A number of yoga studios offer a class called Intermediate yoga, and you may be wondering if an Intermediate yoga class is right for you.
I cannot speak for all studios, but I can say at Point Bliss Yoga in sunny North Carolina, Intermediate yoga is an excellent option for beginners and more experienced practitioners. The reason is that the instructor will offer lots of modifications to meet the practitioner where they’re at (both experience and energy levels).
If you have never been to a yoga class before and want to dive-in to intermediate, let the instructor know before class so he or she can offer you appropriate modifications. Do know that this class will likely flow a bit faster than a Beginners’ or Basic class, but you should feel free to move at your own pace. Remember one of Rachel’s “Truths of Yoga” - the other practitioners are paying attention to their own practice and will not notice if you are a step or two behind.
If you are someone who usually takes a Power or Advanced class - don’t leave Intermediate behind! As I said earlier, Intermediate yoga can help you adjust your practice to your energy level on that particular day. I will be writing more about Yoni Shakti (womb yoga) in the coming weeks, but I would like to say that it’s very important for women to consider their energy level before powering through a yoga class, particularly if you are premenstrual or currently menstruating. For some women, their energy levels are normal, and they should proceed as normal. For many others (myself included), energy takes a massive dip during these cycles and we risk exhausting our bodies and minds if we try to force ourselves to perform at our usual levels.
This is something I fought against for a number of years. I refused to be sidelined by my cycle. However, when I began practicing cycle awareness, I realized that my temper was MUCH shorter on cycles when I forced myself to keep my normal, break-neck pace during premenstrum and menstruation. However, if I was gentler on myself during these times, my moods were much more stable.
Even if you are not enjoying a quieter time of your cycle (or, if you’re a man), you still may want to consider dialing down your practice in an Intermediate class occasionally. This is a good way to make sure your form is appropriate (we all get into bad habits when we’re firing through a Power class).