Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

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atlanta_dad
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Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by atlanta_dad » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:50 pm

I have been interested in learning Yoga from quite some time, but not able to decide where to learn from.
I am located in Washington DC metro area. There are 2 or 3 yoga classes a week in the gym(LA Fitness), but is gym a right place to learn?
I hear one should not learn from DVD or similar because it may do more bad if you are not doing it correctly.

Where did you learn yoga from? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

mur44
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by mur44 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:53 pm

Try your local library first. Group setting is
always better.

Yoga is a philosophy and it would help you
if you learn the 8 aphorisms. You need not
change your religion.

retiredjg
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by retiredjg » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:11 pm

I'm not sure there is an answer to your question. So much depends on you, your schedule, your preferences, how far you want to drive, and what you want to spend. Some of these things you just have to try and find out what you like and don't like. There are different styles and you may like some and not the others. And you may like some teachers and not others.

A gym is a perfect place if it suits you and if they have a good teacher. Give it a try.

The problem with new people and yoga is they sometimes want to be "good" right away. It is just not like that. Just start where you are and move at your speed. Ignore everything else and don't compete with others.

I learned from a self taught teacher in a tiny room in a basement. It was fine.

Check out gaiamtv. I think there is a free trial or you can pay $10 a month. They have yoga videos from dozens of different teachers and styles. This will broaden your experience and give you some idea of what style you might want to seek out. But I'd start at the gym and move from there if it does not suit your needs.

General Disarray
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by General Disarray » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:18 pm

There isn't a single "best place" to start learning yoga; rather, you have different options:

1. If your gym offers yoga classes, why not start there? The yoga classes are part of your gym membership fee, so why not take advantage of the classes?
2. Lots of cities have community yoga classes for a low cost.
3. Take lessons at individual yoga studios.

My pick is for #1, seeing how you already have a gym membership with yoga classes. There likely are different instructors, so try them all out; some instructors are better than others.

For a beginner, I'd start with a gentle yoga class, but feel free to test the waters with other classes (for instance, vinyasa yoga).

Get to class early, as the space will fill up quickly. At my Y, I usually get to class 1/2 hour early. This way, I can stake out a spot in the back of the studio. I use the extra time to stretch.

btenny
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by btenny » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:27 pm

Be careful of "introductory classes" at your local Yoga studio. They may not be real teaching classes and instead a lure to get you to come to their hard yoga classes and wear you out and make you mad and charge you for the bad experience.

I had a very bad experience with a situation like the above at the studio near my home. Basically they charged me $40 for " four introductory classes". But the classes did not teach you anything, instead you got told to come and try to keep up with the "hot" advanced yoga sessions they were doing at that studio. It was a total rip off and probably dangerous at my age. The instructors did not care and just said maybe I should go to some other studio when I asked for further instruction. I over heated ( the room temperature was maybe 105 or hotter) trying to keep up and basically learned nothing.

So beware that these studios are profit driven centers for the instructors and may not teach you much.

Good Luck.

Rupert
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by Rupert » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:37 pm

I'm not a senior citizen, but I take yoga at my local senior citizens' center. Anyone over age 21 can join, and it's really cheap (because it's subsidized by my community and the United Way). Most of the folks in my class are in their 50s or 60s and have mild limitations of some sort -- arthritis, etc. -- so the instructor really focuses on teaching good form and on teaching alternative poses for those with issues. It's a great class for beginners. Beware hot (Bikram) yoga or power (Ashtanga) yoga as a beginner. Stick with classes specifically labeled beginner, gentle or even rehab yoga.

General Disarray
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by General Disarray » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:45 pm

I'm not a senior citizen, but I take yoga at my local senior citizens' center. Anyone over age 21 can join, and it's really cheap (because it's subsidized by my community and the United Way). Most of the folks in my class are in their 50s or 60s and have mild limitations of some sort -- arthritis, etc. -- so the instructor really focuses on teaching good form and on teaching alternative poses for those with issues.


+1. My mom introduced me to yoga through similar classes years ago. My mom actually was one of the younger ones there; most of the participants were in their 60s and 70s, but don't let their age fool you. Some of them are quite good, but many of them did have health limitations, including arthritis. The yoga classes for seniors are great! And they can be quite hilarious too. Yoga classes end with a resting pose (shavasana). With the senior classes, invariably, I would hear snores, as a couple of the seniors actually ended up falling asleep!

The problem with new people and yoga is they sometimes want to be "good" right away. It is just not like that. Just start where you are and move at your speed. Ignore everything else and don't compete with others.


Definitely. In every class, there will be beginners, but I think most are beginner to intermediate practitioners. On occasion, you might see one or two people who like to show off, because they are much more advanced in their poses than others. Ignore them and just follow the instructor and do what YOU can do.

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telemark
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by telemark » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:50 pm

A good teacher is better than a video because the teacher can make corrections, offer suggestions, answer questions, etc. People study yoga for many reasons. A good teacher will understand this, work with you, and accomodate any physical limitations you may have.

