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Four things to think about before joining a Yoga class

20th February 2017

Four things to think about before joining a Yoga class
For a complete novice, Yoga might be a bit daunting before you try it. With so many different yoga styles, it can be hard to know where the best place to start is. On top of that, there's important questions like, which studio should I go to? What equipment do I need?

These are all questions with simple answers and we're here to give you them...

1) How to choose the right yoga instructor or studio

This is the obvious question. With so many yoga studios and instructors available, it's important to find a teacher that's going to make you enjoy it.

Yoga is about being comfortable and if you're not when you first start, you should quickly relax. A good teacher will help you feel at ease and allow you to open your mind. The spiritual and emotional benefits of yoga should not be understated.

A good place to start is to look for a local yoga class. What's most convenient? By entering your postcode on our NearYou iPhone App, you'll be able to see what is available near you. Think about how you can get there, is there a public transport stop nearby? Or is there parking if you need drive?

Once you know what is nearby, have a look at what offers might be on for beginners, everyone loves a bargain. It's also important to check out the teacher's qualifications. You might be looking for a class suitable to injury rehabilitation or pregnancy, so it's always best to find someone who has a specialist qualification in these areas.

2) What should I wear to a yoga class? Should I take anything with me?

As we already said, yoga is about feeling comfortable. Some poses require quite a lot of flexibility, so anything too short and tight might be a bit revealing. Yoga pants or sports leggings are perfect for the bottom half.

For the top half, a sports bra is the obvious choice for women, with a fairly tight t-shirt or tank top. Some poses will require bending over, so a loose-fitting top will flop down over your face and leave you a bit tangled.

In a nutshell: Not too loose, not too tight.

For men it's a bit easier. A fairly tight fitting t-shirt and a pair of sports shorts will do the trick nicely.

3) Which type of yoga is best for beginners?

Now this depends on a whole number of factors, mainly – what is your goal? What are you trying to get out of a yoga class.

If you want fitness benefits, then you're better off looking for a yoga style with 'flow' or 'power' in the name. These are more challenging styles that help you build up core strength and cardiovascular endurance. Vinyasa flow yoga classes, core power yoga and hot yoga classes are particularly good for this.

If you're a bit older and fancy something more gentle, then yin yoga classes are very suitable. It targets the joints rather than the muscles, so it's great for improving mobility and helps to make day-to-day tasks easier and pain free.

Alternatively, you might be more interested in the spiritual side of yoga. In which case, a meditation class is what you need. You'll learn how to connect mind and body and won't need to work up a sweat while you do it.

If you're not sure what you're looking for, then there are number of more generic styles of yoga that cover a bit of everything. Hatha Yoga is the most popular and covers all of the basics. Kundalini yoga and iyengar yoga are also pretty popular.

4) Is yoga suitable for pregnancy?

Absolutely. Yoga is very good for pregnant women, both prior to birth and after! Antenatal yoga classes teach important breathing techniques that allow you to control breathing during labour and for many, it helps them to stay calm.

Post labour, yoga is equally effective in a variety of ways. Classes help you regain your pre-baby body and certain poses help to repair the pelvic floor muscles weakened at birth.

Parent and baby yoga classes can also be beneficial. The classes give the baby an early understanding of movement but also help to strengthen the bond between parent and child.

5) How do I find a local yoga class?

Once you've considered all of your options, use the NearYou iPhone App to see what's available in your local area. You can use the filters to search for different yoga styles, experience levels and dates.

Alternatively, you can find the same information on this website by searching on the homepage, or you can head across to mynearyou.com, our web version of the NearYou App.

Combined, the NearYou platform is making it easier than ever to connect you with a yoga class. Now you can find your favourite class even faster. All you need to do is download the App!