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How to choose a Yoga Studio

by Kayma Englund
The influx of Yoga is across the globe is amazing as it continues to spreads powerful and positive ancient teachings, giving all keys to better health and a better life. With its boom, also comes the difficulty of choosing the right Yoga studio as the variety of yoga styles, teachers and methods are vast and often hard to navigate. Luckily, the ancient statement is true. There is a teacher for every student, and in turn a studio for every student. Maybe you are new to yoga, moved to a new location or simply want to make a shift to a studio that better suits your needs and goals. Here is an easy guide to follow as you begin or continue your yogic path.

Factors to Consider

  • Yoga Style or Lineage
  • With Yoga’s popularity also comes many variations on this ancient tradition with many styles and lineages. You can find classes ranging from traditional to modern, spiritual to aerobic and flowing to therapeutic. Also, it is fair to note that as Yoga has become a mainstream business, some studios even provide a script for teachers to follow to ensure students are receiving a consistent, streamlined experience while other studios allow teachers to bring their unique offering.

    Eagle Pose. Vinyasa Flow Class
    Eagle Pose. Vinyasa Flow Class

    Here is a breakdown of commonly listed Yoga styles:
    Vinyasa – An active, flow-style method linking breath to movement
    Hatha- A well-rounded practice of static physical postures, breath and meditation aiming to create balance in body, mind and spirit.
    Iyengar – A traditional, alignment based Yoga method great for those looking for an intelligent and refined class
    Hot – A vigorous class done in rooms heated 80-105 degrees. Expect to sweat!
    Yin – Longer held postures that work with the body’s energy lines
    Kundalini – A spiritual, breath-centered approach aimed to raise the energy and vitality of the individual
    Prenatal – Caters to women who are in all stages of pregnancy to help relieve discomfort and build the strength and tools needed for a healthy childbirth.
    Therapeutic – Classes with a therapeutic focus great for those working with a particular injury, dis-ease or discomfort.

  • Teachers
  • All teachers come with their own personality, training and experience. Studios will often hire brand new teachers while others pride those with at least 5 years experience. Check their bios listed on the studio website to learn more about their teaching style, experience and to see if you relate to their story or interests.

    Todd Norian Workshop. Shri Yoga Studio, Montreal, October 21, 2012
    Todd Norian Workshop. Shri Yoga Studio, Montreal, October 21, 2012
    Photo: Elidr
  • Level of Experience
  • If you are fresh to the practice, consider finding a studio that offers Level 1, Beginner or Foundational classes. Putting yourself into an advanced Yoga class before you properly build the foundation and skills needed can often lead to discouragement or injury. If you are looking for more depth or advancement consider finding a studio with more experienced teachers or that offer a more traditional or alignment based style.

  • Studio Size
  • Studio size can range from 10 to up to 100 students. Are you looking for more attention or want to get lost in the crowd?

Iyengar Yoga Napa Valley Studio, St Helena, CA
Iyengar Yoga Napa Valley Studio, St Helena, CA

What you can do

  • Check out Website and Social Media
  • Almost every studio will have a website and social media resource. Check out their photos and information. Do the people, space and verbiage speak to you? Are they relatable? Do you fit in with the demographic(s) featured in their images?

  • Call or Visit
  • Pick a studio in your area give them a call or even go check out the space in person. Many studios have someone working at their front desk full-time who are happy to show newcomers around and give them information on their classes and offerings.

  • Try a New Student Special
  • Studios often provide those who are new with a free class or reduced rate trial to see if it is a right fit before making a commitment.

  • Meet your community
  • Ask a neighbor or the barista at your local coffee shop. Chances are they or someone they know practices yoga and can help lead you in the right direction.

Remember, it may take a little time and discovery, but like the practice it is about the journey not the destination. Have fun with the process and remember that your body is a temple that deserves the lifelong benefits of a safe and supportive Yoga practice!



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