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5 things to look for in a yoga studio

 

IMG_1830It is a mystery to me that in Meet-ups, more that 100 people are signed up on a group I manage called “Loveland Yoga Meet-up” and only 1 of those people regularly comes to my class. There is obviously a desire to practice yoga with a group, yet people can’t seem to get out for it. I don’t know why.

Actually- here’s a reason, up until recently, I offered 1 class per week, at the school where I do taekwondo, after the last martial arts class on Monday evenings. People are busy- I can completely understand why you would sign up on Meet-ups, then see that the only class was on a night you couldn’t come. I completely understand.

There’s also the issue that it does cost money to go to a yoga class, staying home is free. No guilt for that- we do pay for the space, and teachers also should be compensated for our time. I’m not in it for the money, I do have a day job, but I don’t want to lose money on the deal, either.

You get tremendous benefits from going out to practice yoga, though. The biggest is the social activity. Being with other people is good for you, and even if you are an introvert, like I am, you can be around other people without having to interact much. You’re breathing and moving together, but you don’t have to talk. Another benefit is that a group class stretches you- literally and figuratively. When I do my home practice, I typically do things that keep me in my comfort zone. At someone else’s class, I wind up doing new things.

I have recently needed to find a new space for teaching, and I figured I would write about some of the things I found, and why I chose my new space, Grace Yoga (We’d love to have you-I’m teaching Wednesdays at 7 pm)

Maybe you can’t join us, but you’d still like to do yoga out in public

  1. Affiliation with a larger entity like the Yoga Alliance- a teacher who is certified with YA has had official training, and is likely to know what they are doing. In a training course, they will have learned how to accomodate for injuries or special needs, and help you make adaptations to poses depending on your levels of strength and flexibility.
  2. Recomendations from real people you know- ask around, and maybe tag along with a friend to a class they regularly go to. I heard good things from the director of our Taekwondo school about Grace.
  3. The feel of the place- it doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should feel welcoming. Are there places to change? Is the location convenient? Does the space feel crowded, or open? At the risk of sounding “woo woo,” what’s the vibe of the place?
  4. Variety of classes and teachers- I realize that my teaching style is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, and even if it is your cup of tea, you might not want tea every day, you know what I mean? Having various options, like a fast moving Vinyasa or a gentle Hatha class, or a soothing restorative class makes it easier to make your home in a particular studio.

What other tips would you add, for picking a place to do yoga? How did you find your yoga home? I’d love to hear from you!

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