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Personal Broga® Yoga Coaching now Online

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Father and Son Broga

Whether you’re a brand new beginner, or an experienced yoga practitioner looking for some new inspiration and a fresh approach, private yoga training can be one of the best ways to develop or refine your own practice.

Historically, a student’s choice of private yoga instructor has been limited to the teachers that lived in their town, but easy-to-use technologies now make it possible for students to work with any teacher, anywhere. 

Broga® Yoga instructors are some of the most competent, dedicated, effective yoga teachers in the world (in our humble opinion), so we’re very pleased to announce that starting now, you can work directly, personally, with them through our new Online Coaching System.

Broga’s top instructor, Creator and Co-Founder, Robert Sidoti, will be the first to offer his time to a very limited group of private clients each month.

According to Robert, “the opportunity to help more folks find a practice that is truly customized for their bodies through personal, direct online communication with an instructor is immense and very exciting. I’m looking forward to getting started!”

In the coming months, we’ll be introducing a hand-selected group of top Broga® Instructors to the line-up of online personal coaches.

For pricing and more information on the online coaching process, please have a look at the online coaching page.

Personal Online Broga® Yoga Coaching: More information and registration

Please direct any questions to team@brogayoga.com or feel free to leave a comment below.

 

You are awesome.

Don’t stop… belieeevin!

By | Inspirational, Motivation, Uncategorized | No Comments

You’ve probably heard that most people bail on their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January (which is getting close).

 

So we wanted to remind you of a few things:

 

You can do it.

 

It won’t always be easy.

 

Sometimes you’ll want to quit… but you can choose to keep going!

 

Celebrate every step forward. Celebrate progress. 

 

Don’t be too hard on yourself… but don’t be too easy on yourself either!

 

Whatever you’ve wanted to improve about your life, believe that it’s possible, then keep on keepin’ on.

 

We’ll see you on the trail. 

 

Love,

 

-Team Broga 

Let’s Start With What You Need

By | Opinion, Uncategorized | No Comments

I recently came across a forum topic entitled “Let’s start with the definition of yoga!” Some of the conversation was insightful and interesting. As it turned out, the objective was not to establish a concrete definition as the title would have you believe. But when I first read it in my inbox, I had an immediate reaction. I thought, “No! Let’s not START with the definition of yoga. Let’s start with what YOU NEED.”

 
As you well know, there are hundreds (thousands?) of books about yoga – what it is, how it works, what it does for you, the history, lineages, etc. There are also many different schools of thought about “proper alignment” and whether or not “Western yoga” has bastardized and co-opted yoga’s true “essence”. While interesting academically/historically, many of these conversations miss the point in my view.
 
 
I look at this way. Yoga is an art and science for improving the quality of human lives. Put another way, it’s value lies in how much it helps you improve your life. Much of yoga is very old. Most of it is very wise. But it doesn’t matter. It’s more simple than that. Yoga is ultimately about your now.

  
If the practice of yoga makes you feel better, then yoga is good. Period. End of conversation.

  
You could spend a lifetime studying the sutras and going on pilgrimages (and that’s totally great if that’s what you want to do) or you can go to a couple of yoga classes here and there every few weeks. You can do a full-on deep dive into the vast spiritual depths of yoga, or you can take three focused deep breaths while sitting at your computer at work.

  
The point is, the definition of yoga is irrelevant. What you need to make your life better is of ultimate relevance.

  
You need to:
  • breathe
 
You may need to:
  • to feel better in your body
  • gain strength
  • improve your circulation
  • lower high blood pressure
  • reduce stress
  • avoid injury
  • feel fulfilled
  • feel connected to a sense of purpose
  • and so on…
  
The practice of yoga, even for a few minutes each day, can help you identify, address, and develop what you need.
  
Then, when you’ve practiced yoga for a little while, you can define it for yourself.
  
Yoga is what it is to you.

Vegetarian meat?

