Last time, I gave you some pointers on identifying what you want out of a yoga class. Now let’s figure out how to find the right class!
- Try different search methods to find an appropriate yoga class in your area.
Once you know what you’re looking for in a yoga class, it’s time to go find one! Yoga classes are held in a variety of places: there are independent yoga studios, of course, but you can also find yoga at a gym or YMCA, or at an unlikely spot like a dance studio, a church, a garden, someone’s home, or even your own workplace!
Gyms and YMCAs are often good, affordable options when you’re just starting out with yoga. These places usually offer yoga classes to their members along with other exercise classes as a part of your monthly membership. Joining a gym can be more cost effective than taking yoga classes at a studio, but you’re likely to get less variety and more emphasis on the physical workout at a gym. Many gyms will offer a trial membership, so you can check it out for a week and see if you like it. Call and ask if this is an option, and if it is, take full advantage!
If you want to try yoga at a yoga studio, there are several ways to find one in your area. Yogajournal.com maintains a directory of yoga studios, which is a good way to get ideas, but not every studio is registered there (I just looked at Pennsylvania, and while there are 101 listings in PA, the two studios where I practice most often aren’t listed). You can also look at local resources like yelp.com, where you can see ratings from other yoga students in your area (and both my favorite studios do show up on yelp). You could even just go to googlemaps and search for “yoga near” your zip code. If you don’t see what you’re looking for under one search, try again on a different site!
Another option is to look for an individual yoga teacher. Yoga Alliance, the national education and support organization for yoga in the United States, maintains a directory of registered yoga teachers (RYTs) who have completed the training requirements (i.e., what I’m doing right now). There may be a yoga teacher in your area who doesn’t teach at a studio or gym but who does private lessons or small home classes. Looking for a teacher might be good for you if you have an irregular schedule and can’t make it to a regular class, or if you have physical problems that make it hard to leave home: bring the yoga to you!
Finally, word of mouth is a great way to find yoga classes. Maybe there’s a yoga class that meets weekly in the basement of the church up the street from you, or maybe your daughter’s dance teacher rents her studio out to a yoga teacher on Sunday mornings. Yoga can crop up in the unlikeliest of places. Look on bulletin boards at the grocery store!
Or maybe some of your colleagues have been wanting to try yoga too – go together to your HR department to see if you could get a class started at your office! Yoga at the workplace can be a nice thing for an employer to do, since it boosts morale and improves fitness (which means fewer injuries and lower health costs!). And sometimes, if enough employees are interested, the employer may subsidize the cost of the classes, leading to cheaper yoga for you. It doesn’t hurt to ask! (And if your employer is willing but you need to find a teacher, check out the Yoga Alliance yoga teacher directory!) If you tell people you want to try yoga, you might be surprised at where it leads you.
Next time: making the most of your first yoga class!