Sadly, some teachers are not good, but the solution is easy: find another teacher. At least where I live, it's hard to throw a rock without hitting an ad for a yoga class.

Rodc
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by Rodc » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:13 pm

I suggest a good teacher as others have noted.
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DiscoBunny1979
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by DiscoBunny1979 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:34 pm

I disagree that a class or teacher is better than a DVD. For my own purposes, I didn't want to spend the extra time to drive to a gym just to suit up for some Yoga class. I wanted the privacy of my own home, where I can wear as little as I want ... and the special reason . . . Yoga has a tendency in some people, like me, to ease the bowels and therefore quick access to a bathroom is on the top of my list so that half way through the routine I can empty out so to speak and return to my routine on my own terms.

The video I started out with was by GAIAM, Rodney Yee's Yoga For Beginners that includes Pose Training for perfect form and smaller 20 or 15 minute workout programs. I prefer the Pose Training as it is a work out in itself. Once one learns all the poses, one can do them without the DVD to other music or to TV or just to a meditative silence.

So, in my case, I didn't need gym instruction, the DVD was great and if I want more advanced moves, there are other DVDs out there.

It's also not very expensive to pick up a Yoga mat - my preference is 5/8" Ribbed Durafoam Mat by Harbinger - so you can take the mat and set up anywhere you want.

retiredjg
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by retiredjg » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:57 pm

There are a bunch of good starting videos, but Rodney Yee is definitely my favorite as well. If you decide to learn on your own, his yoga style (Iyengar) and his instruction style are not very likely to result in injury unless you just don't pay attention to your own limitations.

If you are teaching yourself, some of the more aggressive styles (Vinyasa and Ashtanga and Bikram) can be saved for later, when your body is more ready and when you know yourself more.

http://life.gaiam.com/article/beginners ... tyles-yoga

If you are going with a teacher in person, a good teacher can make whatever style they teach work for you.

joelly
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by joelly » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:03 pm

I have been doing a combo of Pilates and Yoga, it's called Piyo. I own a dvd and I have been doing it every day since Oct 2014 last year. I have also been doing the Hot Yoga (by Bikram Yoga) once a week. It's in a studio with group setting. The place is right next to my office so it's convenient.

I don't like the yoga only stuff because it's just boring for me. This is why the yoga I do is combine with pilates and/or yoga in a heated room. I like it to be challenging.

So, it really depend on your goal. What do you try to accomplish by doing yoga? There are many types. Try them all and see which one you like the most. For me, it's Piyo and Hot Yoga.

Namaste!

ne2ca28
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by ne2ca28 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:39 pm

My only experience with Yoga is the P90X and P90X3 versions and a couple youtube videos from my living room. I like the P90X3 version of Yoga. 30 minutes, good stretching and balance poses, and gets a good sweat!

Cyclone
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by Cyclone » Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:37 pm

I have been doing yoga for about six years and all my classes have been at LA Fitness. They have always asked in the class if anyone is a beginner. As others have said, yoga is not a competition so feel free to skip something if it is too difficult. They always say you can do something called the "child's pose" if you want to take a break.

Yoga is great as you get older, especially for flexibility and balance. Just stick with it - it will seem very difficult at first.

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RedRose
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by RedRose » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:52 pm

There is an Iyengar Institute in the DC area. BKS Iyengar is considered the father of modern western yoga.
His philosophy is that anyone can benefit from the poses with the use of props such as belts, bolsters, blankets, chairs, walls, etc.
Once you learn the poses with good technique, and your own limitations/issues, you can practice any style without the risk of hurting yourself. But it takes time to perfect and one never stops learning. Check your ego at the door. I've been studying and practicing for 12 years, and there are a lot of teachers out there that are not qualified to teach. Please be careful. I highly recommend Iyengar.

Compound
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by Compound » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:11 pm

As others have said, a good teacher is key. The problem of course is that it's pretty hard to know who's good before trying it out. So, go try some classes. Be open to trying in multiple settings and expect to find some teachers whose style resonates with you and to find other teachers whose style does not. I visited a number of studios when I started and found some teachers I really liked and then just stuck with them. Also, consider starting with gentle yoga -- it's a nice and slow introduction to the practice. Enjoy and namaste!

IPer
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by IPer » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:14 pm

Read the Wiki !

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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by MichaelRpdx » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:18 pm

Rupert wrote: Beware hot (Bikram) yoga or power (Ashtanga) yoga as a beginner. Stick with classes specifically labeled beginner, gentle or even rehab yoga.
Rupert brings up a major good point - there is a lot of variance in the world of Yoga. Finding the type that is right for you is important. It will also go a long way to narrowing down the list of places to go.

