How to start doing yoga

Pick a Yoga Type
You’ll see there are many types yoga classes, and some won’t be the right match for your personality and physical fitness level. Take a few minutes touring an overview of yoga styles.

For most beginners, a hatha or vinyasa class will be most appropriate, depending on whether you want a slow or fast-paced class. These are basic styles, and you can always try something fancier later.

While many great yoga books and videos are available, there is no substitute for learning directly from a good teacher in a yoga class. If you cannot get to a yoga class, start with any beginner’s video, as this will give you more visuals to follow than a book.

Find a Class
You can find a yoga class in your area by checking local alternative newspapers or wellness magazines for listings. If you belong to a gym, many offer yoga classes. Make sure you start with a basic level class; finding a good teacher will help you stick with it. If you don’t click with the first teacher you go to, keep trying until you find one you like

On the first day, you will not need to bring much except some comfortable, breathable clothing.

Read up on basic yoga equipment you will encounter. Most studios have yoga mats that can be rented.

In a typical yoga class, the students place their mats facing the front of the room (often identifiable by a small altar or by the teacher’s mat) in a loose grid. It’s best not to line up your mat exactly with the one next to it because you and your neighbor will need some space in certain poses.

The students often sit in a cross-legged position waiting for class to start or do some gentle stretching.

Here is how a typical class flows:

The teacher may start class by leading the class in chanting “om” three times. Depending on the teacher, there may be a breathing exercise or short meditation at the start of class.
This is followed by warm-up poses, more vigorous poses, then stretches, and final relaxation. At any time, take child’s pose if you need some rest.
Sometimes the teacher will go around to each student during final relaxation and give them a little massage. Most teachers end class with another round of oms.
Know that you may be a little sore the day after your first class.