Your quest to finding a yoga class that you truly enjoy will not always be easy. But with a little legwork and some studio hopping, we’re confident you’ll find a place that feels just right. Here’s how to do it.
Know Your (Geographical) Limit
One of the easiest ways to narrow your search down is to limit the geographical field. Ask yourself how far you’re willing to travel for yoga. If you’re relying on public transit, seek out the schedules and closest stops. If you’ll be driving, scope out the parking situation. You might be willing to go a little extra farther afield for the perfect studio—but then again, if it’s too out of the way, you might be more likely to skip out.
Define Your Wants and Needs
Start by figuring out what you’re looking to get out of your yoga practice. Maybe you’re looking for a place that incorporates the history and philosophy of yoga, not just the physical asanas. Perhaps you live for a slow yin class or a restorative class to balance out some of your other activities; if that’s a priority, make sure you seek out a studio that offers these classes.
Ask Your Friends
Although yoga studio preferences vary from person to person, it doesn’t hurt to ask your yoga-practicing friends what studios they prefer. A lot of studios allow their students to bring a guest to try out a class for free—this is a great way to get a taste of a studio without having to commit.
On that note, plenty of studios offer introductory short-term passes for super cheap. These passes are a brilliant option: you can test out as many classes as possible within the permitted timeframe. This lets you get a feel for the variety of classes and teachers at the studio. When you find one that fits, you can commit fully.
Listen to Yourself
As you hop from studio to studio sampling a variety of classes, be mindful of the way you feel before, during, and after the class. If you feel hurried and pressured, you’ll want to keep going with your search. If you feel welcomed, challenged, and a little warm and fuzzy all over, then you might have hit the jackpot.
Meet the Teachers
Finding a teacher that you connect with can take your yoga practice to new heights. Take in as many yoga events as you can to find a teacher that you like—look for karma classes, fundraisers, and events at community centers. If you click with a particular teacher, ask where they teach and follow the way.
Assess the Perks
The classes and teachers should be the biggest influences in choosing the right yoga studio for you, but the perks are a good way to solve a tiebreaker. For instance, if you like to take in a class before work or between classes, shower facilities and a big dressing room are a must. If you like to ease your way in and out of class, seek out studios with lounging areas that encourage dawdling.
Fine-Tune the Budget
From community centers to trendy boutique studios, you’ll find that class prices vary widely from studio to studio. Take a moment to review your personal budget to figure out what you can afford to spend on yoga. If you fall in love with a studio that’s outside your price point, don’t dismiss it entirely: some studios let students enjoy free classes in exchange for help with cleaning and other tasks.