Do you ever feel like you might never be able to understand all of the information your Yoga Instructor is giving you? And I’m not just talking about when you are in a class of 40-50 sweaty yogis and you aren’t getting the personal attention you need. If you know what is necessary to hear, see, or feel, you can ask for it.
The truth is, we’ve all been there. Not quite understanding what the instructor is cueing and then one day they decide to come over to show you how, and you get the grasp of it immediately. Instead of thinking that you just weren’t paying enough attention the first time, or wishing you had known how to do it earlier so that you wouldn’t have done your Down Dog wrong for two years, consider what kind of learner you are to get the most out of your practice.
There are three main learning styles – Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic. Usually one person would be dedicated to two types.
Auditory people hear the cues, Visual people see it and can visualize it in their bodies, and Kinesthetic people feel it out.
Okay, so now that you’ve understood the type of learner you are, think about the type of yoga you are best suited for. What else can you do to get the most out of your practice based on your learning style?
Pick a style that caters to your learning.
Power Vinyasa is best for Auditory learners. You can move faster because you translate the words right away and understand how to keep your body safe and strong by listening well. You may also like Iyengar yoga because they talk about the details of the postures, and you would do fine in a large class.
Visual learners do well with workshops that provide lots of demonstrations. You will also perform better in silent yoga classes, where you follow along with the teacher practicing without words. The tricky thing about being a Visual learner is that you are always looking around and not getting into your own calm headspace, so trying a class with meditation at the end would help to balance your external and internal world. Stuck in a big class? Get right up to the front by the teacher so you see all the demonstrations.
Kinesthetic learners can take so much from small class sizes because they get extra attention; any type of yoga is fine but for beginners, a slower pace may help to feel the poses out and really understand them. Even a seasoned yogi can only take so much; going to a slow class every once in a while will help you to feel more.
So have you got a studio membership already? How can you get the most out of what you have?
Book a private class to get a big saturation of knowledge about how you should be practicing for your body accordingly.
Share with your teacher the kind of learner you are, so they can better assist you. Tell them you like hearing details about the pose alignment, or you would prefer demonstrations to better understand what they are doing, or that it would be optimum to be shown in your body how to do adjustments.
Learning is limitless. The paths of learning are many, and communicating what you need brings us closer to the union that yoga is all about.