I'm very new to yoga. I'm looking for a nice exercise, but I want to get used to the practice and poses first. What is the best yoga style for beginners? Selma S.
Hi there, Selma! I’m glad you asked this question, because I often see people, beginners or otherwise, in the “wrong” class. Now, of course, yoga is for everyone, but there are certainly styles and classes that are better for different kinds of people.
First and foremost, regardless of what style of yoga you ultimately want to practice, I definitely recommend attending a few classes designed specifically for beginners. Here, the teacher should thoroughly explain the poses and sequences well enough that after a few classes, you’ll begin to really get the hang of it, and can start going to all-levels classes. Beginners’ classes are for exactly what they seem to be for- learning the basics and foundations of yoga.
As for styles, there are so many different types, and your choice of what is right for you will depend on what you want to get out of your yoga practice. Are you looking for a vigorous workout? Or maybe just a way to relieve stress?
If you’re looking for a way to get in shape, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Power, or Bikram yoga would all be good choices. They provide more of a workout than other styles do, and will certainly make you sweat.
If you want to look for a way to start connecting with yourself spiritually, I recommend beginning a meditation practice. Many studios offer free meditation sessions that also introduce yoga philosophy and chanting. Kudalini yoga focuses a lot on the spiritual aspect of yoga, and teachers often instruct their students through pranayama, or breathing, exercises and meditation.
If you’re working with an injury or illness, try to find yoga classes that focus primarily on alignment, like Iyengar yoga. These classes are safe and tend to be a bit slower and more breathing-oriented.
If the only classes that are made available to you are those you may not feel 100% comfortable attending, talk to the teacher or studio owner to see how they can accommodate you. Many teachers are more than happy to give guidance and adjustments during the class. There are almost always ways to modify postures to make them suitable for you, whether you’re a beginner, injured, or are just having an “off” day.