What is the best yoga class for beginners? • Basics of yoga

April 4, 2023 0 Comments

A few weeks ago, my 85-year-old grandmother called me for some advice about going to a yoga class. She’s not one of those older yogis—in fact, she’s never done yoga before, and she recently tore her meniscus. My immediate recommendation would be for her to look for chair yoga classes, restorative yoga classes, or classes designed specifically for people in her age group. When we hung up the phone, I hoped she would take my suggestions seriously, knowing that if she tried attending an all-levels or beginner yoga class, she would absolutely love it!

My grandmother is a more extreme example of how important it is to choose the right yoga class for the right person, but the same is true for all of us. While a flexible, athletic college student could probably get away with jumping into a physically challenging class as their first yoga class, that doesn’t mean they should. And let’s face it, starting something new can be intimidating when you’re just starting out.

The good news is that with so many styles and teachers, there is sure to be a yoga class for every student. For those of you not sure where to start, or for those looking to change up your current practice, here are some popular styles to consider for your first or next yoga class.

The best types of yoga for beginners

  1. Class for beginners
    If you are new to yoga, the best place to start is a newcomerwith class, even if you are strong and physically fit. This may be the only time in your yoga career that a teacher has taken the time to really break down the basic yoga poses like Downward Facing Dog and Chaturanga that cause so much trouble for students. It’s also a great way to learn the basics of pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation. Even if you’re in great shape, don’t underestimate the value of starting a beginner class—you’ll be glad you did.
  2. Flow or vinyasa yoga
    Flow/Vinyasa classes connect physical postures with breathing, including sun salutations and standing and balancing poses. Most teachers suggest movements in time with inhalations and exhalations in order to smoothly and rhythmically lead the lesson in a certain sequence. People who enjoy vinyasa are usually drawn to the free-flowing, almost dance-like nature of the practice. Due to the speed of the class, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the basics of yoga before trying a vinyasa class.
  3. Power yoga
    Power yoga is a general phrase to describe a strength-based vinyasa practice, usually in a more athletic style of yoga. These classes are often heated, but not always. This style was originally modeled on the Ashtanga yoga method, and while some may be attracted to this type of class because of the great quality of the workouts, most instructors emphasize breath work and weave in a certain yoga philosophy.
  4. Gentle yoga
    Soft classes are great for beginners and almost everyone. Basic breathing exercises are often covered here, as well as a variety of important basic yoga poses. Most gentle exercises involve sitting, standing and stretching on the floor. You may not break a sweat, but with the right teacher, you’ll likely find that a slower practice can be just as transformative and healing as it is challenging.
  5. Restorative yoga
    Aaa Restorative yoga. Expect lots of props: pads, blankets, eye pillows and a darkened room. The goal of a restorative session is to get you into a state of deep, conscious relaxation (and no one will blame you if you doze off!). Each pose can be held for up to 10 minutes or more. A restorative course is great for people who need a little relaxation and want to sleep better.
  6. Iyengar Yoga
    Focusing on proper alignment at a slow pace, Iyengar is a great option for beginners. He is known for using props such as yoga blocks, straps and blankets to reduce the risk of injury and make poses accessible to practitioners of all fitness levels. One of the main strengths of this type of yoga is its emphasis on precision and detail. It is also great for those looking for therapeutic benefits as it focuses on aligning the body. Many practitioners find this type of yoga beneficial in terms of improving posture, strength and flexibility.
  7. Hot yoga
    If you like challenges and like to sweat, then hot yoga might be for you! It’s a grueling workout that’s great for those looking to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. Hot yoga classes are held in a heated room, the temperature of which can range from 85 to 105 degrees. This allows for a deeper stretch and promotes detoxification of the body through sweating. This style is quite intense, so it is only suitable for beginners who can tolerate the heat well and are ready for hard training. With that said, warm-ups can be a great way to get in shape and increase flexibility. It’s also a great way to relax as the heat helps release tension.
  8. Yin Yoga
    Yin is a great choice for beginners who want to focus on flexibility, mindfulness and relaxation. This is a slow style of yoga that involves holding a pose longer than in other classes. It emphasizes the cultivation of calmness and awareness, allowing for a deeper exploration of the body and mind. It can be a bit intense for beginners as the poses are held for a longer period of time which increases the intensity of the stretch and requires a lot of patience and concentration.
  9. All levels of yoga:
    If you’ve been to a few classes and feel comfortable listening to the teacher’s cues—and actually knowing what she’s talking about (well, most of the time)—the world of yoga is your oyster! Lessons of all levels can be a nice collection of styles that teachers like to teach. Typically, you will find several levels of training and modifications, and one student may not do the same as another. If you’re not sure what class you’re in the mood for on a given day, consider all levels as a default option.
  10. Private classes
    If you have special needs and physical challenges, you may want to consider taking private yoga classes. Private lessons can be tailored to your individual needs and can provide a more personalized experience than a group lesson. Working one-on-one with an experienced yoga teacher can help you create a personalized practice and make sure you’re doing the poses correctly.

