So you’re debating whether or not to take the plunge and go to a studio for a yoga class. You’re so excited to start doing yoga and are dreaming of nailing a handstand or getting rid of that pesky lower back pain that you’ve had for five years and can’t stand to endure any longer.
Something’s holding you back, though….
- Yoga classes cost money
- Private yoga sessions cost even more money
- You feel like you’re out of shape
- You feel like everyone will be looking at you
So let me give you my two-cents on all of this.
- Yes, yoga classes do cost money. In my area here in NJ, a drop-in yoga class is usually about $20. This price goes down per class if you buy a package (10-class, 20-class, monthly pass, yearly pass, etc.). Classes are hugely beneficial to a yoga practice, though, especially when just starting out. If you’re a beginner, it can be super helpful to watch other people in the class and to learn from them as well as talk to your “classmates” about their own experiences in starting a practice. It’s a really amazing sense of community and the positive energy is contagious. It’s also incredibly important to study under a teacher for a little while, to build a safe practice and avoid any injuries.
- Yes, private yoga sessions can be even more expensive, but they are SO worth the money. You’re getting an hour (or two) of completely individual attention to improve your posture, strength, stamina, agility, flexibility, and so much more. It is literally anything you want it to be- the teacher will work with you to tailor your experience to what you want or need to work on, whether that’s nailing a handstand or eliminating back pain. A private session is the time to try out that challenging pose and feel great about it because you’re putting in the work to improve what needs improvement on a deeply individual basis.
- Who cares if you’re out of shape? I can assure you that a good yoga teacher won’t mind at all if you settle into child’s pose instead of going through yet another sun salutation or vinyasa flow. That’s yoga jargon for (“sitting this one out.”) I sit out flows all the time if they don’t feel good in my body. That’s the beauty of yoga- it fits what you need, and if that extra challenging pose doesn’t feel good to you, don’t do it. If you’re tired and just want to lay on your mat for a while, go for it!
- I’m going to put a solid maybe on this one. People might look at you. They might be looking around the room to see everyone else, but most of the time it will be in search of someone whose asana (physical) practice is more advanced than their own so that they can follow along. So odds are that if someone is looking around the room and their eyes land on you, it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re feeling the same way you are- wanting to follow someone more advanced. (After all, if you catch them looking at you, doesn’t that mean you were looking at them, too?)
The moral of the story here is that I HIGHLY recommend going to a yoga class, especially as a beginner. It will help you to build a safe and form-conscious practice under the supervision of an instructor to avoid injury, as well as become part of a fabulous, exciting, and invigorating community. It will let you learn from other classmates and build confidence in your own practice.
Give it a shot and let me know if you feel the same way!