How to Find the Yoga Studio That’s Right for You
With more and more people doing yoga, studios seem to be popping up everywhere - all offering something a little different. But you don’t need to try every single one to find the right fit for you. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when seeking out a place to practice.
Keep your search within a small radius
Especially if you are just starting to do yoga, you will be more likely to continue going to a studio if it’s a reasonable distance from your home. Ask yourself, realistically, how far you’re willing to travel to and from class.
Check out the whole schedule
Make sure there are time slots that line up with your lifestyle. If you prefer to practice in the evening, it wouldn’t make sense to sign up for a studio that only offers one nighttime class a week. You can view most studio schedules on their website.
Browse class offerings
In addition to when classes are offered, it’s important to read what classes are offered. Some studios may focus on vinyasa-style classes, while others may specialize in aerial yoga. Read the class descriptions and see if there’s something you think you’ll like. It’s always great to try all different classes, but if your primary practice style is flow-based, a studio with primarily gentle classes may not be your best option.
This will vary based on where you live, but not all studios are priced equally - and this does not reflect on the quality of the studio! Most studios advertise some kind of introductory offer, but it’s a good idea to check out the other pricing options to make sure they’re in your budget if you decide to return. And with that in mind…
I’ll tell you this one from experience. I found my first-ever studio thanks to Groupon. What started as a financially savvy way to get into yoga led me right into the studio I fell in love with, where I formed friendships, met mentors, completed my 200-hour teacher training, and took my first job as a teacher. You never know!
Read reviews (maybe)
Like with anything else, take reviews with a grain of salt - but it can never hurt to take a peek. Check out if your studio has any reviews on Yelp, Google, or MINDBODY.
The Do Not’s:
Pick a studio because your friend loves it
If your friend recommends a studio, you check it out, and you happen to love it, that’s great! But if you don’t quite feel as excited about it as she does, maybe keep doing some more research. It’s great to have a buddy to go to class with, but you won’t always be going together, anyway, so make sure you’re joining a studio because you love it.
Base your decision on one class, or one teacher
Every studio houses its own uniqueness - because of its atmosphere, class offerings, and instructors. That said, studios are subject to evolve and grow! Classes may change, teachers will come and go. You may have one teacher you just love for a certain reason (whether it’s their unique playlist, or that essential oil at the end that just gives that special touch), but make sure you give a few different instructors and classes a chance - that one teacher may not be around forever.
Try three different studios in one week
This one may not hold true for everyone (maybe it’s Yoga Week in your town and there are free classes galore!), but it is useful to consider. Many studios offer some type of intro package (one month of unlimited classes for $30 for new students, two weeks for $14 for first-time yogis, or maybe you scored a deal on Groupon), so this could be beneficial financially. Not only that, but getting familiar with one studio’s schedule over the course of several days or weeks will also make it easier for you to decide if that studio’s class offerings (variety and times) are a good fit for your lifestyle.
Expect to fall in love immediately
Especially if you’re brand new at the studio - or any studio. I remember being nervous the first time I attended a public class. I saw students and teachers socializing and laughing and remember thinking I’d never fit in; I felt insecure about my practice and worried about what other people were thinking. Turns out, they probably weren’t thinking anything at all (more on that in a different post), and it didn’t take too long for me to feel more comfortable. Don’t get me wrong - I enjoyed the first few classes and had a great time. But like with all things, it just requires a little patience. You’re not going to make friends or become a “regular” right off the bat. Just be yourself and keep showing up!