Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Kundalini, Anusara, Bikram… there are many styles of yoga to choose from these days. To be honest I still don’t have a strong preference myself.
Living in a small French village I’m happy there’s one yoga teacher around for a Wednesday night class. However if you’re a yoga novice and living in a vibrant, lively city with many studio’s, teachers and classes available, it can be a bit overwhelming to just even get started!
1. Pick The Studio Nearest To You
This one is quite practical. As with any kind of new exercise, excuse number one: “it’s too far, I’m too tired to pack my stuff and get out on the streets”. Assumed that it takes a few classes before you are hooked and can’t wait to make it to class, make it easy to commit.
Find a studio near your home. Chances are great you meet new people living just around the corner and moreover it’s a good way to encourage local entrepreneurship. Most studios have great ‘new-to-us’ deals, so if there’s no match just try another one.
2. Try Different Teachers And Styles
Find a beginners class and experiment with different styles, from sweaty power yoga to gentle restorative. This is the fun part! You’ll find that there’s no two teachers the same when it comes to one particular style of yoga. That’s why it’s important you’ll feel comfortable with the one in front of the class as well.
Always tell them before class if you have any injuries or health conditions the teacher should know of. Don’t forget to ask your questions (afterwards), as most of them are very passionate about taking away any insecurities or concerns and sharing their experience.
3. Don’t Get Rigid
Chance are high that after the first few classes you’ll know what and who you like. Now keep your mind flexible and open to new possibilities. Maybe it comes in the form of an unexpected substitute instructor teaching your favorite class, an injury that asks you to take it slow for a while or simply a changed appetite.
I find in spring and summer I yearn for active, flowing yoga asanas, while in the colder seasons I love to move within going for a soft, gentle approach. Find out for yourself and stay with your breath, no matter what yoga you practice.