Yoga Classes and Retreats

Sunset, November 1985 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Yoga Classes and Retreats

"What a workout! Yoga is the safest and most thorough system of physical conditioning I've tried." So said an enthusiast we interviewed--a dedicated athlete who turned to yoga several years ago when tennis, then running, and then weight-training all proved too injurious.

That fan is not alone. Yoga classes are now available throughout most of the West. You can even take a yoga vacation or go on a yoga retreat.

Even so, too many Americans still think yoga is for people who charm snakes or walk on nails. Yoga is not a religion or a doctrine, but a comprehensive system for conditioning the body--increasing flexibility, building strength, developing balance, and releasing tensions created by stress. Its isometric pressures strengthen specific muscle groups; its stretches relax deep muscle layers from within.

You don't have to be young or in top condition to join a yoga class. As a beginner, you participate in the yoga poses at whatever level you can attan: you start where you are and build from there. It's attentive, regular effort that counts.

You may want to supplement yoga with jogging or other aerobic exercise to condition the cardiovascular system; if so, you'll find the flexibility and body awareness yoga gives can mke these activities less stressful.

Why join a class?

You can study photographs of yoga positions or watch demonstrations on television. What's special about a class?

In a group, you're likely to put out more effort. You'll hold the positions longer--the slow hold is the secret of yoga. And you can get feedback. It's possible to think you're replicating a posture faithfully when in fact you're misaligned and not getting full benefit from the position.

Under the supervision of a teacher and with the help of yoga breathing techniques, you can safely find your own "edge"--the point at which you are neither babying yourself nor risking injury. Yoga may bring you some muscle pain, but it shouldn't cause joint or nerve pain. If you get that, you need to correct your approach to the pose.

How to choose a class...what to wear

For beginners, a class of 10 to 12 is about right--big enough that you hve the support of a group, but small enough that the teacher can check each student's work.

Your teacher should emphasize keeping to your own pace: in yoga, you're not competing with anyone. A good teacher will demonstrate poses carefully, and also give plenty of individual attention.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Yoga Classes and Retreats


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?