poses, or if you’re a pro and want to know how to get that perfect headstand, taking the next step in hiring someone to help you is ideal.
Now, excuse me while I go jump on my yoga mat! All this talk of flexibility and breath has left me wanting to connect with myself!
If you would like me to connect you with one of our expert yoga instructors, please contact us. I look forward to hearing from you!