A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Claudine Beeson RYT, CES

We’ve all heard the many benefits of doing yoga i.e. increased flexibility, strength, improved focus, relaxation to name just a few.  So you’ve decided “this year, I’m going to start doing yoga.”  After searching online for the nearest yoga studio or if you’re gym offers yoga as part of their group fitness classes, you’ll find out soon enough that there are many different places and styles of yoga.  Here’s a guide on how to pick the right yoga class for you.

Try a beginner’s class

Call or visit the studio or gym you are interested in taking classes in. Ask if they have a beginner’s series or classes suited for those new to the practice.  A beginner’s series is usually progressive, so everyone is starting off on the same foot with language and instruction given at a pace much more conducive to first timers.

Understand what type of yoga class you’ll be taking

Ask what kind of yoga they teach and a description of what that all means so that youLiving Yoga understand what kind of class you will be stepping in to.  There are classes that are more restorative and gentle with lots of breathing exercises, and others that move much more quickly and provide a more cardiovascular or strength-based aspect.  What you might discover is that some days you want more of a workout and other days more of a restorative practice so find a studio that offers the kinds of classes you think you’ll enjoy most.

Take advantage of new student specials

Many studios have specials for new students such as first week of unlimited yoga classes.  Take advantage of those so that you get to try the different styles and teachers that the studio has to offer.  You’ll be surprised how each class and instructor really adds to the flavor of the practice.

Most importantly, if you find yourself frustrated after one or two classes – don’t give up!  The benefits of yoga take more than just one class to notice.  Be patient with yourself and you’ll notice the benefits soon enough!

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Claudine is the owner and director of Living Yoga in Aurora. 

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