More Advice Before Your First Yoga Class

by MPK | June 1st, 2011 | Yoga

These tips for your first yoga class are courtesy of Christine Northcote, Owner/Director of Full Circle Yoga.

There are a TON of styles of yoga.You could try to break down the different styles, but there is SO much interpretation among studios as to how they teach those styles, that it will not be much help. For example, “Hatha” yoga is really ALL yoga, but some studios intend it to mean easier, slower, and longer holds. In essence, it could mean ANYTHING.

My advice is to start to narrow the search by:

1. First, finding yoga studios near your home – convenience is big, because it will increase the likelihood that a beginner will develop a consistent yoga practice and reap the benefits. Going to a studio that specializes in yoga is ideal, because the instructors are devoted to studying yoga and teaching it as a career. The dedication may positively affect the level of instruction and attention you receive in class.

2. Then, based on a friend’s referral or on reading websites to get to know the personality of the studio and styles of classes, you can narrow the search. Know what you are looking to achieve from your yoga practice. What is your intention? Meditation? Vigor? Pain relief? Flexibility? Spirituality? And read the descriptions of the classes to determine those directed toward your intention. Look at the levels of the classes. Most studios will clearly state the level, i.e. “Basic” and “Beginner” or “Intermediate” and “Advanced.” Or levels – 1, 2, 2/3, etc.

3. Read about the procedures and the registration policy. Find out whether you need to register in advance, what to bring, wear, what the yoga etiquette is for the studio, and the cost of classes. You can also call the studio or email them to tell them your intention, and see what classes they recommend.

4. Pick a class and be committed to trying yoga at least three times. Your first couple of classes are always going to be a bit awkward – just like ANYTHING new to you. It becomes more and more comfortable and fluid each time you go. Ask your instructor questions before and after class if you have any. Shoot for 3 x’s a week for optimal benefits. But do what you can, and realize that your goal is to work towards YOUR Personal Best. Make sure your instructors encourage that way of thinking. If not, try a different class or instructor.

Yoga is for everyone; find a style and instructor that you connect with, and watch your practice grow and your mind and body benefit.

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