Did you know that between 2012 and 2014 in America, “the number of yoga students rose from 20.4 million to 36.7 million?” In other words, the number of yoga students almost completely doubled in just a few years!
Yoga is a huge rising trend, which means there’s no better time to catch that wave than now. Starting your yoga practice and attending yoga classes now means you’ll be starting it with other beginners as well.
Part of the amazing popularity of yoga comes from its incredible versatility.
You can do yoga at home or with a class. You can do it in a park or on a beach. You can train strength or flexibility.
If you’re new to yoga, then read this summary to learn everything you need to know about yoga for beginners.
Finding a Class
The growing popularity of yoga means that there are many studios scattered across the world. There’s a good chance that your city will have many options to choose from.
Having so many options is great because you have a better chance of being able to find something that works perfectly for you. On the other hand, it can make your search process intimidating.
Follow these simple tips to make sure you end up in the yoga studio with the yoga instructor that will suit you the best!
Get Into the Online Yoga Community
In almost everything, the best way to find the good stuff is to learn from people who are already experienced and passionate. The same is true for yoga!
Eventually you’ll want to interact with the wider yoga community and learn from people (including a good yoga teacher) in person. But a quick online foray can be a perfect first step for getting started with yoga.
Instagram is an ideal place to start your online journey into the yoga world. Search through the yoga students and teachers near you and you can learn all about their philosophy and approach.
Facebook can be another great way to find people talking about the best and worst of yoga in your area.
Type “yoga” and your city name into the search bar on Facebook and set the search to only show you Facebook groups. So if you’re in London, type “yoga london” and press enter. Then click on the “group” button that will appear under the search bar.
You are likely to find several groups dedicated to talking about yoga in your own city. Read through the titles of the groups and join a few that sound like they can help you get an introduction into the community.
Reddit may also be a helpful resource as you look for how to get started with yoga. Reddit is full of “subreddits,” or forums of people talking about something they share an interest in.
A few good subreddits to start with might be the yoga subreddit and the subreddit for your city.
The yoga subreddit is a wonderful collection of curated yoga resources. The community members have collected, tested, and approved advice about finding a studio, selecting a teacher, finding suitable yoga gear, and everything else you might need to know!
Additionally, you can read all the questions people ask and the stories they tell in the forum section of the subreddit. Not finding an answer to a question you have? You can write your own question and draw on the knowledge and wisdom of hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic members.
Yoga Finder is a great tool for finding the right yoga class for you. You can search for studios by city as well as by type.
If there’s a particular kind of yoga you want to get into, then you can just click on the “style” search bar and select the style you’re interested in, whether it be hot yoga, Yin Yoga, Bikram, or any of many other options.
Searching through google maps is another way to give you a sense of the yoga studio near you. Location is a big factor, so depending on your situation, you might want to stick to just the studios closest to you.
Google maps will also often include reviews of studios, so you can see how highly students have rated a place, and read what they have to say about it.
It can also provide you with contact information for the studio, so you can call them up and find answers to any questions you may have about how to start yoga.
Learn from All the Yoga Teachers in a Studio
Once you’ve asked around online and decided on a studio you want to explore, you’ll want to make sure to get the most out of your exploration.
Look through the class schedules and talk to any of the teachers or students you meet. They can help you decide which of the different teachers and different classes might best suit your needs.
If you try a class and absolutely love it, then great! If it was good, but you are looking for something even better, don’t hesitate to try a different class or a different teacher.
Different kinds of yoga have been designed to meet a wide variety of needs and interests.
It shouldn’t be surprising if a particular class is geared towards the preferences of other people. That just means you need to look for a different class that’s geared towards your needs.
Get a Feel for the Wider Community
If the first studio you explore isn’t quite right for you, take comfort in the fact that there are probably other options! Pick a second studio to try out and bring your new knowledge and experience along with you.
Home Yoga for Beginners
Yoga classes provide certain undeniable benefits. You’ll never learn as fast alone as you can with skilled teachers and helpful fellow students to guide you along the way.
At the same time, the amazing versatility of yoga is part of its charm! There’s plenty that you can do at home to help build up your yoga practice skills between classes.
Look below for some of the yoga gear you’ll need to practice at home or in a class. With a few simple tools, you’ll be ready to start!
But where to start? Yoga is a discipline with a wealth of knowledge and study poured into it. How can you start practicing yoga at home?
Some teachers will teach you yoga over Skype. Others have placed instructional videos or yoga tutorials on YouTube for you to copy and learn from.
If you’ve taken some classes and learned from some great teachers, you can practice some of what they taught you at home. Imagine how impressed they’ll be by your quick progress!
Basic Yoga Gear
The first thing to figure out before your first yoga experience is what to wear. You want clothing that is both appropriate for the social situation and suitable for the exercise you’ll be doing.
Women can wear yoga pants and an athletic top. Other appropriate bottoms include leggings, running shorts and capris. On top, a sports bra or t-shirt can be acceptable, too. It’s important that you feel comfortable!
Normal athletic outfits are fine for men doing yoga. You’ll want to avoid anything too baggy, but otherwise, a t-shirt with athletic shorts is fine. In many studios, it’s considered acceptable to do yoga without a shirt.
A yoga mat is the next essential tool in your yoga arsenal. Any basic mat that fits you is fine for beginners. Once you’ve had a little experience, you can see what kinds of mats others are using.
Yoga is a real workout, so you’ll want to bring a towel as well. In most cases, a water bottle is important too.
Of course, you’ll need something to carry it all with, so a yoga mat bag can make sure you’re well put together and organized for your first class.
Extra Yoga Accessories
Yoga blocks or yoga bricks are props used to help you perform or enhance certain yoga positions. They started as part of Iyengar Yoga, but are also used in Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga.
Different yoga poses provide different benefits. Some are perfect for burning calories and others for developing flexibility.
Here are a few yoga poses best suited for beginners. Master these, and you’ll have a solid foundation to base more advances poses on in the future.
The mountain pose is the most basic of all yoga poses. We may all be able to stand, but the mountain pose develops posture and body connectivity.
Downward facing dog is another wonderful pose that helps the whole body stretch out. It’s a great choice for handling back pain and developing flexibility all across the back of your legs.
The triangle is the first pose with two sides to it. First, you stretch one half of your body, then you perform the mirror image of the pose to stretch the other half.
Most of us have overdeveloped one side of our body relative to the other. This is the first of many yoga poses that help develops balance between our two sides.
Becoming Your Best Self
We hope you’ve learned something in this summary of yoga for beginners. To learn more about basic and advanced yoga including breathing techniques, breathing exercises, yoga postures, yoga sequences and developing your own yoga practice, then check out our other articles.