Whether your goal is to find a little inner peace, develop one of those highly sought-after "yoga butts" or simply get more flexible, there's a perfect-for-you yoga class out there. I'm here to help you find it. I know your hamstrings are quaking to learn more, so let's dive in.
There are main three things to consider when choosing a yoga class:
1. The venue. Swanky studios, round-the-clock gyms, martial arts studios and even community centers and local churches have caught on to the yoga buzz. Take a little time to figure out what you do -- and don't -- want from your venue. If you don't dig mirrors all around, the gym setting is probably not for you. If you prefer somewhere that provides mats and props like blocks and bolsters, don't head to a community center. On a serious budget? Studios devoted to yoga may not be the best bet. But no matter which venue you're leaning toward, always ask if you can try out a class for free before you commit.
2. The style. There are so many styles out there. The best one to choose depends on what you're looking for. Use this guide to help you find your match.
3. The instructor. These days, it seems like practically anyone can call themselves a yoga teacher. Don't be fooled. You want someone who has been certified by the Yoga Alliance -- they regulate teacher training and offer continuing education for certified yoga teachers. Look up instructors at the Yoga Alliance website or ask for proof of certification before you commit to a class. Beyond that, look for someone whose style -- hands-on or -off, talkative or not, insisting on background music or preferring quiet, etc. -- you feel comfortable with.
Wherever you end up, allow me to give you one last piece of advice: Leave self-judgment and the quest for perfection at the door when you arrive. Remember, yoga is a journey -- and it's meant to be enjoyed.
Once you've chosen your class, do you know how to avoid injury? Test your asana smarts with this yoga safety quiz.