You have heard about yoga and you are ready to hop on the mat and learn some new moves! Now you are wondering where you can find the best yoga teacher for your lifestyle. Don’t worry, as we have got you covered!
Read on to learn everything about yoga from its history to health benefits. Then find out what to consider when hiring a yoga teacher!
What is Yoga?
Essentially, it combines breath, thought and movement to create unity between body and mind. It targets and stretches different muscle groups through a series of postures and poses.
There are many different variations of these exercises. These are often influenced by the branch or type you practice but, there are a few classic staple moves.
A typical practice generally lasts between 30 to 60 minutes. It will begin with a warm-up, transition to a series of poses and end with a meditation.
Brief History of Yoga
Yoga, as we recognise it today, first became popular in the late nineteenth century. This occurred when Swami Vivekananda, a yogi from India, travelled to the United States. Swami spread his knowledge to American high-society and they fell in love with it.
After a brief lull, it became popular again in the 1960s. The decade’s focus on peace and yoga’s aim to harmonise body and mind were a perfect marriage.
Fun Fact: Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning unity, which is over 2000 years old!
As time has passed it has only increased in popularity. Today there are approximately 20 million self-acknowledged yogis in the United States alone!
What Are the Different Types of Yoga?
There are many different types, or branches here are some of the most popular:
This branch draws attention to the balance of opposites. For example, a meditation at the end of the practice would balance the physical nature of the poses.
Ashtanga is all about the flow! A typical practice in this branch involves a consistent flow of poses. If you like to be on the move, this is definitely the practice for you!
This particular school focuses on harmonising breath with movement. These practices also involve chanting to inspire the flow of energy throughout the body.
Also known as ‘Hot Yoga’ Bikram is practised in a room which ranges from 35 to 40 C (95 to 100 F). This particular practice focuses on 26 specific exercises. If you like the heat this is the ideal routine for you!
Who Is Yoga for?
Yoga is ideal for anyone interested in reducing their stress and increasing their fitness. From beginners to athletes it has the potential to benefit everyone. There are variations of each posture to accommodate comfort levels, from beginner to guru!
For beginners, the idea of jumping into an exercise routine can seem daunting. It is a gentle way to ease your mind into an exercise routine while still getting a workout.
Do you need extra motivation? Don’t know where to begin? Attending a local class can help you get in the groove!
For athletes, it can be an excellent tool to stretch out sore muscles. Its ability to increase flexibility can also add that extra edge to your sport!
When coupled with a healthy diet and cardio routine, it can also be an excellent way to lose weight. Its focus on balancing your mind and body will give you the confidence to kick start your new routine.
What Are the Benefits of Yoga?
Its aim to balance mind and body means its benefits are not just physical. It is also linked with an improved feeling of mental well-being. Practice the breathing techniques you have learned at any time to reduce your stress.
It can also benefit your physical health. Regular practice can tone muscles, increase your flexibility and your posture. With benefits like these, there is no excuse not to give it a try!
9 Top Tips to Consider When Hiring a Yoga Instructor
1. Decide Where You Want to Practice
When choosing the yoga teacher you want to work with distance is a key consideration! There are plenty of yoga studios and classes scattered throughout nearby locales.
It is important to consider whether walking distance is a significant factor for you. Would you prefer to be able to walk to and from a class, or is a bit of a drive okay? If you don’t have access to a car, make sure you can walk to your class or catch a bus.
2. Decide What Your Goals Are
Consider what you want to get out of your yoga practice. Are you looking for a class that will help you lose weight? Do you prefer to keep moving? Are you looking to relax?
No matter what your goals are there is a style of yoga to fit your needs. If you figure out what your goals are it will be much easier to choose the right style.
3. Find Out What Type of Yoga Interests You
There are many different types of yoga, each with its own specific attributes. While some are more fast paced others place a special focus on creating balance.
Some yoga instructors only teach a certain style of yoga. So it is important to do some quick background research on which type fits your lifestyle the best.
If you are looking for a class which has a fast pace, check out Hatha, Power, Vinyasa and Ashtanga classes.
Interested in something more meditative? Keep an eye out for Kundalini yoga lessons. These focus on breathing techniques and chanting in particular to create a calm atmosphere.
4. What Temperature Do You Prefer for a Workout?
Room temperature might not be your first consideration but it is still important. If you sign up to learn Bikram or Hot yoga, your class will range from 35 to 40 C (95 to 100 F). If you prefer a steamy environment then consider hiring a Bikram teacher!
Not sure where to find a teacher who specialises in Bikram? Submit a free request on Bidvine today, you’ll get custom, detailed bids from yoga teachers in your area.
Image Credit: Poppy Salter Yoga & Massage, a Bidvine Professional
5. Figure Out Your Ideal Class Size
Are you a socialite or do your prefer your own space? Your comfortability around others is crucial to finding the best yoga teacher for you.
Some instructors teach class sizes of 15 to 20. While others teach smaller classes or even offer individual sessions.
There are benefits to both larger and smaller classes. Larger classes offer you the chance to socialise with more people. While smaller classes can create a calmer atmosphere.
Do you prefer to get direct instruction? Request private yoga lessons on Bidvine!
6. Indoors or Outdoors?
Feel like soaking up some sunshine? There are plenty of yoga classes which are taught outdoors in the warmer weather! On the other hand, if you have spring allergies practising indoors might be your best bet.
7. Determine the Importance of Qualifications
According to the Telegraph, there is no specific qualification required for UK yoga instructors. Technically, the British Wheel of Yoga oversees yoga teachers in the UK. Despite this, it does not have the official ability to regulate the profession. So they do not have to meet a specific set of criteria or receive a specific certificate to teach yoga.
Fear not, this does not mean all yoga instructors are not qualified! Although the BWY is not able to regulate them, they do offer a rigorous training program. The program teaches future yoga instructors everything from the yoga postures to anatomy. This ensures instructors are prepared to help people with varying physical abilities.
Besides the BWY yoga teacher training program, there are many programs available to prospective teachers. The institutions which offer these programs vary, some programs are even taught online.
Without a set standard, it is important to decide your preference for qualifications. Would you prefer to learn from a yoga teacher who has formal training? Then make sure to ask where they studied. That way you can take a brief look at their level of training.
8. Be Honest About Your Experience Level
Whether you are a beginner or guru there are classes available to every experience level. Certain classes are even designed specifically for beginners. If this is your first time practising yoga be sure to watch out for these classes! Learning in an environment where everyone is at the same level can be a great experience.
Many instructors will also teach people with different experience levels in the same class. If you are not sure whether a class you are looking at caters to people of all experience levels, be sure to ask!
9. Compatibility with Your Yoga Teacher
At the end of the day, compatibility is perhaps the most important factor. Having a teacher that moves at your pace and is willing to guide you along the way is crucial.
If you sign up for a class and find out that you just are not compatible, don’t sweat it! Transfer to another class. There are so many different instructors out there you will be able to find the perfect teacher for you!
Need help finding a local teacher? Submit a free request on Bidvine and get custom bids from yoga teachers in your area!