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A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga

Hi future yogi! Welcome to our beginner’s guide to yoga. If you’re here you’ve probably heard about some of the incredible benefits of yoga. You might be here because you’re looking to de-stress. Maybe you’re here because you want to strengthen your mind and body. Or maybe you’re just looking for a yoga studio in Centerville, Ohio because you want a sacred space where you can go to devote an hour to your well-being.

No matter what the reason is for why you’ve decided to give yoga a try, we want to make sure you have all the tools as you go through your first few yoga classes. Today we’re going to go over ten different types of yoga, five poses to get you started, and what to expect from your first class.

10 Types of Yoga

1. Vinyasa yoga

Vinyasa yoga is one of the most athletic yoga styles. This style of yoga came about in the 1960s when it was adapted from Ashtanga yoga. There are also a few types of yoga that are under the umbrella of vinyasa yoga including ashtanga, power yoga, and prana. Vinyasa yoga is also sometimes heated, but is not to be confused with Bikram Yoga (see below).

2. Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga is also an umbrella term that encompasses most of the traditional styles, including Vinyasa and Ashtanga. It just refers to the styles of yoga that are grounded in physical practice. 

3. Iyengar yoga

Iyengar yoga comes directly from the most classical Hatha yoga tradition, but it has evolved into a very precise and clear method which focuses on three aspects: alignment, sequencing and timing. It is named after and developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. 

4. Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that involves chanting, singing, breathing exercises, and repetitive poses in order to activate your Kundalini energy or shakti. Shakti is a spiritual energy that is located at the base of your spine.

5. Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga that was created by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 1900s. It is often viewed as a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. It has set series that synchronize breath with movements.

6. Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga, otherwise known as hot yoga, is a yoga class conducted in a room heated to about 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit to warm up the whole body, to work the body deep into muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and change/regenerate the body from the inside out.

7. Yin yoga

Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga. It focuses on stretching and breathing and incorporates the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Its postures are held for longer periods of time than in other styles.

8. Restorative yoga

Restorative yoga is a very restful practice of yoga. It is all about slowing down, opening your body, and stretching. In a restorative class, you won’t do a lot of moving, but it is very healing.  

9. Prenatal yoga

Prenatal yoga is a type of yoga that encourages stretching, mental centering, and focused breathing. These classes help prepare expectant mothers for childbirth as well as help them relax and destress during pregnancy. 

10. Anusara yoga

Anusara yoga methodology is known to unveil students’ innate goodness, worthiness, and supreme nature. It focuses on attitude, alignment, and action through heart-oriented poses and clear and inspirational language. 

Five Yoga Poses To Get You Started

1. Downward Facing Dog (Down Dog)

One of the most recognized yoga poses in the West, Downward Facing Dog is a standing pose that builds strength while stretching the whole body. Downward Facing Dog energizes and rejuvenates the entire body. It deeply stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands, and spine while building strength in your arms, shoulders, core, and legs.

2. Cobra

Cobra Pose is a beginning backbend in yoga that helps to prepare the body for deeper backbends. It increases the flexibility of the spine. It stretches the chest while strengthening the spine and shoulders. It also helps to open the lungs, which is therapeutic for asthma. This pose also stimulates the abdominal organs, improving digestion.

3. High plank

Plank Pose is an arm balancing yoga pose that tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the arms and spine. It also strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders, and is often used to prepare the body for more challenging arm balances.

4. Chaturanga

Similar to a traditional push-up, Chaturanga brings your body down to the ground. It strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine, which helps to improve posture.

5. Standing Mountain Pose

Mountain pose is an active pose that helps improve posture, balance, and calm focus. It improves posture and, when practiced regularly, can help reduce back pain. This pose strengthens the thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen, and buttocks. It is also helpful for relieving sciatica and for reducing the effects of flat feet.

What to Expect From Your First Yoga Class

Whether you’re coming to our yoga studio in Centerville, Ohio, or attending a class through our virtual yoga studio, we want to share a few things you should expect. Our yoga classes are usually 60 minutes long and range from beginner to more advanced levels. 

Each yoga teacher will guide you through breathing and moving your body into the poses. You’ll finish each class in Savasana. In Savasana, you’ll lie down on your back and take the opportunity to feel the physical effects of the practice sink into into your body. After Savasana, your teacher will say the word “namaste” and you can repeat it. Namaste is a word of gratitude and a gesture of thanking the teacher and students for coming to practice. It translates into “I bow to you.”

Now that you have a sense of what your yoga class will look like, here are a few of our guidelines

Tech

+ Absolutely no cell phones in the yoga rooms

+ Cell phones on silent. Always.   

+ Apple watches on theatre mode while in class

Etiquette

+ Be mindful of classes going on around you

+ Leave shoes in the front lobby

+ Wear deodorant (maybe even extra deodorant)

+ No fragrance or perfumes 

+ Wash your yogi towels and mats regularly 

+ Do not bring valuables into the studio. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items

Apparel 

+ Wear breathable fabrics

+ Dress in form-fitting clothing that you feel comfortable in

+ No shoes or socks needed during practice

Heat

+ Our Power yoga classes are heated at 90 degrees

+ You’ll sweat—it warms your muscles and helps detoxify your body

+ Hydrate regularly

Timing

+ Studio opens 20 minutes before class time starts

+ Please arrive five minutes before class

+ Doors are locked at the start of class

Have any more questions about your first class? Contact us here. Also, consider signing up for a free two-week trial for our Ignite Online platform where we have multiple yoga tutorials for beginners and even a beginner yoga workshop!

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