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Types of Beginner Yoga Classes

Types of Beginner Yoga Classes

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in starting your yoga practice. That’s great news! Because yoga can be incredible healing for the mind, body, and heart. 

In fact, the word “yoga” actually translates to “yoke,” or union. Although union can be interpreted in many different ways, one lens through which I like to observe this connection is through the mind, body, and heart. In yoga, we are also bringing together breath with movement, intention with movement, and community through gathering. 

While there are so many reasons why someone decides to start yoga for the first time, the important thing is that you’re doing just that….you’re trying! And, I get it, trying something new- anything, not just yoga- can be intimidating. So much so, it can deter you from actually trying at all. 

The purpose of this post is to provide a variety of options for new yoga practitioners. So that you can feel safe and supported through the process of your yoga journey. As with most yoga teachers, my hope is to get as many people trying yoga as possible. Remember, regardless of the style, the location, or the preference- just getting on your mat, and taking time to show up for YOU, is enough.  

Types of Beginner Yoga Classes

5 Types of Beginner Yoga Classes

Now that you’re ready to take the leap, and get started with your yoga journey, perhaps you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the opinions out there. I get it, there are five million and one different types of yoga classes nowadays. This post will help you narrow it down to know the best place to start for YOU, and your needs. 

Best Yoga Classes For Beginners

Typically the first place most people start is by looking at their local yoga studio for the best yoga class for them. Now, when you look at the schedule, you’ll see all of these foreign words like Vinyasa, Yin, Hatha, and probably have no idea what they mean. That’s okay! These are just different styles of yoga. And, I’ll break it down for you now. 

The most important thing to remember with any style that you choose, is that you check the skill level for each class. You’ll want to make sure that you join a beginner class. Or open-level class, in order to feel the most comfortable. Hot yoga classes, as well as Ashtanga Yoga, can be quite challenging classes to start as a beginner. I would wait until you have at least 10 classes under your belt, before venturing into either of those.  

Vinyasa Yoga Classes 

Vinyasa yoga is one of the most popular styles of modern yoga. It provides a faster pace of creative yoga flows to create one large sequence. Typically, Vinyasa classes move “breath to movement,” which means you’ll match your movement with either an inhale or an exhale. This is a great option for beginners who are interested in more dynamic, creative experiences. As opposed to longer holding yoga poses. 

Hatha Yoga Classes

Hatha yoga tends to have longer holds, and less of flowy nature to it. If you’re taking beginner Hatha yoga classes, chances are you’ll visit the primary, basic poses that are a great foundation from which you can build your yoga journey upon. Hatha Yoga is a great place to start if you want a slower entry into the practice. So that you can better understand the alignment of each yoga pose. Remember, slower doesn’t necessarily mean easier! Sometimes it’s even harder to hold something, as opposed to moving right through it. 

Yin Yoga Classes

Yin yoga classes provide a deeper stretching than any other type of class. This is because you’ll hold each pose for several MINUTES. Don’t worry, there are plenty of yoga blocks, straps,  bolsters, and other yoga props that will help your body stay in one position for a longer period of time. Yin yoga is a great place for beginners to start who are looking for increased flexibility. And slowing down in their busy day. While this practice is physical, it’s often much more of a mental exercise for students, as they tap into a deep meditative state. 

Online Yoga Classes For Beginners

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, it can be scary to try something new for the first time. Sometimes the fear gets so big, it blocks you from trying at all. After all, stepping into a yoga studio can be intimidating! 

This is why online yoga classes for beginners can be so helpful for those of you battling nerves when it comes to trying yoga for the first time. You can take these classes in the comfort of your own home, and once you gain the basic understanding of the yoga practice, then you can venture into yoga studios should you choose. 

Yoga Apps

There are plenty of yoga apps out there to choose from nowadays. But, I can’t not shamelessly plug the online spaces where I’ve worked. Alo Moves is a great platform, where you can find a variety of my classes once you reach an intermediate level. And then my app is my current online space where I have hundreds of all level classes. I even have a section called ABSOLUTE BEGINNER, which is for all of you brand new yogis out there. 

Zoom Yoga Classes

Perhaps you have a yoga teacher friend already. If you do, chances are, they have Zoom classes! While the Zoom craze has certainly died down since the Covid era, it’s still pretty prominent with many teachers, as they’re able to reach more people. If you’re unsure, you can also check out big yoga teachers online to see what their online Zoom offerings are. 

