To get more active as part of a change of lifestyle, I suggest chair or floor based exercise like yoga first, and often second, because it is great for your total health.

With that in mind, I was delighted to welcome Dr Hemma Mistry to our first low carb meeting at Stockton Heath, and to hear that she is trained as a health coach and yoga instructor.

At the same time, I was sent this extremely helpful guest blog by health blogger Cassie on how to choose a yoga class and instructor, in your city, or town.

Many thanks for this great article, Cassie!

How to Find the Best Yoga Teacher in Your City

Time and again, research shows that true health includes physical health, mental health and spiritual health. All three aspects affect each other and are worth addressing. If you’ve spent any time thinking about the best way to do this, you’ve probably considered taking up yoga. If so, you’re on the right track.

The most well-known physical benefits of yoga are increased strength, tone and flexibility. However, good yoga instruction also focuses on teaching the discipline of concentration, which leads to stress reduction. Less stress means a healthier emotional life, better relationships and a clearer mind. Taking up yoga can literally change your life.

Before you run out and sign up for the first yoga class you find, take some time to learn a little more about the different kinds of yoga available, the difference between a class offered at your local gym and a membership at a yoga studio and how to find the most experienced and trained yoga instructor available in your area.

Most cities will offer more than one way to engage in the world of yoga. Below, we’ve detailed some steps you can take to find the best class, instructor and medium available to you wherever you’re located.

Search the Web

An obvious first step is to hop online and do a search of yoga classes in your area. You can search for classes by country, state or city using Yoga Finder, an easy-to-use yoga-specific online search tool. You can also do a basic Google search for classes or to locate yoga workshops or retreats.

Take Advantage of Apps

Apps are an excellent way to track down nearby classes. In fact, some apps even allow you to book classes right from the app. The following apps will make finding a quality yoga teacher quick and convenient.

ClassPass is a membership-based app that gets you into the best classes and gyms near you.
Lymber allows you to search and book a class from a large inventory in your area.
Yoga Trail keeps track of classes and events held by your chosen studios and instructors so you don’t have to.

Try Different Yoga Studios

A lot of yoga studios offer free classes to new students who want to try out a class. Sometimes you can even get up to a week of free classes so you really get a chance to see what a particular studio offers. This is especially helpful when you’re still learning about the different kinds of yoga.

Some studios may offer only one kind of yoga while others will offer a wider variety. If you’re new to the world of yoga, you may want to start out with a studio that offers a variety of yoga styles so you can figure out what you like and what you don’t. After you’ve spent some time with the various methods, you’ll be better equipped to commit to a particular style.

Go to the Gym

Most gyms offer a variety of group classes, including yoga. If you already have a membership with a local gym, give them a call and find out how their yoga instructors are trained and if they have certain certifications.

If you aren’t yet a member, see if they offer a trial period that will allow you to take a class or two. This will give you a chance to explore the different instructors, their style and the kind of yoga they teach.

Turn on YouTube
If you can’t find a decent class in your area or you just aren’t ready to make the financial investment, consider YouTube. As you know, YouTube is a treasure trove of videos that can teach anyone pretty much anything.

Yoga may feel trendy here in the West, but the truth is that in the Eastern world, it has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The distance separating East and West means some of the world’s best yoga instructors can only be accessed online. Thanks to online spaces like YouTube, most of these channels are only a click away.

However, depending on where you’re located (and where the yoga instructor is located), you may occasionally run up against the frustrating practice of geo-blocking. This is exactly what it sounds like; your access is blocked because of location. Luckily, you can still access these world-class instructors no matter where you are with a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will mask your location and connect you to a remote server that isn’t geo-blocked.

Aside from world-class instructors, the great thing about hopping on the web for yoga instruction is that you’ll find videos for pretty much every level and style.

Don’t wait. Practicing yoga is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. You’ll be stronger, with a clear mind and an open heart. What better way to combat negativity than with focus and strength?

There’s no question you’ll be healthier for it. You never know; if you find the right class and the right instructor, you just might find that you’re happier too.

About the Author: Cassie is a health and technology blogger whose many years as a nurse have given her a special passion for helping people to get healthy and stay healthy. Cassie loves everything about yoga, from the poses to the community, to how great she feels after every session. She loves sharing her experiences and is known for converting yoga skeptics into full-fledged yoga fanatics.