Being the yoga evangelist that I am, I was encouraging a friend to actually go to a yoga studio instead of just YouTubing all the poses. Then she was like, "Hey Paige, this would be a great blog post!"
So pardon me while I continue to vomit yoga all over you. What's that? You haven't tried it yet? Not at a real studio with an instructor and with other students and all their energy?! You're missing out! There's certainly a place for a home practice and YouTube and DVD's. But if you haven't made it to a studio yet, I encourage you to give it a shot.
Don't know where to start? I got you.
How to pick a yoga studio
- Google yoga studios in your zip code or in your town. Hopefully, you have more than one option within a reasonable driving distance to your house or work. Proximity is key - if it's too far, you're far less likely to go!
- Pull up their websites and compare their schedules. Perhaps you're new to yoga and want to keep your class to a Beginners Yoga or Yoga Basics. Look and see when those are. If they're only at noon and you can't take a class on your lunch break, that's not a good studio for you! My former studio was less than two miles from my office and had a 5:30 advanced class - perfect for me to get off work at 5pm, change my clothes and get on my mat with time to spare! My current studio has wonderful noon classes that work well with Henry's napping schedule. Pick a studio that is close and flows with your daily schedule (pun intended. Yoga flow, flows with life? I'm so dang witty.)
- Once you've found a fit with location and schedule, look at their pricing. Most studios have drop in rates from $10-$20 per class. That gets expensive quickly! Also common is ____ (number of days) for $____ (the same dollar amount). This could either be a great deal or the worst deal! Let's say it's 20 days for $20. You think you'll go five times a week! You're so motivated! But you end up going twice. You now just paid the drop-in rate for classes, which is the most expensive option. Your best bet is to get a package of classes (perhaps five or 10 classes) that don't have an expiration date so that you can use them at your leisure. If you end up using them all in a week or two, you should look into the monthly unlimited membership, you bada$$ yogi.
- Know if the studio has mats and towels available for you to use, or if they charge for it. I personally hate studios that charge. I mean, you're already paying for the class, why can't you use a mat that you'll even clean yourself?! Anyway, if they do charge for them, consider purchasing your mat and bring your own towel. Those $3 mat rentals can add up quickly!
- Tell your yoga instructor you're new! S/he will make sure to keep an eye on you and help you if you're unsure on how to do a pose.
There you have it! After that, it's all about finding the instructors you connect with, but that's another yoga post for another time.