Yoga Classes For Beginners

Written by Beth Marlin Lichter
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Yoga classes for beginners should make the novice yoga student feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed. Whether you are interested in increasing flexibility and general well-being, or looking to compliment a fitness regimen already in place, yoga is very beneficial for mind and body.

The best way to begin a yoga practice, is in a class, with an instructor who has experience teaching the student who arrives for the first time. For many, entering a yoga class and not knowing what to expect, can be intimidating. The first step would be to research yoga studios close to home, with high quality, trained teachers and then check the schedule or confer with an employee, to figure out which class is best for you. Make sure you enter a level one, or beginner class. There are also many different types of yoga but a good place to start is with Hatha Yoga classes. This is a gentle type of yoga which combines stretching, movement and focuses on the breadth. If you have chosen a reputable studio, you will be guided towards the right class for you.

Prepare for class by wearing comfortable clothing, and because the feet play an important part in yoga, socks should be removed, and any jewelry that jingles or might get in the way should be left at home. If you don't have your own yoga mat, most studios will provide one for you, sometimes for a fee. Turn your cell phone off and be in the moment, focusing only on the good thing you are doing for yourself.

A sensitive yoga teacher will instruct you to go at your own pace, to stop if any pain occurs, and not to judge your ability to stretch and assume poses, according to what your neighbor on the mat next to yours, can do. This is not a competitive sport. It is an individual journey and an opportunity to feel more connected to your individuality.

Some yoga teachers are more apt to come around and make alignment adjustments during class. Do not hesitate to ask for help if you don't feel like you understand a particular instruction. As with any new form of physical activity, injury is possible. If the goal is to reach your hands to the floor, in a standing pose, and you have pushed past the point of comfort and safety to do so, you could end up with a torn hamstring muscle. The goal in yoga is to improve one's health and well-being, with each student working within his or her capabilities.

If there are no yoga studios in close proximity to fit your needs, many gyms offer classes as well. Go online to research what is offered in your community. Perhaps you have been passing by a studio every day on your way to work, wondering what it's like. Pop in and say hello. Most yogis are really nice people, who will happily give you information and the encouragement you need to get started.


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