How to Find the Right Yoga Class
Choosing a yoga class can be intimidating. There are any number of styles, teachers and locations that factor in to your overall experience. If you know what you want from your practice, you can narrow down your options and find the class that suits you best.
- Consider your goals. Are you looking for a vigorous yoga workout that gets your heart pumping? Look for “Bikram”, “power yoga” or “flow” yoga in the class description. More mellow? Consider restorative yoga. Want to get a deep understanding of each pose? Look at Iyengar-style yoga.
- Know your personal style. You’ll factor in your taste when choosing a practice style, but your environment plays a key part in the experience as well. Are you comfortable with chanting and Sanskrit at an ashram or studio, or do you prefer a more fitness-oriented approach, maybe at the gym?
- Remember that teachers make the class. Every teacher has his or her own style. Read website bios and chat with your teacher before class. If you’re less concerned about teaching and more interested in consistency from class to class, look for a studio or gym that uses a proscribed format, such as Bikram yoga.
- Check your schedule. As much as you might love a particular class, you won’t go if you can’t fit it in to your everyday routine. Look for a class that meets at a time and place that work well for you.
- Choose the right skill level. Even if you know the poses inside and out, you may need a beginner class if you haven’t done a yoga workout in a while. There is no benefit to practicing above your experience, and you’re more likely to get injured.
- Try, try and try again. Don’t be afraid to try several yoga classes and teachers. Most studios offer introductory packages that give a discount on your first few classes. These are designed to let you check things out and make sure you’re comfortable before you make a long term commitment.
Your yoga practice is a highly personal experience. Research and experiment to find the yoga workout that’s a perfect fit for you.