Yoga appeals to many different types of people. Their motivations to try yoga and the benefits they are seeking can be quite different. Here we tell the stories of the types of people who have chosen to make yoga part of their approach to greater health, fitness and wellbeing.
Steve and Karen – “I want to give Yoga a try”
Steve and Karen have heard that yoga can be pretty good for you.
They’re not quite sure what it’s all about but know that it looks pretty relaxing and has great health benefits – plus they have been told that it’s not as tough as going to the gym.
Karen has found it difficult to relax and sleep lately and her GP has suggested that she thinks about trying yoga.
Steve, who is pretty active anyway, wants to support Karen and is actually quite keen to give something new a try. He’s intrigued by yoga and thinks it will probably be quite good for him. He has more muscle aches and pains these days and thinks yoga might help.
Then comes the problem – where to get started, where to go for their first experience, how to make sense of what seems like a daunting set of classes and a foreign language that is being used to describe them.
Steve and Karen want to have their hands held and be guided through being newcomers to Yoga. They don’t want to be embarrassed or “stand out” for the wrong reasons. They know they’re beginners and they need classes and teachers that understand this. They need to be embraced as apprehensive customers as well as nervous first time yoga students.
Once they got going though, Steve and Karen have become lifetime yoga participants learning and trying new classes, workshops and retreats along the way as their enjoyment and confidence grows.
Jenny – “Feel Better, Feel Stronger”
Jenny is driven to invest in her physical and mental wellbeing.
She wants something that makes her feel better in herself, more fulfilled, more content. By practising yoga she feels accepted and embraced as part of a group with others who seek something similar.
Jenny is well educated and experienced in life. She knows good teaching when she experiences it.
On the surface, Jenny appears confident but beneath she still needs some reassurance. The “mumbo-jumbo” (as she calls it) that surrounds yoga can sometimes leave her feeling a little lost in classes, so teachers that guide her through this in layman’s terms always win hands down with Jenny.
She balances her participation between relaxation and dynamic classes as they bring her different challenges and different benefits. She gets something from both.
Jenny is interested in the spiritual background of Yoga and is keen to learn a little more with snippets from teachers, posts on the website and occasional participation in workshops.
Danny – “Stretching and Flexibility”
Danny has been active in sport and has been a gym regular for some time.
He’s started to pick up minor injuries lately and also stiffens up and aches more than he used to after a match or gym session. He’s never been that great at stretching out after exercise although he knows he really ought to do it.
Danny has recently read how one or two high profile sports stars have used yoga to extend their careers. He was quite surprised by this and now feels he might be able to benefit similarly.
He has no idea that yoga has spiritual origins but is sold on the idea that it might help his physical flexibility and keep him active longer. He also sees it as a way he can do an exercise class together with his partner, Sarah.
Though he doesn’t say it too much to his friends, he quite likes the idea of participating in a supportive, calm environment too.
Danny wants to get involved in yoga by learning the basics first – he doesn’t want to feel stupid by turning up in the wrong class where he’s out of his depth before he gets started.
So he needs a Yoga Studio that recognises this and helps him easily and supportively through what he sees as the “minefield” of getting started.
Clare – “Calm and Still for a Moment”
Clare lives a hectic life balancing being a Mum and a successful business Executive. The outside world, her friends and family all see her as confident, in control and successful. She is.
But inside Clare craves some true down time for herself. Time when she can really switch off, de-stress and unwind. Time when she can find some momentary inner peace and physical stillness.
Yoga appeals to her and some of her friends have told Clare that it’s worth a go. In search of a sense of calm, having tried the odd class at her local gym before, Clare has decided now to give it a proper try.
Clare is hoping that things will be explained simply and clearly so she can be comfortable and confident in her choices – her choice of yoga studio, her choice of class and their different benefits and her choice of teachers.
Her work life is quite varied and she can’t commit to a specific class time each week, so the opportunity to drop in to different classes at different times appeals to her.
Deborah – “Supportive Rehabilitation and Recovery”
For many people yoga can help with the stresses associated with long term physical illnesses and different types of worry and concerns.
Yoga therapy classes help Deborah manage the effects which accompany such illness. Practising in a group supports the social side of having an illness and having others to talk to during recovery.
Deborah finds that yoga has been an enormous help to her in coming through a period of chronic fatigue and anxiety. She is also aware that other class participants have gained great benefits in tackling other conditions such as fibromyalgia, vertigo and depression. Some even attend to get away from the stresses of work and family responsibilities
Pete, Helen – “Yoga supports me through Life Challenges”
Pete, Helen have used yoga, meditation and other therapies to support themselves through the challenges in their lives.
They are experienced yoga practitioners and are comfortable attending familiar and new classes on their own. They have seen the benefits that regular practice has brought them and those around them in the past. Having not attended regular classes for a while they wish to re-introduce yoga to their lives.
They are accomplished in their practice and they are now seeking a studio and teachers that can really help them further their yoga and meditation. They believe they will only find this in a studio that is truly set up and dedicated to their needs.
They are interested in the emerging benefits of Mindfulness, Yoga Nidra and Yoga Therapy classes and need somewhere that offers these. They’re also looking for experienced teachers who not only give them good instruction but who are also motivating in their style. Like everyone who’s tried yoga at home they realise they need support and community to make them feel fully engaged in practice once again.