Whether you’re moving, experimenting with new schools, or trying yoga for the very first time, finding the right yoga studio can be a challenge.
Most yogis prefer a space that feels welcoming and comfortable, and that supports their goals for yoga practice. But, with new studios popping up all the time, it can be hard to know where to begin your search.
There is no one size fits all approach to finding your dream yoga studio, and you might not get lucky on the first try. But be patient! If you’re planning to practice yoga for years to come, your time will be well spent on finding the right school.
So if you’re struggling to get started with locating a studio, or feel a bit lost, don’t worry. This article is for you!
Keep reading for our top tips on finding the yoga studio that best fits your needs as a student.
Finding the Perfect Yoga Studio
No matter how good a studio sounds, you should always drop by and enjoy a class before you commit to a regular practice. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the studio itself, as well as the teachers and staff.
A studio’s first impression should begin before you even walk in the door. Is the building’s exterior clean and safe? If you called ahead, how were you treated on the phone?
If anything feels “off” while you’re getting to know a new studio, it’s OK to move on. It’s normal to try a few different locations before finding your perfect match!
What are the goals for your practice, and what yoga level are you practicing? If you’re new to the discipline, a beginner’s course might be best. But if you’ve been practicing for a while, you probably have some specifics in mind.
If you’re hoping to practice yoga for fitness, choose a studio with dynamic classes meant for strength building. Options could include calorie-burning workouts like Vinyasa flow or more advanced classes for inversions and flexibility.
When it comes to fitness-focused yoga, there are also plenty of hot trends to choose from. Bikram classes that use a heated studio and power flow sessions that combine cardio with extended poses are both top picks for athletes.
Keep in mind that yoga isn’t just about fitness. If you’re hoping to lower your stress level, improve mental clarity, and get your blood moving, a gentle class might be your best bet.
Yin classes offer a slow pace and deep stretching, perfect for letting go of a busy work week. These sessions often incorporate meditation and mindful practice, perfect for taming a busy brain.
Other low impact options like Iyengar and Hatha yoga incorporate deep breathing and tools (like straps and blocks) to help you build strength slowly and work up to more challenging poses.
Many students like to try a variety of classes before choosing a regular practice. So don’t be afraid to experiment! You may also find that a combination of different courses throughout the week fits your lifestyle best.
No matter what kind of yoga you practice, finding the right teacher is just as important as the class itself. What makes a good teacher is a very personal opinion and one that comes down to your preferences.
Before choosing a session to sign up for, it’s essential to consider what kind of teacher you prefer to work with. Do you feel comfortable with both male and female instructors? Would you rather work with someone who will adjust your poses, or just offer verbal feedback?
If you have any old injuries or personal concerns about your yoga practice, working with the right teacher is especially important. You’ll want to be led by someone who can help push you toward your goals while helping you feel safe and comfortable during class.
Thanks to the popularity of yoga studio software, many studios accept online bookings. This feature also allows students to see which instructors lead a studio’s classes.
It’s a good idea to check out a few online reviews for a prospective studio before making your first visit. You will probably see a teacher or two mentioned by name. Keep your eyes open for positive feedback, as well as any “red flag” reviews.
And if you can’t find the information you’re looking for online, don’t feel afraid to contact the studio ahead of time via phone or email. It’s completely normal to request information about instructors and classes before your visit.
If you don’t connect well with a teacher in person, it’s OK to change classes. A lack of chemistry or “click” doesn’t indicate a bad student or a bad instructor. Finding a great yoga teacher may take time and patience, but is totally worth the extra effort.
Close to Home
Simply put, you’re more likely to attend yoga classes if they are convenient to get to. Even students with the best of intentions might struggle to make it if they face a challenging commute.
Before selecting a studio, think about how far you’re willing to travel to and from each class. Don’t forget to factor in traffic, bad weather, and other variables that could impact your transit.
If you’re thinking, “I don’t have a yoga studio near me,” don’t worry.
You may be able to find classes close to your workplace or other locations you frequent. And most studios offer an area for showering and changing clothes, so you can easily squeeze in a session before or after your workday. In fact, plenty of dedicated yogis even hit the mat on their lunch break!
One of the biggest benefits of practicing studio yoga, instead of starting a home routine, is the extra motivation that comes with attending a class. Even if you’re an introvert, you’ll find an extra trip out of the house is well worth your while.
This is especially true for office employees and yoga practitioners with sedentary lifestyles.
How you feel inside the yoga studio is almost important as the classes you attend and the teachers who guide them. Most studios have a specific “vibe” that will appeal to some yogis but not others.
Does your studio of choice cater to beginners? If you aren’t familiar with yoga terms and lingo, you’ll need some help mastering the basics in simple English. And even if you’ve been practicing for years, you might prefer this more casual approach.
Class size is one of the most critical points to consider when it comes to a yoga studio’s atmosphere. It can make or break your yoga experience, especially if you’re new to the sport.
You’ll get a lot more one on one attention from your teacher in a small group setting. This extra assistance can be helpful for improving specific poses and working toward fine-tuned fitness goals. It’s also ideal for yogis looking to relax and de-stress during their session.
Larger classes often generate more “buzz” and energy. They offer a more social feeling, and can even be a great place to make new friends! If you’re hoping to walk out of the studio feeling energized, opt for a larger group practice.
You should also pay attention to the studio’s overall ambiance. What kind of music do they play? Does the studio smell clean? Do they burn incense inside? These details might seem less obvious at first, but you will absolutely notice them over time.
This is true of the studio’s visual aesthetic, too.
Yoga studio design can vary greatly, with some classrooms looking more like a gym, and others more closely resembling a lounge or relaxation space. Will you be practicing in a room with mirrors? Does the studio have a wood floor or carpet?
If you’re planning to become a regular practitioner, you should also look out for little perks around the studio. Free drinking water, fresh hand towels, and easy to access cleaning supplies can make your routine more comfortable.
If you’re adding yoga to an already busy routine, you might also benefit from choosing a studio with other facilities included. On-site bodywork and massage, spa services, guided meditation, and even healthy eateries are sometimes incorporated.
Ready, Set, Search
By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your ideal yoga studio looks like. So you’re ready to really start your search.
Check out some local websites and read plenty of online reviews to narrow down the options in your area. Then focus on the classes and teachers that you prefer.
Don’t forget that it’s perfectly normal to visit a few different locations before finding your best match. So don’t get frustrated if your search takes longer than expected.
You’ll benefit more from a studio setting that helps you feel safe, supported, and challenged, even if it’s harder to find. Ultimately, you won’t go to yoga classes in a studio that you don’t like.
Lastly, keep in mind that you should attend a class or two before committing to a practice. This trial run will allow you to assess the studio in person and make sure that it feels like a good fit!
Check out our blog for more pro tips on improving your practice, no matter where you are in your yoga journey.