My interest in yoga happened naturally. I was in college at Tulane University in New Orleans a couple decades ago. There was a Hatha yoga class offered at the gym, free to students.
Having grown up a dancer, yoga was an easy progression for me, and much more enjoyable than step aerobics, weight lifting, or even Pilates. I travelled to India at the age of 20 and fell in love with the culture of the spiritually-oriented country. I was transformed after spending just 5 days in Tamil Nadu.
Since then, not a day has gone by that I’ve not done at least a few minutes of yoga or contemplation or meditation. While your journey into yoga might not happen as organically, it’s probably already happening to some degree, if you’re reading this article.
How might you get into yoga? How might you take that first step and start a yoga practice? Let’s find out!
Take Advantage of New Student Specials
Most yoga studios offer really great specials for beginners. Trying a month of yoga classes at a studio near your work or home is an ideal way to get into yoga.
You typically can’t beat the price—many offer unlimited classes for a month for $30. Others offer 2 weeks of unlimited yoga for $20.
These specials are great introductory offers that give you a chance to see if you like a particular studio. They can also kickstart your entree into yoga by welcoming you into a yoga community that’s already thriving.
If you're nervous about trying your first ever yoga class, show up to the class a few minutes early and introduce yourself to the teacher. A good teacher that knows that you are brand new to yoga, will make sure to help you along the class and do their best to assist you through the postures and transitions.
Try Different Styles
Finding the yoga class that is right for you can be a bit like buying a new pair of shoes. Sometimes you have to try on a couple of pairs until you find the ones that fit right and are comfortable for you.
There are many different kinds of yoga. Hatha, Ashtanga, Bikram, hot yoga, vinyasa, restorative, yin yoga, kundalini yoga, just to name a few. If you try one style of yoga and find it odd or uncomfortable, don't be discouraged! It may just be that that style of yoga didn't fit your needs.
Don't be afraid to try out a few different kinds of yoga until you find the one that resonates with you.
Join an Online Yoga Subscription Program
Maybe you’re like me, and you prefer to do yoga in the comfort of your own home, and at a price that’s minimal. Online yoga subscriptions offer hundreds of classes from dozens of different teachers. And the cost is low, averaging $15 per month.
Yogaglo, Gaia TV, Yoga Download, Yoga Today, Yoga Vibes, The Yoga Collective, Yoga Anytime—these are all legit online yoga communities that offer an array of classes in every style, level, and duration imaginable. Joining an online yoga community is yet another wonderful way to get into yoga.
If the idea of going into a yoga class with no experience makes you anxious, online yoga classes can be a great way to build a beginner foundation. They also give you the flexibility of being able to practice whenever and wherever you want.
Go on a Yoga Retreat
Maybe you’re the type of person who needs an intensive, life-changing experience to get you into something. Travel might be a part of this transformation.
Hundreds, if not thousands of yoga retreats grace the globe. You can pick from a myriad of exotic locations, and an even greater array of styles, themes, and healing programs.
Ever dreamed of surfing the North Shore of Oahu at dawn, while winding down to gentle yoga classes at sunset? There’s a yoga/surf retreat for that!
Ever wanted to retreat to Tuscany to do yoga and sip Montepulciano? There’s a retreat for that, too!
Maybe you’ve conjured up an adventure that combines spiritual transformation with yoga and art. Yep. There’s a retreat to fulfill those fantasies as well!
Sometimes we need an extraordinary experience (like I did when I traveled to India) to really seal the yoga deal. There’s nothing wrong with that, and that’s what the yoga retreat experience is for! (Learn more in What to Expect from a Yoga Retreat.)
Read about Yoga
If you’re the bookish type, you might need a good book to jumpstart your personal journey into yoga. It was a book that initiated my journey into flamenco dance.
Sometimes, reading an inspiring book that explores yoga philosophy or one person’s yoga transformation is exactly what you need to get into yoga.
Luckily for us, there are hundreds of yoga books out there that run the gamut. Some are memoirs, others treatises on a particular style, like ashtanga, for example. Yet others explore yoga philosophy and its profound wisdom. Check out a few books from your local library to get started.
Find a Yoga Buddy
Do you have a friend who also wants to get into yoga, but doesn’t know where to start? It can be difficult to begin a new project, and having a friend to hold your hand, just in the beginning, can be really important.
Maybe you’re going through a rough patch in your life. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one or a relationship has ended. You might sense yoga to be the answer during this transitional time.
Most people find benefit from yoga, so the more the merrier! Carpool with your friend to weekly yoga classes, or simply do yoga together in a park, at home, or poolside!
Watch a Yoga Documentary
Sometimes a really good film or documentary lights the fire you’ve longed for. Yoga films and documentaries grace the internet. Netflix has a handful of them, too.
Watching a film on the big screen about how yoga changes lives might be exactly what you need to get into yoga. So, pop yourself some popcorn with sea salt, coconut oil, and nutritional yeast, and treat yourself to a night of yoga movies!
The Hardest Thing to do is Start
Getting into yoga might be difficult at the get-go. But remember, that yoga is for everybody and for every body.
No matter your experience or physical ability starting off, there is a place in the yoga community for you.
And, once you’ve begun your journey, you just might wonder why you didn’t start years ago. Yoga might become your new healthy addiction. I know it’s been mine for years!