By | Events, Featured, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

While we know there is not one perfect way to eat, the paleolithic diet is becoming more prominent throughout the health and fitness world. While this type of eating is very plant based, we know that its basic outline includes good sources of animal protein. Those that follow this mindset may find the benefits in the B12, zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamin D (among others) found in such high quantities in meat, but perhaps do not see the ethical or very political side of the meat industry.

 

Andras Forgacs has proposed a solution. Or, the answer, depending on how you see it.

Image Courtesy of James Duncan Davidson

 

In his TED talk found here, Forgacs explains the idea of biofabrication, where cells can be used to grow biological products, like tissue. This process started with the desire to 3D print human organs, and has since been successful in culturing and planting skin, ears, windpipes, blood vessels, and bone into the human body. He was then asked, why not meat?

 

As he explains in his talk, the biofabrication of meat would be a humane and sustainable way of feeding the world.  Currently, livestock uses 33 percent of our ice free land, 8 percent of our global water, and 18 percent of our greenhouse gases, not to mention the mindless slaughter of
“complex and sentient animals” that are so much more than just raw materials, Andres continues. Growing the meat would be similar to that of brewing beer. The cells would be sourced from the animals, and grown in meat breweries, in which he presents the idea of “touring this facility, learning about how the leather or meat is cultured, seeing the process from beginning to end, and even trying some”. With studies measuring the net lifecycle impact of the cultured meat show that it requires 99 percent less land, 96 percent less water, and 96 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Along with a clean conscience, the biofabrication of meat is nothing from perfect.

What if this was grown in a lab?
Image Courtesy of www.freeimages.co.uk

 

Not so fast.

 

Ever since World War II, we have moved into the industrial side of agriculture. War making industries needed somewhere to sell their products, so they made tanks into tractors and poison gases into pesticides. We began to turn to monocultures and genetic engineering, making wheat, rice, and corn that were resistant to disease and caused the death of any pest that dared a taste. Knowledge of farming, like knowing crop rotation and cover cropping was irrelevant, as the fertilizer NPK became popular, because all our produce needs to be beautiful and lush are the elements nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

 

But we now see the effect of efficiency; we see that plants need over 21 elements to thrive, providing us with the proper nutrition. Honeybees are disappearing, unable to find pollen from the weeds that no longer grow. As crops are scarcely grown seasonally, mother birds struggle getting past the thick stalks of corn to the soil and finding earthworms for their hungry chicks in the spring. Allergies and food sensitivities are on the rise, and studies have been pointing to the way that the DNA of many common crops today has been manipulated and crossed with countless species that were never supposed to mate. Animals are being injected with antibiotics before they are even sick, given growth hormones to produce more meat. Small towns that used to center around their family farms have turned been abandoned, run out by huge businesses like Monsanto.

 

With all the efficiency of industry, we have gained quantity, but lost so much quality. While not much is known yet about the culturing of meat, the history that humans have with attempting to manipulate and improve nature is not outstanding. We seem to overestimate the simplicity of the abundance that the earth has to offer. We don’t just need the protein of meat, or the carbs of wheat. Food is so much more than micro and macronutrients, offering vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, polyphenols, antioxidants, and so much more that we cannot even begin to understand. The production of meat (and food in general) does not, and should not, be linear. Look back to your 3rd grade food chain: the sun feeds the grass which feed the cow which feeds the human, the waste of all of these are decomposed and made into nutritious humus that plants are able to absorb and start the cycle all over again. Livestock do not have to be this ticking time bomb of disease, but of course if they are injected with toxins, then they will be toxic.

 

Image Courtesy of www.freeimages.co.uk

Image Courtesy of www.freeimages.co.uk

While this does not directly correlate with the biofabrication of meat, it is proof that our disconnection from nature is incredibly damaging. Instead of further stressing this relationship, we should move towards engaging with our food and supporting the local farms that can provide us with high quality meat and produce that have based their energy in the sun and soil, and are able to bring eating back full circle.

