Hi! I have a question that’s been daunting me with concern for a few weeks. Is it safe to practice in a crowded class with too many students for the instructor to supervise? As a beginner yogi, I often encounter poses that are new and don’t fully understand, plus I don’t know my body enough to have a reliable instinct on what might be inappropriate. Any tips for safe practices and/or alignment basics to keep in mind?
Thank you for the question as it is an important one. As a Yoga practitioner of any level it is important to research what style and length of class you want to take (ashtanga, power, flow etc.)? It’s also a good idea to show up at least 15min early to class, set up your mat and have a few minutes to speak with the teacher. Tell him/her your concerns, that you’re new and if you’re working with an injury or you are pregnant. The teacher will then place you in the class, probably between experienced yogis so you have people to follow and also a place that he/she can watch you and make sure you’re practicing safely. He/she will also set you up with some props (2 blocks and a strap) which will enable you to better access certain poses and maintain safe alignment. In a busy class the teacher will probably have taught the majority of people there and will know their bodies and will have adequate time to help you. One of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to listen well to your teacher, we are always repeating important cues to keep your practice safe and effective. Here are some of the most common
: Hands shoulder distance apart, feet hip distance apart
: keep your spine long
: lift your kneecaps
: keep shoulders away from your ears
: Soften your jaw
: move with your breath,
: listen to your body
Keep your ears and mind open and most of all have fun!!! I hope this helps with your question and your yoga journey. I look forward to seeing you in class sometime.
Maya Yoga 200hr Yoga Alliance
I chose Yoga because I immediately fell in love with the practice and couldn’t wait to share what I had discovered. I’d worked out most of my life but not until Yoga did I find something that spoke to my whole being, it gave me direction and purpose in my life. It is because of the mind, body connection of Yoga that I found a way to be myself in the world, to shine my light and share it with others. I feel very blessed and grateful to be sharing this ancient and beautiful practice with you.My specialty is in alignment, I’ve practiced lots of different styles of yoga and was most drawn to Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa for it’s attention to alignment and linking breath to movement. The safety of my students is the most important thing to me and through proper alignment and breath work(Pranayama) I provide a safe and fun class atmosphere.
Teaching in Kelowna
I agree with Louise.
I think it is most important that you feel safe in your practice. If full classes are not serving you I would advise going to slower times; there are some times slots that are more popular than others, so try to make a few of the quieter times. The teachers or front staff will be able to guide you to times that might be less full. If the studio you are at is not serving your needs there are many to chose from, some run larger classes than others so that is something to consider.
I think there can be a wonderful energy created in a full class but obviously the teachers attention is split and therefore less individual attention can be given. There is always the possibility of private of semi private classes that will give you the attention to detail you might be looking for.
I encourage you to follow your gut, if you are not comfortable in the class you are in pick another one, there is a yoga for everyone it might just take a little searching to find the studio or teacher that is right for you right now.
Hope this is helpful!
200hr Maya Yoga Certification. 200hr Open Source yoga Certification
I think yoga chose me in a way. I was always interested in health, nutrition, and fitness but never thought I would be guiding others in that respect. I found yoga fell in love and teaching opportunities started to present themselves and I am so thankful.I have focused on pain relief and dealing with peoples injuries to help heal their bodies. I am very focused on proper alignment of the body in order to make the practice sustainable. I hope to help people find freedom in their bodies, whether that be through relief of pain they have had for years or finding a strength inside themselves they never knew was there.
If you have another opinion please join the conversation, contact us and we will add your views so everyone can gain!
Comments from the community:
From a Viniyoga (krishnamachara) perspective yoga should optimally be taught one on one as in the guru disciple relationship. Every person has distinct Body/mind energy systems and within the limitations of their totality at the time the practice should be formatted to benefit and not hurt. HAving a crowded class effects the energy of the room and that is why real yogi’s of old always practiced alone in a sacred space. Yoga is truly an energy practice and meant to be a moving meditation so it is about going inside not being distracted by the outside so a quit place is best. Do to the need to make a living I would suggest that the person should put their ego’s in check and take an easier class than they think they can handle. There needs to be many considerations such as age, injury and “goals” for the practice. I have been to classes where with 20 people there was 3 teachers and a demo guy.. 1 teacher, 2 checking that people are doing things properly and safe, and one showing the practice. Now this is not economically viable in most cases. I would say that the amount of people should be very comfortable and controllable for the teacher and should be taught to the level of the weakest person in the class. Also, teaching asanas for the sake of showing off one’s own abilities is not so good.. Classes are always about the students. Namaste
~ Todd Daniels