Saturday, July 9, 2011

Why Go to Yoga Class?

A few months ago, I went to a weekend workshop led by Jason Crandell, one of my long-time teachers. I had been feeling pretty bad about my yoga practice because (as I'm sure I've mentioned on this blog) I work nearly every minute of every day and I don't make it to yoga studios nearly as often as I'd like. In the workshop, Jason talked a lot about developing a personal practice and he mentioned that right now it just doesn't work for him to go to a yoga studio. He gets more out of practicing at home because it gives him the freedom to take his time and experiment with the things that he finds interesting and helpful, and he goes to a teacher a few times a year when he feels he needs to. It makes perfect sense.

Of course, it made me feel better about my practice to know that one of the yoga teachers I respect most in the world doesn't attend regular yoga classes. My home practice, no matter how irregular, at least gives me the opportunity to go inward, which is what the practice is all about. It's liberating to feel like when I go long stretches without setting foot in a studio, I don't have to feel guilty or disappointment with myself! This is what I love about yoga. It's good stuff.

But I will always love a good yoga class. I want to go to class when I can ... not because I need to or because I can't get what I need out of a home practice, but because it just feel right to me.

Here are 10 reasons I make every effort to go to yoga classes whenever I can ...

1. I like it.
2. I still have a TON to learn.
3. It inspires me--gets my creative juices flowing.
4. It's fun to meet new people, especially other yoga students!
5. I benefit from the positive energy of the collective group.
6. It makes me practice poses I know I'd never work on on my own.
7. Classes challenge me to hold poses longer, work a little harder, and push my limits. It's in classes that I'm capable of more than I ever thought possible.
8. A different perspective gives me new things to work on later.
9. Two words: Yoga Buzz.
10. Sometimes it's nice to let someone else guide you through the practice so you have to think less and really feel the present moment.

Why do you go to yoga classes?