How To Choose The Perfect Yoga Class

Posted by Phoebe Nygren on

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Many factors go into finding the right yoga class. You need to find one that meets your needs, makes you feel good, and keeps you coming back for more. Everyone is looking for something slightly different in a yoga class, so I would suggest exploring around, and don't write yoga off because of one bad experience. A studio that makes you feel comfortable is a mix of finding the right ambiance, an approachable teacher, and a yoga style that meets your given needs!

 

Try out as many different studios as possible 
This is one of my favorite things to do when moving to a new city, and it's usually completely free your first class! This is a great way to get a feel for the types of classes that are offered in your city, and also allows a taste of different types of yoga. Trying out different classes allows you to get a feel for studios, classes, and teachers that make you feel comfortable. 

 

Consider what you want to get out of class
Are you in it to zen out? Maybe try Hatha or Iyengar yoga which allows you to move slower. Are you in it for self-discovery or self-discipline? Then, maybe you should sweat it out in a Bikram class. Get a better feel for some of the different types of yoga I have outlined below. Hopefully, it will help you on your yoga journey! 

 

Figure out which style of yoga you may be interested in:

 

Hatha 
Hatha yoga is much slower, and allows you to build heat by slowing down the poses and moving into each posture with correct anatomical alignment. This is perfect for someone who doesn't enjoy the continuous movement of vinyasa style classes, or a perfect class to take on a day where you need some stillness in your life.

 

Bikram
Bikram is practiced in an extremely hot room (105 degrees) for 90 minutes. It is an incredibly intense, strange, yet mentally and physically rewarding style of yoga. This was the first yoga class I ever took, and I was immediately hooked. It's not for everyone, but I would strongly suggest trying a class. Expect no music, bright lights, tons of sweat, and a whole body high post-savasana.

 

Vinyasa
This is a word you will hear often, and it basically means linking breath with movement. Any class where you move energetically from one pose to the other using your breath is a form of vinyasa. Vinyasa is the most prevalent form in the western world, and is usually offered at your local gym, and can be heated, cooled, or taken at room temperature.

 

Ashtanga
Ashtanga is a very physically demanding style of yoga that may also be referred to as power yoga. It comprises a precise series of poses brought together through breath in a specific sequential order. Ashtanga is a great blend of powerful, grounding poses that you hold for about 5 breaths each, paired with a vinyasa in-between.

 

Iyengar
Iyengar yoga uses many props such as belts, blocks, blankets, and bolsters to position yourself into a specific and precise anatomical position. It is a type of hatha yoga that allows you to hold poses for longer periods of time focusing on specific alignments. This is a great class for those who feel over-worked, and need to put their muscles and body through a relaxing re-set.

 

Other types
There are so many different types of yoga now, form stand-up paddle board yoga to Buti yoga, an African dance-like yoga style to Acro or Partner yoga. There truly are so many different options which make the practice approachable to everybody! Have fun with it, explore what makes you feel the best, and keep innovating and trying new styles of yoga!

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