There is no specific formula guaranteed to work when choosing a yoga class. One of the biggest reasons why yoga has become widely popular over the past couple of decades is the variety of available yoga styles as well as teachers, who often bring a part of their personality to the mix. This is yoga’s big advantage but can also present a vexing predicament for newcomers.
The first criteria when choosing a yoga class is to know your timetable. Yoga class should fit into a weekly routine without you having to reorganize your entire life around it. The more effort and thought you have to put in making sure you’ll be on your mat on a given day at a given time, the higher the chances it won’t work out in the long run. Take it easy on yourself. You shouldn’t have to move mountains to regularly come to a class. Yoga is supposed to be calming and fun, not nerve-wracking before it even starts.
Once you’ve established the days and times at which you could easily join a class, look up local studios, gyms or yoga instructors and find out what yoga styles are on their timetables during those time slots. Find out a bit more about a specific style. Various styles differ in tempo, dynamic, structure, and sometimes even in the way some poses look like. Most of the yoga studios have short class summaries where you can catch a glimpse of the type of class. Next, look up the teacher’s ‘About me’ section. This is a good way to assess an instructor’s personality since it’s often written by the teacher. It is equally important finding a yoga instructor whose character fits your preferences as it’s to find a particular yoga style, maybe even more so. The world’s most prominent yoga class won’t be at all pleasurable if you dislike the instructor for whatever reason.
A good way to go about it and avoid unpleasant encounters, and the fourth step in picking a yoga class, is to reach out to regular participants of a class that piqued your interest. Feel free to openly ask about their experiences with the instructor during the class and what encourages them to join that particular class every week/month. Student’s impressions of an instructor and a class speak more than any official description ever could.
And finally, the last step, try it out. By now, after taking the preceding actions, the chances are you’ll have a moderately pleasant experience, at the least. Don’t get discouraged if it isn’t completely up to your liking because finding out what you don’t like in a yoga class takes you one step closer to a class you’ll love. It often takes a couple of trials and semi-errors, which is why it’s always good to ask if taster classes or trial discounts are available: don’t feel pressured to commit without knowing what you’re committing to. There are numerous studios and yoga instructors out there who’d be happy to help you with your first yoga steps and accommodate your needs.
Oh, and the final final step: have fun.