A Beginner’s Guide To Your First Yoga Class

Congratulations! You’ve decided you are ready to take steps to begin a yoga practice. Maybe you have already been practicing and you are ready to find a safe yoga haven. The quest to find a yoga class and studio that you truly enjoy may not always be easy, but with some legwork and some exploring, we are confident you will find a place that is just right! These days, there are seemingly yoga studios on every corner, and in light of 2020, there are now virtual offerings!

Yoga studios are meant to be healing places, so it is so essential to have a space that completely aligns with your practice and your ideals. A place that resonates with you. A go-to place when you need some peace and quiet, and sometimes awakening and transformation. To that point, Here are some tips to help you find your place on the mat.

Clarify Your Goals and Motivation: Decide what kind of yoga you’re interested in practicing…Since yoga has been around for so long, many styles have developed. One common thread, though: they combine physical posture, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. The goal? To promote improved control of the mind and body and enhance well being. Whether that is spiritual, physical, or mental, that is for you to decide. Here are some descriptions of classes!

Beginners class– If you are new to yoga or would like gentler basics, all levels does not necessarily mean Beginners. These classes are great for someone who wants a basic introduction to yoga or for people who are interested in less demanding classes.

Hatha– Focuses on physical poses transitioning smoothly from one pose to the next.

Restorative– relaxing and rejuvenating, focuses on gentle poses, stretches, breathing, and is mostly done on the floor.

Vinyasa– fluid movements transitioning from one pose to the next focusing on maintaining deep breathing throughout each movement.

Chair yoga– can be done in a chair, seated movement with breathing.

Kundalini Yoga– Incorporates breathwork mantras, chanting (sound), mudras (symbolic hand or body positions) meditation, and dynamic movement with meditation.

Hot Yoga– there are studios designed for this practice only, These studios incorporate usually power yoga (more demanding movements with breath in a room heated to 95 degrees or higher). All classes should include some piece of meditation and breathing (pranayama exercises) for a balanced well rounded practice.

Any yoga studio may offer even more types of classes. Read the descriptions of each class to get more details about what they cover! If you are unsure of what a class entails call the studio and ask if it would be a good fit for you..

Credibility and Certifications: The teachers’ certification and experience is a must. Any credible yoga teacher will be completely transparent with their level of experience and training background. A good suggestion is to check out the yoga studio first, check out their website and read the teacher’s bio and their certification and where it came from. This is also a great way to determine if your specific needs and interests will align with the teacher and the studio. See what one resonates for you!

Many bios also describe teachers’ interests and likes. Read the descriptions and go to classes that resonate. But also, Try different classes with different teachers! There is no better way to discover which teacher works for you than firsthand experience. Communication with a teacher is critical, let them know of any physical injuries you may be having or if you are new!

Finally, music. Music can make or break a yoga class. What do you like out about a yoga playlist? Soft, calming background music, motivating, upbeat music to help power you through, or perhaps no music at all? Look for what resonates with you and gives you the most out of your practice (whether that’s the type of music, no music, etc.).

Time and schedule: You want to set yourself up for success, try to find a time that works, and stick to it. I know for me my practice is non-negotiable for my well-being, so finding a time schedule that works in your life is critical. If a time doesn’t work private sessions are also an option and a good one for people to get exactly what they need. Self-care health and wellness is an investment worth making!

Either way, you want to find classes that resonate with your heart, so that you find a place you feel welcomed, supported, and a place you want to continue to come back to. It’s a lifetime practice and a journey that never ends.

One definitely worth taking!

Om Shanti! Wishing you a beautiful journey of self-discovery!

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