Bundle Yoga Classes

Hopefully the yoga teachers who are teaching on Zoom save their recordings, and sell them as bundle classes. If not, and you’re a yoga teacher reading this- then make sure you start doing that now! Otherwise, you can mostly count on skilled yoga teachers to have a variety of bundle classes available. I have bundles available for when your practice is more advanced, as opposed to brand new. This is a great option for those of you who want to practice online, but don’t want to commit to a subscription. It’s just a one-time purchase. 

Free Beginner Yoga Classes

Free Beginner Yoga Classes

Since you’re just starting your yoga journey, I can understand feeling a little apprehensive about diving into a full blown membership, class bundle fees, or drop-in studio rates. Yoga can be expensive! Which is ironic, because yoga teachers don’t get paid much at all, considering the high rates of studio classes. Regardless, looking for free yoga classes to start is the perfect way to get your feet wet in the yoga world. 

Social Media Yoga Classes

Social media is a great place to begin integrating into the modern yoga community. You can find a variety of teachers with ALL different styles, offerings, and classes. Typically, teachers will have at least one free class on their channel, and will also share about new classes they have coming up. 

Youtube Yoga Classes

The most famous Youtube yoga sensation is Yoga With Adrienne. My wife (who’s a beginner btw), loves to take her classes for beginners.. While YWA is a Youtube hit with hundreds of yoga classes, there are also plenty of other teachers who have a solid presence on Youtube that you can learn from as well. The best way to check is simply by typing “beginner yoga classes” into the search bar, and seeing what comes up. 

Private Yoga Classes For Beginners

While private yoga classes are certainly a pricier entry point into yoga, they can also provide a deep understanding of the yoga practice, so that you feel more comfortable trying group classes in the future. 

In Person Private Yoga 

Getting a bundle of in-person private yoga classes is the best place to start, because the teacher will be able to help you in a more hands-on way than an online class will provide. If you’re unsure of where to start, you can ask your yoga teacher friends, put a question box up on your IG stories, or check out Yelp for the top studio in your area, and then ask the studio about their private class options. 

Online Private Yoga

While online private yoga doesn’t offer the same hands-on approach as in-person, it tends to come at a slightly cheaper hourly rate. And, you don’t have to spend time commuting to/from the studio. Yoga for beginners can easily be broken down in online private classes, and this will help to set you up for success when you’re ready to try group classes in the future. 

Group Private Yoga

The final option for private yoga classes is to opt for a group private class, which means there are anywhere from 2 – 4 of you in the class. All yoga teachers are different in terms of how many people they allow in a group private class, but I personally allow up to 4 people. Ideally, you have 4 absolute beginners in the class, so that you’re able to get the most catered experience possible. The benefit of a group private class is that it’ll be much cheaper than an individual private yoga class, while still maintaining the integrity of the in-person experience. 

Yoga Prop Classes For Beginners

The most important component to remember when you’re booking your first yoga class is to remember to check the skill level of the class. Say the Vinyasa Yoga category piqued your interest, and you see a Vinyasa class on your local studio’s schedule. You’ll want to make sure this is a beginner friendly Vinyasa class, or at the very least, open level. 

Beginner and open level yoga classes will often come equipped with a variety of yoga props, which is really helpful for new yoga practitioners, because it makes the yoga poses more accessible. If you’re unsure whether there are props available, call and ask the studio or teacher directly. This is important as a new student. 

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga is a style of yoga that focuses heavily on the use of yoga props in classes to ensure you’re achieving correct, classical yoga alignment. You will hold shapes for long periods of time with the support of the yoga props. However, just because you have plenty of props, this doesn’t mean this style is easy! I mean, c’mon, think about holding downward facing dog for several minutes- as you can imagine, it’s equally challenging, and rewarding. 

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga classes are great for those with extremely limited strength, mobility, and balance. The use of the chair comes from Inyengar, and has been adapted especially for demographics of people such as elderly or differently abled. Sometimes chair yoga classes don’t even use yoga mats at all, and you’re able to do the entire sequence with the chair. While other times, it’s a yoga class that’s a blend of mat and chair work. 

Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga is an even gentler version of Yin Yoga. There tends to be even MORE props available, and less intensity in the shapes themselves. Similar to Yin yoga, Restorative yoga is a great option for beginner yogis who are interested in deepening their mental exercise through stillness, long holds, and meditation. If you have a super busy, fast-paced life, then something different to that pace, like Restorative, is a wonderful option in achieving more balance in life. 

Well, my friends, there you have it. You’re equipped with all kinds of beginner yoga options to choose from! While there are still plenty of choices, my hope is that this post helped you to narrow down the best choice for YOU and your needs as you embark on this exciting new journey. 

Most of all, I’m proud of you for starting. 

See you on the mat. 

x, 

K

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