With so many Yoga studios to choose from, how do you decide which one is right for you?
Especially if you’re just starting out, a lot of anxiety can accompany this decision. How will you fit in with a class of students who are all more experienced than you? Will the instructors feel like you’re holding the rest of the class back?
But, even if you have Yoga experience, choosing a studio can be daunting.
Before making that decision, it’s important to define what you are looking for. You might feel energized in a large class, or you might prefer the quiet of a smaller class. Maybe you want a fast-paced class or maybe you want a slow, restorative experience. You may only be interested in the physical aspect of Yoga, or you may also want to incorporate philosophy and training of the mind.
To find the right studio, you need to clarify what that means to you, then seek out a place that matches those needs.
Four Things to Consider When Selecting a Yoga Studio
Let’s face it: You’re not going to go to class if it’s not convenient or within your budget. Look for a studio that is close to home, work or your daily routine, and that offers classes or memberships you can afford.
The people who practice yoga with you affect your experience. What sort of dynamic are you looking for? Do you want to get to know the instructors and other students in your class? Or do you just want to get your session in and move on to your next task? No matter what studio you attend, you should feel positivity, as well as acceptance and support as you are, rather than judgment for not meeting any expectations as a person or a student.
If you want to feel like you are part of a Yoga family and genuinely be understood as a student, a studio with small classes might be better for you. Instructors will be able to assist you as an individual, providing adjustments for proper alignment and advice on difficult poses. And, instructors and other students will get to know and appreciate you as a person, as well.
If you prefer the momentum of a large group and don’t want individual attention from the instructors, a bigger “box” studio with large classes may be your choice. Especially if you want to attend a class just to “do yoga” and then go home, the larger studios may be better suited for you.
3. Classes Offered/Teachers
While location and community are both important when choosing a studio, the instructors and classes are what will keep you coming back.
“The Floating Lotus offers a wide variety of yoga classes,” says Nan Selz, a Yoga student at the studio. “The instructors have distinct teaching styles and emphasize varied aspects of yoga and fitness. Despite this variety, however, there is always an emphasis on the fundamentals — both physical and mental — of Yoga, so there is consistency in the experience from one class to the next.”
When choosing a studio, look at what styles of yoga are offered and the education of the teachers.
Yoga includes styles that flow from pose to pose, hold poses for longer or shorter periods of time, use props or take place in rooms heated to 90°-95°. You might need to try several styles before finding what works for you.
Be sure that the studio you attend shares information on the education of their teachers. If the information is not readily available, it’s ok to ask instructors about their training and proficiency, and to check with other students on their experiences in class.
4. Your Yoga Practice
One of the main differences between yoga studios – especially larger studios vs. smaller, personal studios – is the spiritual aspect. Larger studios tend to focus more on the physical part of Yoga, where smaller studios include an emphasis on the mental and spiritual features, as well.
“It is almost daily that I use what I learned at The Floating Lotus,” says Anna Serpente, a recent Yoga teacher training graduate. “Most often, it is breathwork and reciting a mantra I developed. Other times, it is the ability to step back from a situation where I feel angry or hurt and re-approach it with compassion.”
If physical fitness is your only goal for Yoga, you might prefer taking classes at a large studio or a gym. But if you want spiritual aspects such as meditation and contemplation of traditional yogic writings, you might prefer a smaller studio, with yoga practices that appeal to your needs.
Making the Decision
“Before starting my training, I researched local yoga teacher-certification courses and visited each studio,” remembers Anna. “I needed a feeling. I needed my heart to make the decision. After a class at The Floating Lotus, where I felt my soul asking for peace, I knew my answer.”
Do your homework before choosing a studio. Attend an introductory class or talk with people who attend classes at the studio you’re interested in. Try out as many as you need to – most studios have special pricing for new students.
Begin to know yourself, too. But, if you don’t already know exactly what you want from a Yoga practice, that’s ok. A good Yoga studio will accept you as you are and where you are. With self-discipline and self-kindness, you will be guided to better self-understanding.
What The Floating Lotus Offers
At The Floating Lotus, we believe true wellbeing results from a healthy connection of mind, body and spirit. We support each other in becoming better spiritual beings. Each member of our staff has a gift for sharing his or her life’s passion. Through our teachings, we help our clients nourish mind, body and spirit, for total wellbeing.
And, with a day spa at the same location, students can enjoy even more relaxation. “One reason I like going to The Floating Lotus is that I can go to a yoga class in the morning and get a massage or a facial afterwards,” says Floating Lotus client Suzy Cameron. “It’s so convenient!”
The Floating Lotus offers classes for all levels of students, from beginning students to intermediate and advanced students. Our classes include styles such as Foundational Beginner; Basic Flow, Solar Flow and Prana Flow; Restorative Yoga; Yin Yoga; and Warm-Room Yoga.
We always welcome new students, whether beginner or experienced.