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How Do I Start Taking Yoga Classes?

Yoga Resources
by Elise Bowerman

You'll find the simple answer at the end of this article, however there may be more to yoga than you realize:

Yoga is about balance. Uniting the mind and spirituality with the body. Taking time to practice yoga is a commitment. Time in the practice is about tuning into what is really happening mentally, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually. Your yoga teacher may be the only one in your life asking you how you are feeling. It's your opportunity to answer yourself. Only you matter on your mat. 

While there are numerous forms of yoga, there are endless class names yoga teachers come up with to entice people to attend. When searching for a yoga class read the description. If it's unclear, call the studio or facility to get clarification to know if the class would be appropriate for you. 

There are many different ways classes are structured. The two main ones are "walk-in" classes and "segment" classes.

Walk-ins are convenient, because they allow the student to pick and choose the time and class that fits into their schedule. However, the downside is that the teacher will typically be teaching similarly every time. With walk-in classes there are always new students who've never been on the mat. Once you're a regular student, you may come to the point where you no longer feel the benefit you felt in the beginning. When this happens, talk to the teacher for suggestions, and/or find a different class or teacher to learn more.

Segmented classes lasting six weeks or more are excellent from a teaching and student perspective, because they allow the teacher to better prepare for what each student's skill set currently is. This way the teacher will build on from the week before so the students are always learning something new in a methodical way that makes sense. Plus, having the same group of people together will build a bond between them so there is greater comfort and ease as the weeks go by about exploring the practice in more depth, if needed.

Here's your next steps:

  1. Do an internet search of where yoga classes are being offered in your area.
    • Find out which classes would be beneficial for you.
      • Which day(s) and time(s) fit in your schedule?
      • Which class descriptions sound interesting and suitable to you?
  2. Refrain from eating about 1-2 hours prior to class.
  3. Wear comfortable clothing that you can bend forward in and move without restriction or constant adjustment(s).
  4. Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time of the class you are going to take.
  5. Enter the studio, introduce yourself and that you're new to yoga... be sure to share any traumas which may affect your practice (i.e. surgeries, illness(es), recoveries, preference of not being touched/adjusted, etc.)
  6. Above all, enjoy your first yoga class! You did it! 
  7. (If needed:) In case the yoga class or teacher was a not a good fit for you, check out another one. Shop around until you find someone who inspires you, and offers teachings that nourish you.