By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed
As most of us know, health experts and doctors advise us to exercise on a regular basis. This generally means to engage in a moderate form of exercise 4-5 times per week. Practicing Yoga several times a week is a well-rounded form of moderate exercise that helps to improve muscle tone, burn calories and increase flexibility. Practicing Yoga also helps to improve concentration, focus and quell the incessant mental chatter that many of us live with on a daily basis.
Even though you may have a strong intention to practice Yoga regularly, you may find that there seems to be a plethora of obstacles that seem to preventing you from practicing several times a week. For instance, you may feel that you don’t have enough time to practice for 30-60 minutes per session, or you may feel that the cost of taking classes is too expensive for you. You may even feel that you don’t have enough room in your home to roll out your Yoga mat and extend your arms fully in Warrior 1 Pose, without knocking a plant over or a picture off the wall!
If these obstacles sound familiar to you, remember that you are not alone. The first step to confronting your obstacles to practicing Yoga regularly is to be excruciatingly honest with yourself about identifying the obstacles. For instance, if finances are tight, you may be able to participate in a Yoga class for a nominal fee at a local community center or at no additional cost at a health club where you are already a member.
There are also a number of Yoga studios throughout the country that offer donation-based classes. Other studios are offering community classes at a discounted rate throughout the week. If it is still too costly to take classes at a studio, community center or health club, you may want to consider taking classes online. There are a number of websites that offer a wide range of unlimited Yoga classes to their members for less than $5 a week.
If you find that it is more convenient and affordable to practice at home most of the time, it is still recommended that you take classes with a certified Yoga teacher at least a few times a month, so that you can have some professional feedback on your personal practice. One advantage to taking a class at a local studio is that there are no distractions when you are practicing at a dedicated Yoga space. In other words, you can’t answer the phone, stir the soup that is cooking in a pot on the stove, check your email, or answer the door when you are practicing at a facility outside your home.
On the other hand, it requires a larger investment of time to drive to a studio or health club to take a class, than it does to simply roll out your Yoga mat and press, “play” on a DVD player or computer screen. If you find that two of your main obstacles to practicing Yoga several times a week are largely about limited finances and time, you may find that combining practicing at home, with occasionally taking a community or donation-based class at a local studio, is a nice, affordable balance.
Additionally, if you participate in Yoga classes at a local studio, health club or community center, you will have the opportunity to form new friendships and to become involved in a community of like-minded individuals. Maintaining social connections is a very important aspect of nurturing your emotional and mental health, as well as bringing depth, fresh perspectives and a sense of levity to your day-to-day life experiences. All too frequently, many of us become isolated as the demands of our familial and financial responsibilities gains momentum over time.
If you take classes from a Yoga teacher who offers a period of contemplative reading or scriptural wisdom as part of his or her class, your daily challenges will often seem a little less dire and be framed in a more positive light. Even if you find yourself facing daunting challenges, such as a divorce, death or life threatening illness, taking a few minutes during a Yoga class to contemplate others’ journeys through the arc of a lifetime of experiences will help to give you a broader perspective on your own life journey.
Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York; where she specializes in writing customized, search engine-optimized articles that are 100% unique. She is currently accepting Yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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