As mentioned in my intro on the ABOUT section, I accidentally discovered a beautiful yoga studio through a friend in the community orchestra. I wish I could say that every yoga studio is as enjoyable as the one I attend. The reality is there are some studios of which to steer clear because of untrained instructors or improper facilities.
Joining the yoga community should be a pleasant experience, but it requires a well-thought-out plan. It isn’t as simple as choosing a 24-hour gym. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know, and for people new to yoga, they often don’t ask the right questions or know what to look for.
The process of choosing a yoga studio is much like the process of shopping for a new car. You typically don’t show up to the dealership having done zero research and not knowing beforehand the kind of vehicle you’re seeking. There’s a certain amount of due diligence expected. The same is true with a yoga studio. You should have an idea in mind as to what you hope to achieve from yoga, what kind of yoga you want to practice, and the budget of money and time you’re willing to spend.
To help you get started with your yoga research, I’ve compiled the following guide to assist in choosing a yoga studio:
- Determine what kind of yoga you want to practice.
A glance at the following list might make your head spin, but don’t worry! To help you narrow things a bit, I’ve highlighted some of the more “beginner-friendly” choices.
– Hatha Yoga: This is great for beginners because it focuses on the basics in a gentle, slow-moving pace.
– Vinyasa Yoga
– Iyengar Yoga
– Ashtanga Yoga
– Bikram Yoga
– Hot Yoga
– Kundalini Yoga: This is great for beginners due to its focus on breathwork, meditation, and spiritual energy.
– Yin Yoga
– Restorative Yoga: This is great for beginners because it requires minimal movement. Restorative yoga is very mellow and focuses on bringing deep relaxation.
I recommend taking a deeper dive into researching each of the available choices. Spend some time searching the internet and chatting with friends already in the yoga community.
- Choose a studio with a certified instructor
Taking yoga from a studio with a certified trainer is a must. I highly recommend finding an instructor credentialed as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). RYT’s undergo between 200-500 hours of training to receive certification. According to the Yoga Alliance website, “A Registered Yoga Teacher credential is earned by yoga teachers whose training and teaching meet Yoga Alliance Standards. An RYT must complete training with a Registered Yoga School, be confirmed by RYS, and keep current with Continuing Education and their annual fees.”
- Take a tour of the studio
Let’s go back to the car-purchasing example. You wouldn’t buy a car without first test driving it, would you? The same is true for a yoga studio. Before committing to a studio and registering online, take the time to visit the studio. Pay attention to the vibes you feel from the studio. Ideally, the instructor would be there to introduce herself, too. If you feel negative vibes, then you should probably move on to another studio.
Visiting the studio will also help determine if it truly is a studio or just a multipurpose room in a gym. Pay attention to the climate and the lighting in the room, and come prepared to ask questions!
- Find a studio with a beginner’s class
You would think that all studios have classes for beginners. However, some may not, and those that do might not have any openings. Another factor to consider is if there will be enough people in your class. It would be a little awkward if the beginner class were just you and the instructor, unless, of course, you’re keen on the 1-on-1 ratio.
- Find one that fits your schedule and budget
Remember, your involvement in yoga is, in part, to improve wellness and reduce stress. However, if you have to break the bank to do so, you’re probably setting yourself up for an unhealthy dose of anxiety that won’t be entirely mitigated by yoga.
Sometimes, you can find budget-friendly yoga classes taught by certified at community rec centers and family gyms.
I am so pleased you’re preparing to join the yoga community J
See you at yoga class!