Yoga can be a transformative experience for body and mind. Flocks of newbies are rushing to yoga class to try and soak up some new-agey, feel good, life altering epiphanies while getting a workout on.
Whether you’re in it to tone the area surrounding your sitting bones, or to get peace of mind, in today’s westernized culture of yoga, there’s something out there for seekers of all types.
That being said, not every class is for everyone. Sometimes we go to yoga and leave worse off than when we stepped on to the mat.
Here are five signs that your yoga class might not be working for you:
1. You're Feeling Stressed or Anxious During Practice
This can happen. Not every teacher will jive with every student. Little things like smells or music can trigger all kinds of emotions. Sometimes the temperature of a hot yoga class or the speed of a flow can actually lead to feelings of stress and anxiety rather than serenity.
If your practice continually gives you a negative headspace, try something else.
2. You’re Getting Injured
It happens. It shouldn’t but it does. Some teachers are not so experienced or perhaps a little too hands-on in their classes.
When you’re going for all the cool party tricks like arm balances and inversions, it is imperative that you’re being guided by an experienced and knowledgeable yoga instructor. Sure yoga injuries can happen, but they are getting far too common.
If you feel that a teacher is giving you harsh adjustments, or your neck is sore after every headstand practice, go to a different class.
3. You Can’t Catch Your Breath
Asana practice is supposed to get us strong and flexible. It is also supposed to help us link breath and movement together or at the very least connect and control our breath.
Yoga is not meant to be a cardio workout. If you cannot calmly breathe in and out through the nose for the entire practice, then it isn’t the practice for you. Try something slower.
4. You Hate the Décor
This might sound silly, but the energy and feel of your yoga studio are an integral part of having a great practice. You want the space to invoke a feeling of safety, peace, calm, or maybe excitement.
In any case, if you walk into your yoga studio and are cringing at the wall color or floor treatment, you will be too distracted to have a good practice.
5. The Commute Takes Longer Than the Class
If your favorite studio is in three counties over, it won’t be very motivating to get up and go to yoga class.
Even if the teacher is especially inspiring or the studio space especially beautiful, convenience plays a big role in which yoga class will be best suited to you. Traffic and road closures are not necessarily thoughts you want to factor in while headed to yoga class.
Ultimately, your yoga practice should be part of your routine. It should be an easy, stress-free part of your lifestyle. Yoga is something to get excited for!
The teacher, studio space, commute and community are all part of that experience. Make sure your yoga class is working for you so you can stick with your practice.