 

However, culturing meat could be the future. What do you think?

Ca-Ching! Food Production vs. Consumption and Your Money

By | Featured, How To, Motivation, News, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized | No Comments

A finance book I read, The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco, had a very simple but true concept: If you want to get in ‘the fastlane’, you need to be a producer, not a consumer.  When you produce things you make money, and when you consume things, you lose money.  The author’s point is that if you create a business where you sell goods/services you will create more wealth for yourself, whereas people who just shop and spend their money will get poorer.  When it comes to food, this is a double whammy for the vast majority. Not only do people pay for someone else to grow their food, many pay for their food to be prepared either in the form of restaurants, pre-packaged meals, or other processed foods. If you have a diet-related illness, you are a consumer of medical treatments and that would be a triple whammy, but that’s another story…

How often do you make your own food?  If you eat at home rather than a restaurant, how much did you really make?  Do you make your own spaghetti sauce, or do you buy that in a jar? Do peeledtomatoesyou bake your own cookies?  Make your own mustard?  I know what you’re thinking, who makes their own mustard?  (Here’s a homemade mustard recipe). It’s just a given that people will buy certain things because their lives are busy (because you’re creating wealth for your employer most likely).  But as the theory goes, the more you consume vs. produce, the more you will lose.  So going to a restaurant is the biggest expense. So big, that it’s already been written about, like those articles about how buying coffee every morning wastes hundreds of dollars.  Next, is buying pre-made foods.  Are frozen dinners what came to mind?  What about ketchup and BBQ sauce? Deli meat? Pasta sauce? Is there any prepared food that is so taken for granted that it doesn’t even seem like you could produce it yourself?  In some cases it might not seem worth it (maybe aging wine into vinegar is more a of a science project).  But in most cases, I can attest it IS worth it.  Not just with cash, but with taste.  But the focus on this article is the aspect of finance.

We hear how divorced we are about where our food is from. We eat it without knowing how it was made or how far it traveled.  With food, the balance of producing for ourselves to being a giant consumer doesn’t seem like it can go farther.  Now we don’t grow our own food, so we buy it.  And we sink deeper in the consumer role by not preparing our own food because we go to restaurants or buy processed food.  If you want, you can buy certain candy and cookies in bite sized pieces, so companies even do some of the work of eating it for you!  How much more on the production side can we give up? I think it is not only critical to our health, but finances that the balance shifts back to being a producer.

My town’s big box health food store sells one organic seedless cucumber for $3.99.  Not per pound, one cucumber is seriously four bucks.  A packet of organic seedless cucumber seeds costs cucumberless than one cucumber.  If you failed miserably at growing your own cucumbers so a vast majority of the seeds didn’t work, but you managed to grow one vine that produced one cucumber – you have recouped your costs and then some!  But you will probably fair much better than that.  Some of the other absurdly expensive food at that store include: $5.99/lb organic bell peppers, $4.99/lb organic heirloom tomatoes, and $3.99 for one small, gluten – free, vegan cupcake. You know how rip-off hamburgers have patties that are way smaller than the bun so they don’t go all the way to the edge?  Gluten- free, vegan cupcake artisans learned that trick so the inadequate frosting doesn’t go all the way to the edge.  We are just getting sucked dry as consumers and this can’t go on.

People complain diets are too expensive.  You aren’t buying subsidized wheat, soy, corn and other commodity crops anymore.  You’re buying produce, meat, or dairy that was not from animals fed commodity crops.  Since tax payers subsidize the commodity crops, you are partially a producer which is why it’s ‘cheaper’ at the grocery store (and I use the term loosely because there are other costs involved with the environment and health but that’s another story). So here you are as a consumer of food that you did not produce, and it’s apparent that your role as a consumer is leveraged against you.  Isn’t time to slow down with consuming and start producing?

