Finding your own Yoga practice

Whether you are just getting into the world of yoga or have been practicing for years, finding the right teacher, studio and class can be a challenge!  I took my first yoga class toward the end of my freshman year and little did I know then that I would be practicing for years to come!

I’m on the far left in pink and black with a purple mat! This is from the Lululemon class I took in Carmel!

How I found yoga: As an college freshman, I took a new exercise class once a quarter as a way to try something new and to round out my science-laden academic life;  I took a massage class, a belly dancing class and finally a yoga class. While the others were fun experiences, yoga was something that I was drawn to and stuck with throughout college.  I alternated between two yogis because I loved both of their styles and it helped keep my practice fresh.  But when I moved hundreds of miles away to start grad school, I went to a local yoga class to stay with my practice, but their styles just didn’t click with me.  That’s when I realized how VERY lucky I was to have 2 different yet wonderful teachers and how they truly made all the difference.  So after attending various classes (haphazardly) over the course of a year, I started to get discouraged. However, a newly developed friendship led me to try a new type of yoga style (Vinyasa Flow) and I ended up finding my ‘place’!  I am so happy that I’ve found a great teacher (Stacey!) and have been able to practice regularly (since early 2012), because I had missed it so much.   Sometime next year when I finish grad school (~ June/July 2013) and move on to the next chapter in my life, I will face the challenge of finding another new yoga studio, teacher and class all over again. But with persistence and patience, I will 🙂

 Yoga truly is a “practice” meaning it is always a work in progress. As a yogini you’re always learning, changing, growing and “practicing” so why not check out as many studios, DVD’s, teachers, styles as possible to see what you like.  -Kathlene Carlson (Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT)

Here are some of my tips (but the quote above sums it up nicely!):

  1. If you are just beginning: I highly suggest attending a beginner’s class either at your local gym or studio. Finding the right teacher and class are crucial, so don’t be discouraged if this takes a few tries.  Some suggestions on finding a class:
      • Look up some local yoga studios online (yelp usually has reviews on teachers, prices etc…).
      •  Ask friends for recommendations. If they invite you along, even better! Exercise buddies are awesome motivators/supporters! At least I think so 🙂
      • Find a local community college that offers adult yoga classes (sometimes cheaper than studios!).
      • Check out Groupons for good deals! A fellow blogger Jen did! (see shout out below)
  2. If you are experienced and ‘in limbo’: I suggest looking up youtube videos, downloading free iTunes podcasts (some have videos!), checking out, buying (or renting) a DVD, or buying a book, so you can continue your practice in the meantime!

Regardless, the MOST important thing to remember is to be patient. Finding the right yoga teacher and class can take time, but they make all the difference!   I always give a new teacher/class a few tries because it can take a while to adjust to someone new (and their version of your favorite style). Plus, I make sure to keep an open mind and to embrace the experience one way or the other.

😀 Yoga Shoutouts to a couple of my followers! 😀

@Stacie and Jen, I would love it if you kept me updated on your Yoga practice!   And that goes for anyone else who wants to share!

Do you practice yoga? What is your favorite style?


5 thoughts on “Finding your own Yoga practice

  1. I’ve just read your post, I am truly honored to have been mentioned!! I am trying to do just the basics and learn how to relax! I will defiantly keep you posted! I am so glad to have found you, your inspiration is changing my life!! Thank you 🙂

  2. Love the shout-out.. Thank you, Nicole!! 🙂
    Very good advice! I can’t tell you how many times I said I wanted to get into yoga, but never looked into it enough. I know it would be a huge help with my flexibility and mobility issues that sometimes hinter my progress in other workouts. I’m super excited to try out my classes in the next couple weeks!! You will for sure be the first one to know how it goes!

    • Yes I think yoga is a great way to cross train! I am going to make a post sometime next week about ‘yoga poses for runners’ since it will involve things I did at physical therapy that I also happen to do at yoga as well 🙂 Great for flexibility and core work for sure!

  3. Pingback: Post Swap: Why I Yoga – from wine to weightlifting..

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