How can I try yoga without participating in the spirtual aspect?

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Yoga can be incredibly beneficial to the physical. For those not wanting to participate in the spiritual aspect of yoga, I suggest yoga forms such as Power yoga, Bikram yoga, hot yoga, Hatha yoga (with a focus on fitness), and even Viniyoga. Power yoga and fitness based hatha yoga can usually be found in gyms and focuses on linking breath to movement as well as the physical benefits of postures. Things such as chatarunga being an awesome arm sculptor and chair pose lifting and tightening the glutes. Bikram yoga has core poses sequenced in order in a heated, fresh flow room, making concentration a key component. Hot yoga has the heated room, but a variation on poses and a detoxifying effect for the body.

Always speak with your instructor prior to class (you can even call or email most) to get a feel for their teaching style and whether or not they incorporate the spiritual into the practice.

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This is an excellent question and a very common concern. A good yoga class will not "force" spirituality on you but will only introduce and teach it as an important part of the practice. However, this part of the practice is not for everyone and yoga is completely individual. Most yoga practitioners begin solely for the physical side of the practice and end up becoming more open and intrigued over time by the vast transformation in the body and mind as they delve deeper into all aspects of yoga, including the spiritual teachings. Before starting a yoga class, visit or call a local yoga studio and vocalize your concern, asking for suggestions on any classes that may suit you. Experiment with classes while you maintain an open mind. If you are already confident you are not interested in yogic spirituality, go to a gym for yoga as most fitness centers will focus on non-purist and more athletic styles of yoga. Some styles you might want to gravitate toward, often labeled power or athletic, tend to focus less on spirituality and more on movement. Most facilities should have detailed class descriptions listed which should give you a better idea of what to expect.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.