One of the best things you can do is grow your own food.  Yes, there are a myriad of excuses from weather, to your living quarters.  You can grow something. Seriously, if you can dedicate 2 square feet inside with shelves, you can grow a decent amount.  According to the seed company Burpee, you can get a 25 to 1 ROI on starting a garden.  The National Garden Association disagrees; they state a 70 dollar investment results in 600 dollars of food.  The information I have seen when researching for this article does not go into better detail.  What you grow will impact your ROI.  You must account for many factors of growing produce.  Besides growing what you like, consider what is available.  If you can always get organic carrots for .99 per pound and you have limited space, skip growing carrots.  You should also consider the time for a yield.  Some plants take one month, like radishes.  Others plants take 3 months.  The longer you tie up your soil, the less you grow and the less money you will save.  None of those things were mentioned in the statistics I saw, so you may fair better if you grow smart.windowsillgarden

Another thing to do is prepare your own food.  Less restaurants, less 4 dollar cupcakes, and less frozen dinners.  I know, no time and no skill, right?  There are easy recipes out there, and plenty have little hands-on time. Roasted meat, pretty much anything braised, and most sauces are so easy!  Once you develop good knife skills, it takes longer for the pot to heat up than to chop an onion.  And if you don’t have good knife skills, you can buy pre-diced onions but that’ll cost you.  And that’s the point…

I’m not dogmatic about this – not everything is worth your time.  You might be extra busy from time to time and can’t do it all yourself.  But take a look at what you buy on a regular basis. Is everything produced for you? Is this a crutch because you aren’t developing the right kitchen skills or managing your time? Opening cans and pushing buttons on a microwave are not the best skills for a producer.  Be aware that despite the normalcy of buying processed food and not growing your own, you are still taking on a role: The role of a consumer.  And if you shift to more production, you will have more money.

What do you think? Have you tried growing your own food? How did it go?

The Health Benefits of Bacon and Butter

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It’s most highly concentrated in coconut oil, and its health benefits are through the roof. However, its reputation is terribly negative, second only to that of trans fats. Can you guess what it is?

 

The answer: Saturated fat

 

Moving past the dogma of low fat, high carbohydrate fad, many of us now realize that low-fat just means high sugar, and high sugar equals more insulin, and more insulin leads to stored fat. You are likely familiar with the health benefits and necessity of unsaturated fatty acids like EPA and DHA found in cold water fish, but saturated fat also proves just as essential. But in what ways can butter, coconut oil, lard, and rib-eye steaks improve your health?

Image Courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

1. Lower cardiovascular risk

Saturated fat reduces the levels of lipoprotein (a), a substance found to be strongly correlated with the risk of heart disease. It also increases your level of HDL (good cholesterol).

 

2. Bone strength

The fat within these foods also contribute to bone strength, as your body cannot effectively incorporate calcium into your bones without it. For this reason, Mary Enig, Ph.D, recommends that 50 percent of your fats should be saturated.

 

3. Liver cleanliness

A fatty liver is damaging to your health and can eventually lead to cirrhosis.  However, the saturated fat that you eat does not directly convert to fat in your liver. On the contrary, adding saturated fat into your diet encourages the liver cells to dump their fat content, additionally protecting the liver from the toxicity of alcohol. The liver’s key role in a healthy metabolism connects the consumption of saturated fat to fat loss.

 

4. Strong lungs

Saturated fatty acids make up 100 percent of your lung’s airspace coating, essential for the function of the lungs. The absence of these fats will lead to the collapse of these airspaces and breathing will become difficult. In fact, some researchers theorize that the rise in asthma is linked to the fact that children have replaced saturated fats with hydrogenated fats, which do not correctly support the structure of the lungs.

 

5. Brain building

Did you know that your brain is made largely of fat and cholesterol? EPA and DHA are still important, but the fat found in butter, coconut oil, lard, and meat is more so, as a majority of the fatty acids in your brain are saturated. Without the proper materials, it is impossible for your body to put together the best functioning brain.

