There are so many options when it comes to practicing yoga it might feel overwhelming to decide how to get started. You may have heard the terms Acro-Yoga, Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and so many other options for your practice, but after hearing all these terms you might be wondering what is yoga? A simple definition of yoga is describes as;
“A place of discovery and connection with your own body that encompasses balance, proper stretching techniques, breathing, meditation, centering the mind and spirit — that’s yoga in its real form.”
Now that you have a basic understanding of what yoga is and what it encompasses the next step is deciding what type of practice you want to do. Trying different types of practices can be helpful for some people but if you know what you're looking to get out of your practice here are a few suggestions.
If you’re looking for a good sweat — Try Power Yoga.
Power Yoga is more active and is done at a quicker pace than other styles of yoga. Power yoga is also often done as hot yoga, where the room is anywhere from 90 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll definitely get in a good sweat!
If you need to take a moment to relax and destress — Try Restorative Yoga
Restorative Yoga’s goal is to relax into the different poses you do, with each pose being held for at least 5 minutes. When holding these poses yoga props are also used to help support you while holding each pose. This type of yoga also sometimes incorporates guided meditation to further focus on de-stressing and down-regulating the nervous system.
If you want to try something new with a partner — Try Acro Yoga
Acro Yoga takes basic yoga poses and adds a twist by adding a partner. One partner is the “base” of the pose and the other is the one doing the actual pose. This can seem scary at first but after some practice, you can focus on communication with your partner and explore your yoga practice in a fun new way.
If you aren’t sure where to start — Try Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga is the most popular type of yoga in the United States and is often referred to as flow yoga. This type of yoga focuses on pairing the poses being done with the flow of your breath. You will often hear the words flow, slow, dynamic, and mindful in this practice.
Focusing on the basics.
Before you dive into your first yoga class you might want to familiarize yourself with these 7 basic yoga poses. The first word written is the common English translation and the word to its right is the original Sanskrit term. Don’t stress if you hear a word you don’t know while you’re in your practice though - it is all a learning process!
Cat Pose — Marjaryasana
Cow Pose — Bitilasana
Warrior 1 — Virabhadrasana I
Child’s Pose — Balasana
Downward Facing Dog — Adho mukha svanasana
Happy Baby Pose — Ananda Balasana
Corpse Pose — Shavasana
How to Get Started?
Now that you have a better understanding as to what yoga is and what the basic poses are, where do you begin?! Our first recommendation would be to do a quick Google search for yoga classes in your area (support small!).
If you’re in the NYC area here are some great studios to check out
HeatWise - Offers a variety of classes and currently has live-stream, video on demand, and private in-person options for classes.
Yoga Maya New York - Offers a variety of classes including flow, mini-sessions/lessons, floor, restorative, and pre/postnatal practices. Their classes are currently offered online through a video-on-demand feature.
LL Studio Yoga - Offers a wide variety of classes and is currently offering live online classes and in-person semi-private classes.
The Studio - Offers a variety of hatha yoga and meditation practices. They are currently offering daily live video classes.
If there aren’t any studios or online options in your local area here are four great online beginners yoga classes.
Yoga with Adrienne - Yoga For Complete Beginners - 20 Minute Home Yoga Workout!
Yoga with Kassandra - 30 min Beginner Yoga - Full Body Yoga Stretch No Props Needed
Boho Beautiful Yoga - Easy Yoga For Beginners | Full Body Gentle Flow
Breathe and Flow - Yoga For Beginners: 22 Minute Yoga Flow At Home | Breathe and Flow Yoga