Arielle Novak is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer and an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Certified Group Exercise Instructor. Arielle loves to share her excitement about movement and fitness with her students. She holds additional specialty certifications in indoor cycling, yoga, and dance fitness.

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Arielle's Fitness Blog

by Arielle Novak, Fitness Expert

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Finding the right yoga class can seem daunting at first, but with these simple tips you will be well on your path to discovering a great match for your personal goals. Having a general idea of what you would like to get out of your class will help you narrow down your options.

how to choose a yoga class
Class Styles

With the great popularity of yoga comes endless options. Yoga classes can vary greatly depending on the style. Ask yourself what your goals are and how you want yoga to help you achieve them. Are you looking for a physical challenge, or do you prefer for the focus to be on relaxation? For a more athletic approach, consider class styles such as power yoga, ashtanga yoga, and vinyasa yoga. If you are seeking out a class with a stronger focus on relaxation, consider styles such as restorative yoga or yin yoga. If you are new to yoga it may be best to seek out a gentle yoga class or a class specifically for beginners that will allow you to learn the fundamentals at a slower pace.

Class Location and Atmosphere

Finding a classroom that feels welcoming is another way to ensure that you have the best yoga experience possible. Whether you are taking a class at a yoga studio or a fitness center, consider the space you will be practicing in and whether it will feel comfortable to you. You can ask to see the studio before signing up for class to help you decide. Another important consideration is the number of students that are allowed in a class at a time. If you are uncomfortable in crowded spaces or would like to avoid busy class times, inquire ahead of time.

Teaching Styles

Every teacher will have their unique presentation style. Finding the right teacher will also be an important factor in finding the right yoga class. Some studios and gyms have teacher biographies that help give prospective students an idea of the teacher's yoga philosophy and teaching style. If you don't have access to a biography, you can inquire with the front desk or studio manager for more guidance. Some instructors will have additional specialty training in areas such as mediation and prenatal yoga if you are looking for a class with a particular focus.

Exploring New Styles

Doing some research before deciding on the right class will be tremendously helpful. However, being open to some unknowns will allow you to try out a new class style that you may really enjoy. It is okay to feel a little out of place in your first yoga class or with a style that is new. Part of the joy of yoga is exploring new aspects of ourselves and being open to new experiences!

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