 

Image Courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6. Fat loss

To get your metabolism cranking, eat more saturated fat! This type of fat directly signals the nerve signals that influence metabolism, leveling out the release of insulin and keeping fat storage to a minimum.

 

7. Strong immune system

The myristic and lauric acid in butter and coconut oil keep the immune system healthy, helping your white blood cells identify and destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi. To prove the wholesomeness of saturated fat, it may be important to note that human breast milk is rich in both myristic and lauric acid, killing germs and protecting the immune system of an infant, and is needed throughout the lifetime in order to keep an immune system alert and attentive against cancer development and infections.

 

Give saturated fat a chance. Your body (and taste buds) will thank you.

 

 

Brogi of the Month – September, 2013

By | Events, Featured, Interviews, Motivation, Teachers, Uncategorized | No Comments

The Brogi of the Month Award goes out monthly(ish) in recognition of a person who, through action or word, makes things better for themselves and the people around them. In most instances, recipients will be acknowledged for great achievements in the health/fitness/nutrition – aka Broga – realm, but not always. The common denominator will almost always be an achievement that inspires. All those who receive the award will get a 10-class pass (or something of equivalent value). We love inspiring stories, so please feel free to email us nominations and a story any time.

The September, 2013 Brogi of the Month Award goes to a guy who has done something rather unique with his retirement, something we find really inspiring. Having reachedBill Williams an age and status at which many people might prefer to do LESS with their bodies, Bill Williams decided to do MORE. A short time after retiring from his successful fourth generation family business, Bill began training to become a personal trainer. Then he became a 200hr certified Yoga instructor. Then a TRX instructor. Then a Broga Instructor!

We are very excited to have Bill as part of our Broga® Yoga teaching community and so – as we hear – are the good people of Mexico, MO.  As you’ll see below, we aren’t the only people who think Bill rocks.

Check out this recent interview with Bill and feel free to drop him, or us, a note in the comments section.

If you don’t mind sharing, how old are you?
Bill: 64 years young! Age is only a number!

How did you first learn about Broga?
Bill: I believe I heard about Broga from a family member on the East Coast. I looked online to learn what Broga was about, and then I wanted to learn more.

What drew you to Broga? 
Bill: I was hesitant to take a Yoga class that was primarily women.  I reluctantly attended a Yoga class and recognized there is a great need for Yoga classes designed to attract men to attend.

In addition to teaching Broga, what else do you do currently?
Bill: I also teach Indoor Cycling, TRX Suspension Training, Group Fitness Classes and Personal Training.

Broga: Before getting involved in fitness, what did you do?
Bill: My career was a family business of commercial laundry and linen supply. I was a fourth generation President until passing the reins to a younger brother who operates the business today.

Broga: Have you always been in good shape?
Bill: I would have to say that while I was generally in decent shape, but now, definitely the best shape of my life!

Broga: You were recently awarded TWO Inspiration Awards at the International IDEA Fitness Conference in L.A. Can you tell us a bit about that experience?
Bill: I was, and still am, very honored to be chosen by Fitness class instructors, to receive the two Inspiration Medals. The class instructors would present the medals following the class to the person or persons whom they felt were the most inspiring to others.

Broga: What challenges do you see people your age having as they try to stay healthy? Any tricks or recommendations that you’d offer?
Bill: I think the most difficult decision for most is the time commitment. We have to make taking care of ourselves a top priority. If we don’t there are always many other things we could be doing with that time slot. I think it is important to first make the commitment, then decide what time frame we are willing to make our fitness training number one over all other choices.

BillandConnie

Bill Williams with personal training biz partner, Connie.

Broga: Any advice for people who are looking to fitness as a second career?
Bill: Find someone who you admire for what they do for the Fitness Industry. Learn what makes them successful, and perhaps ask for their help. Then take the trainings, and become certified and knowledgeable with the coursework you plan to instruct.

