Yoga is not only an extremely popular form of exercise, but depending on the form you practice, can be exciting or calming, social or meditative, energizing or relaxing.
No matter which of these best describes your yoga class, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of every class you attend.
* Go to yoga class with an empty stomach. Yoga is full bending, twisting, lengthening, stretching, and strength moves. Eating a big dinner before that kind of movement could result in you cramping up or feeling nauseous and having to leave the class or not participate as fully as you’d like.
* Communicate with your yoga instructor. If you have a bad back or a sprained ankle, let your instructor know before class. She or he will offer you adjusted versions of poses or give you a nod when you should skip a pose that could make your condition worse.
* Leave your cell phones and pagers outside. Don’t just put them on silent mode, but literally keep them in the car. This is not only a favor to your classmates and their focus, but your mind should be focused only on yoga and not concerned with whether not someone is trying to contact you about work or spilled juice on the living room carpet.
* Don’t be late and don’t leave early. This disrupts the instructor’s train of thought and the concentration of others in the class. Also, you certainly won’t get everything you can out of your hour if your hour is cut to 50 minutes before you’ve even begun.
* Be respectful of others in the class. This means keeping your voice down when you talk to others and in general, keeping conversation to a minimum. Bring your own towel or yoga mat if you need to and make sure that you are clean and not wearing any perfumes or strong scents. If props are used, make sure that you put yours away when you’re finished and by all means, leave them there for the next class.