Choosing the best yoga style for you

This list is a good starting point, but it’s also extremely helpful for looking up class descriptions at local studios online or calling the front desk. Today’s classes vary from studio to studio, so don’t hesitate to ask a teacher or studio staff member if you have any questions about classes. That’s their job, and they’re usually pretty good at it!

Finding the best yoga class

Once you’ve decided on the best class style for your needs, you may need to choose between different studios and instructors. Doing a little research can help you find out what each studio offers, what their atmosphere is like, and what their instructor experiences are. It’s important to read reviews and experience each studio before choosing the one that’s right for you. Here are five simple tips for finding the right class for you.

  1. Consider learning style and class size
    When looking for a beginner yoga class, it’s important to consider the teaching style and class size. A smaller class size with a hands-on instructor is ideal for beginners as it provides more individualized attention and guidance. This can help ensure that the student is performing the poses correctly and prevent potential injuries. In addition, the instructor should be open to answering questions and providing additional guidance and support before or after the lesson. You can also consider the teacher’s personality. Are they warm and inviting or do they have a more serious teaching style? Do they model the poses and give enough guidance to follow, or are they more focused on the spiritual aspects of the practice? Ask yourself if their teaching style matches your personality and learning style.
  2. Ask friends and family for recommendations
    It’s important to find a course that suits your specific needs, and what better way to get that advice than from people you trust? Ask for recommendations from experienced yogis in your life. Ask them questions so you know what to expect and have confidence in making the right decision.
  3. Consider the experience and knowledge of the teacher
    An experienced instructor can provide the guidance and support needed to learn the poses safely and effectively. An experienced instructor will be able to tailor poses to your individual needs, offering adjustments and corrections to help you get the most out of your practice. An experienced teacher will also be able to provide valuable information about the practice of yoga in general, helping you gain a deeper understanding of the practice and the many benefits it offers.
  4. Read reviews about classes and teachers
    Once you’ve identified a few potential classes and teachers, take a few minutes to read reviews. Reviews can help you understand what it’s like to attend a particular class, as well as the teacher’s teaching style. If a class or instructor has only a few reviews or all of the reviews seem to be from the same person, take them with a grain of salt. Try reading reviews from different sources like Yelp, Google, or the studio’s website to get a full picture of the classes and instructors.
  5. Visit the studio beforehand to get a feel for the environment
    Before signing up for a yoga class, it’s important to visit the studio beforehand to get a feel for the environment. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the studio, the type of music the instructor plays, the props provided, and the number of people attending the class. Taking a tour of the studio and speaking with the instructor can also be helpful to learn more about the class. All of this will help you decide if the class is right for you and your goals.


The best yoga class for you depends on your personality, goals, age, and preferences. Everyone’s fitness and fitness goals are different, so it’s important to find an activity that works for you. With a little research, you can find an activity that will help you reach your fitness goals and have fun.

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