Claims About Supplements Starting to Sound Fishy

By | Featured, News, Uncategorized | No Comments

If you’re currently taking Broga classes, or even contemplating signing up for your first one, you are already making progress toward improving your overall health.  The next step may be to give some thought to your diet if total body wellness is a goal of yours.  As you begin to contemplate your personal nutrition goals, you may at some point also begin to contemplate taking supplements.  Buyer beware, be sure to stay current on your research.  Shelling out big bucks on pills may be a waste of resources better spent on real food.Fish Pills

In spite of previous studies linking the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil pills to heart health, new research featured in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that taking fish oil supplements may in fact provide no significant cardio vascular benefits. 

So are fish oil supplements still worth buying? Doesn’t it always seem like the news about nutrition is changing?  One day something is good for you, and the next, not so much right? 

Nutritional research is still fairly young, as medical research goes.  We are still learning so much about how the body processes nutrients and which ones (and how much of them) it needs most. 

Any medical research is complicated to decipher, but I think I got this one. It’s generally accepted in medical communities that omega-3 fatty acids play a role in heart health.  We know that certain fish are known sources of omega-3s.  If you connect the dots then, fish=heart health.  Pretty simple stuff so far. 

Fish oil supplementation has risen in popularity in the past few years because it was thought that we could isolate the good omega-3s from real fish, and put them in a pill.  If people took these pills, it seemed logical that the increase in their diet in omega-3s would lead to healthier hearts.  This logic wasn’t exactly wrong, but there is likely more to the story than we thought. 

What this new information really means is that there may be more to fish that is good for your heart than just its omega-3s.  The same fish that are rich in omega-3s are also rich in selenium and Vitamin D (among other things.)  It is possible that omega-3s are most helpful to our cardiovascular health when consumed with other nutrients.  Just like we know that calcium needs Vitamin D to be fully functional in our bodies, omega-3 fatty acids may be most beneficial when accompanied by other nutrients.  Further research will need to be done to see if this is in fact the case.

SalmonSo what’s your action item?  If your doctor has suggested taking a fish oil supplement, I wouldn’t toss them in the trash because of one study’s findings.  If you are concerned about heart health (and aren’t we all) try to increase your intake of omega-3 rich fish to at least 2-3 meals per week.  Approachable fish rich in omega-3s are salmon, anchovies, and bluefish. 

Your fish oil pills are not likely doing you any harm, and may still be doing some good, but it’s almost always best to get your nutrients from real foods when you can instead of supplements.  

Consider your likes and dislikes and your current dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and try to add more.  Don’t write off supplements in general, some do great things, but my advice is to look at them with healthy skepticism and always ask yourself if you can get what you are looking for from real food first.

 

 

What do you think? Do you have a post-workout favorite food? Maybe a smoothie recipe you’d be willing to share? Share your input in the comment section below!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jen JasminJennifer Jasmin is a nutritionist and freelance writer living in Watertown, Massachusetts.  She holds a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College, and a Graduate Certificate in Dietetics from Simmons College.  In her work, Jen strives to help people find balance between real nutrition facts, and realistic health and fitness goals.   Her background also includes over 15 years working in the food service industry, which adds to her unique perspective on eating well.  She shares her insights, personal cooking lessons, and recipe ideas on her blog at: www.skeletonsinmykitchen.com.  In addition to writing, Jen shares her passion about healthy eating in casual, approachable nutrition seminars and workshops in both corporate and community settings.  To Jen, the journey to wellness is incredibly personal, and should be approached in a way that is individual, actionable and unpretentious.

 

3 Simple Ways (For Men) to Avoid Injury in a Yoga Class

By | How To, Students, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Like running, skiing, playing basketball, lifting weights, shoveling heavy snow, or anything else that involves pushing your body’s range of motion and stamina, practicing yoga can lead to injury if not done with care, moderation, and self-awareness.

Here are 3 simple ways to avoid injuring yourself as you tap into the many benefits of yoga.

