I just got a question from a blogger asking what I would suggest for people who want to start doing yoga and I thought it would be a great question to answer and tell you guys a little bit of my experience. I’m a beginner myself; I started doing yoga in February 2012 and have been doing it 4-5 times a week since then. At the studio I go to, there’s about 5 types of yoga: Bikram (hot), Vinyasa (Tranquil, Dynamic, & Power), Yin, Gentle, and Detox; occasionally there’s anusara yoga which is all about alignment and kid’s (family) yoga. The studio I go to has started a cardio yoga class on the weekends and it’s kick***. Really fast-paced yoga that works on your core, glutes, and legs for 1 hour in a hearted 95 degrees room. If anyone is in San Jose, CA, I really suggest going to Balance Yoga Center. The teachers and the community is great. What I suggest for beginners is: most yoga studios offer a one month trial for about $30-40 dollars. I suggest that you take GREAT advantage of that and try out all the types of yoga with different teachers to figure out which classes and teachers you like. I know yoga can be super expensive; they average about $100-120 dollars a month. (OUCH!, I know) Yoga has been a blessing in my life though. Before I came to yoga, I wasn’t very healthy; I rarely exercised…sure I joined gyms and tried running but it wasn’t something that I LOVED so it was hard to keep up with it…I would only be good for 1-2 weeks and then give up. I had CRAZY anxiety to the point where I didn’t want to go out or go to school. I knew that I had to make a change in my life. I was borderline depression from all the anxiety I had. Going to yoga helped me embrace my body and most importantly, help me learn to breathe through every situation. I’m more stable emotionally now and my anxiety is practically nonexistant. I learned to eat healthy, be more mindful, and even be more eco-friendly. All my friends think I’ve gone to the hippie side; Haha…but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all! I’m going to tell you guys a little bit about each of the types of yoga until I ramble on forever.
Bikram Yoga: you’re in 105 degrees room with about 40% humidity. There are 26 asanas (poses) and you go through each pose twice. There’s not a lot of changes in Bikram so after a week of going, you should be comfortable with the routine. Tip: Bring a towel, you’ll literally be able to ring out your clothes.
Vinyasa Yoga: this is flow yoga. You link your breath with each pose and are constantly moving. It requires a lot of strength in these classes. I suggest going to tranquil first because it is slower and non-heated. Dynamic is heated to 85-95 degrees and is for intermediates and Power is heated as well but for advanced students (you can expect to do a lot of arm balances in this class)
Yin Yoga: Great class for stretching and relaxing. It is in a non-heated room and you get into stretching poses and hold them for 3-5 minutes each. It really increases your flexibility and is a great start for beginners.
Gentle Yoga: This is also a flow class and prepares you for Vinyasa yoga. I suggest going to this class before going to Vinyasa.
Detox Yoga: HARD HARD HARD, CHALLENGING for beginners. I suggest doing a month of yoga before you try to detox. Detox yoga is great. The poses are designed to release all the toxins from your body. Many people who finish the class say that they feel like they have the flu or a headache and that’s great because that mean that it’s working. Don’t be surprised if you use the restroom 10 times that day. Haha TMI!
You know, my first few experiences in yoga were hard. I got lost quite a bit but keeping up with it has helped me learn to love it even more. You can see yourself getting stronger everyday. If you get lost, don’t worry, just breathe. It doesn’t matter if you’re in child’s pose the whole entire class. If you’re breathing, to me, you’re doing yoga. I hope everyone gives it a try. Let me know how you love it. =P
Wanderlust: Yoga in the City. Location: San Francisco
*Next yoga entry will be about: Wanderlust: Yoga in the City