When you’re shopping for a new TV, a pair of shoes, or home, do you pick the first one you see and call it good? Of course not! You spend hours researching all of your options, weigh the pros and cons of each, find what works for you, and only then do you commit. Searching for a yoga studio should be the same. Entrusting someone with your fitness and physical health is a huge deal, so don’t just go with any old place.
If you’re not sure where to start, try these guidelines to find the studio that’s right for you:
Every studio will offer something unique. While most will have simple yoga classes like Hatha, there are many with a wider variation. Are you looking for fast-paced Ashtanga or gentle classes like Restorative? Do you want the traditional yoga experience complete with meditation and chanting, or a strictly fitness-based routine? Figure out what experience you are looking for and pick the studio that offers what you need.
Almost more important than the studio itself are the instructors you will be working with. Everyone has their own preferences and it’s up to you to find an instructor who meshes with the way you want to learn. Are you looking for step by step instruction, or are you comfortable figuring things out on your own? Do you want a teacher that was trained in India, or does that not matter to you? It’s important to learn from someone you like and respect, otherwise you won’t get much out of class.
Proximity to Home
Face it, if your studio is even a twenty minute drive away from your home, chances are you’ll have a hard time finding the motivation to go to class. Pick a studio that’s within a distance you are willing to travel to. Also, keep in mind where you will be heading to yoga from – will you be going straight there after work or from home? The studio you choose should be closest to whichever location you will be leaving from most often.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Set an amount you’re willing to pay either per month or per class and shop around to find out the average rates in your area. Many studios offer discounts if you purchase multi-class packages, but be sure to try out a class to see if you like it before committing to more.
Here’s where the internet comes in handy. Do a quick search of the name of any studios you are considering and find some reviews. There will almost always be someone with a negative experience to talk about, but if the majority are positive then you can be fairly confident that the place is good. Some things to look out for are the credentials of the teachers, hygiene in the studio, the class price versus experience (is it worth the cost?), and the general vibe (it’s yoga, we’re allowed to talk about good vibes). A great place to check first is Yelp. It’s often not the best idea to rely on the testimonials on the studio’s website since they will only display the ones that paint them in a positive light.
Once you have done all the necessary checks, slide into your best yoga leggings and head to class. Have fun.