1.) Go to an appropriate class (in two parts).

Part 1 – Choose the right class – i.e. type of yoga & level of class:
If you are new to yoga (even if you’ve taken a few classes), are slightly out of shape, don’t get a lot of exercise, have some chronic pain, or know that you are a little stiff in the joints, you should ONLY be taking an introductory yoga class. Don’t push it. I’ve been practicing yoga for almost two years and still get just as much out of an introductory class as I get out of an intermediate level class. I know people who have practiced much longer than I have and they say the same thing. We see a lot of guys who show up to our Broga II class (presumably believing that the Broga I class is too easy) that really shouldn’t be there. We make sure to communicate this professionally and respectfully whenever necessary and recommend the Broga I class, but you (the student) should recognize when you’re out of your comfort zone. When you’re in the right class, you’ll know it because it will feel right.

There are many types of yoga and many types of classes. Our recommendation is that you find a yoga class that is specifically designed for you. You wouldn’t go to a prenatal yoga class (unless it was prenatal for couples) right? If you look around you’ll find a class that is specifically for you.

Part 2 – Choose the right instructor:
Once you find the type of class that you want to attend, you should then find the best available instructor for that class. Friends and colleagues can give you a good recommendation, but you need to ask the right questions. If someone who has been practicing yoga for 10 years recommends a yoga instructor, ask if that instructor pushes them. If so, it’s probably something that they appreciate, but you won’t (unless you have also been practicing yoga for 10 years). You need an instructor that will guide you through every movement with clarity and care.

Also, once you identify what seems like the best class and teacher, go a little early – good teachers (often) have full classes. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to the teacher and see #2.

If your first class isn’t what you’d hoped or expected DON’T GIVE UP. You’ll have good days and bad days (so will teachers) so assume it just wasn’t a great day and try again. You should give it at least a second chance before you decide to throw in the towel or look for another class/instructor. On the other hand, if you’ve done a bit of research, you’ve probably found the best class right away. If so, it should be a challenging, but rewarding first experience.

2.) Tell your instructor if you have any injuries or limitations or concerns.

Most good instructors will ask if anyone has any injuries or limitations at the beginning of every single class. If you do have an injury, even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE INSTRUCTOR. If the instructor doesn’t ask, he/she isn’t being responsible (dock them 10 points and don’t go back), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up. Your yoga class is FOR YOU, not your teacher or even the other students. Be smart. Be a little selfish. Protect yourself. Make sure you are clear, even if it feels weird to speak up, about your injuries or limitations or concerns. Most good instructors will keep you in mind throughout the class and will give you variations of poses to help you get the most out of the class – without hurting yourself.

3.) If it don’t feel right, don’t do it!

There is absolutely no reason that you should do anything in a yoga class if it doesn’t feel right. If you’ve been injured before, you know that “Uh-oh” feeling when some part of your body goes past the point of no return. If you are paying attention to your body (as you should be in a yoga class) you’ll sense when your knee, or neck, or back, or hip starts to feel a little “tweaky”. When you feel that, back off. A yoga practice should challenge you, push you to your edge, cultivate a sense of awareness, and help you improve your body and mind, but it shouldn’t push you past your edge, make you take risks, spur a sense of competitiveness, or cause injury. If it don’t feel right, don’t do it!

Bonus: Be your own advocate and guide. Go with intention. It takes motivation, maybe some encouragement from friends or relatives, and willpower to go to a yoga class. Maybe there are other things you could be doing or maybe you went out last night or you have a cold or you’re “just not feeling it”, etc. When you do surmount your personal obstacles and decide to go to a class, go with a good attitude. Go with intention. Go with a desire to learn something “about yourself” and to take yourself to the edge. Go with the intention of coming home and feeling better than you did when you left. And go knowing that you won’t hurt yourself.

How did we do? Have you been injured in a yoga class (and learned something from it)? Did we miss any tips? Let us know! Leave a comment.