You can compare the major styles of Yoga at http://life.gaiam.com/article/beginners-guide-8-major-styles-yoga
For instance I found Iyengar to be good for an overweight, out of shape middle aged guy. Bikram was a non-starter. Vinyasa too frenetic.
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sci fi
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by sci fi » Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:28 am

I agree that you should try to find a good Iyengar class in your area. Iyengar emphasizes proper alignment more so than doing the most impressive postures. I would avoid Bikram and Vinyasa for now as they are not ideal for novices in my opinion. I have no idea what they teach in a fitness center and personally would opt for an Iyengar class. You should watch videos and read webpages, but at least in the beginning I suggest seeking out good teachers. That way, you can get direct feedback and be shown how your posture needs to be corrected so that you don't get injured. Many classes have cheap beginner trial passes such as $10 for one week. I personally learned from a book and thought I was pretty good. Then eventually I developed bad technique and got injured to the point where I had to quit. Around a year ago, I decided to try yoga again. This time I joined a class and even have gotten a private lesson and sure enough the teachers corrected my flaws and now I practice injury free. I don't necessarily recommend privates though as they are costly, but for me it was worth it as I try to practice yoga every day. Eventually I suggest practicing yoga out in nature once in a while, it's really fun and relaxing.

Caduceus
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by Caduceus » Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:50 am

I have also been researching yoga, and come across this article about why sometimes yoga classes can be harmful:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magaz ... -body.html

It has made me think that I should start on my own and condition my body first before going to any classes. I definitely don't want to be forcing my body into poses that they aren't ready for.

SleepKing
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by SleepKing » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:16 am

Judge and say what you want, but I quit lifting heavy weights (squats, deadlifts, bench, etc...) a few years ago and was struggling to find a reasonable fitness program. I tried some pure Yoga DVDs, P9-X, etc... and it wasn't for me. I simply don't have time or schedule to attend regular studio/fitness center classes. Someone pointed me in the direction of this program and I took a chance https://ddpyoga.com

May seem silly on the outside, but I've found it to be a solid blend of 'yoga' (non-traditional), stretching, and calisthenics. I've seen good results.

Sleepy

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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by S&L1940 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:54 am

started doing yoga for flexibility, range of motion and balance.
nothing wrong with DVDs (I started in the VCR era) and while good form is the goal, do what your body can handle and build from there.
some of the yoga videos present several instructors demonstrating the same pose with degrees of intensity from gentle to super elastic.
for me, 'no pain means no gain' was not a goal. if it hurts, I would not go there
the corpse pose was my favorite, I really excelled ... :D
Don't it always seem to go * That you don't know what you've got * Till it's gone

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4nursebee
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by 4nursebee » Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:08 pm

Yoga Shmoga- it is all about identifying with this body, kind of vain.
Go where you want until you can define what best is for you.

Best for me is Kundalini Yoga.
Namaste'
4nursebee

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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by goldensam » Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:51 pm

I took a beginner series at a local studio. It was great for learning the basics and proper form. Then I bought packages of classes and tried several types of yoga. I still have some classes left to use but I have some DVDs by Travis Eliot that I really like to use at home.

I like yoga because while it is challenging, you aren't competing with anyone else. You can go at your own pace and to your own limits.

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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:17 am

How do you know that a yoga instructor is good? An instructor's guidance may seem beneficial, but he or she may not prevent you from developing bad habits and potential damage. It's as difficult as finding a good physician; bedside manners are the most salient but not the most important feature.

Victoria
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retiredjg
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by retiredjg » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:50 am

VictoriaF wrote:How do you know that a yoga instructor is good?

Sometimes you just don't know. But there are some indications. A few examples:

    -A good instructor will pay individual attention to each student. A new student who feels invisible probably needs to seek another situation.

    -A good instructor is encouraging without pushing a student too far or too fast. It is one thing to be encouraged up to your capacity. It is another for an instructor to push a student past his/her safe limits.

    -Injuries can and do occur and it is often from trying to progress too fast. A good instructor will watch for that and encourage patience.

    -A good instructor knows a half-dozen ways to accomplish a pose - one may be better for tall and thin, another better for short and fat, another better for young vs old, another better for injured/arthritic/etc. students. An instructor who tries to make one approach fit all is not someone to trust.
Of course, you may not know any of these things if you drop into a class where you know no one.

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mojave
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by mojave » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:18 am

I disagree with anyone that says you can start with a DVD. DVDs are definitely my go-to now, but when you are a beginner and learning all of the terms and poses it is really important to have a teacher there, as well as other students around you that you can mirror when you don't recognize a pose - at home, you have to keep your eye on the DVD and you will be facing every direction of the room, not just the direction of the TV. Most importantly though, teachers will correct your poses and posture so you do not hurt yourself - and you can easily hurt yourself and do the poses incorrectly!

Every level of class I have taken (from beginner to advanced, from gentle to hot) the teacher walks around and corrects or adjusts people's poses. Additionally, they are a great source of information if there is a certain pose you are having trouble with and need some tips on them.

I have taken classes at both studios and the local community center. Both are good but the studios are always better in my opinion.

joebh
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by joebh » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:23 am

My wife and I took yoga classes at a local adult education location one evening per week. Reasonable prices. Excellent instructor.

This was a "gentle yoga" class. Very enjoyable, very refreshing. We felt great after every class.
We got busy with higher-priority activities in recent years, so had to stop. I look forward to the day in the not too distant future when we can resume.

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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by englishgirl » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:52 pm

I have done yoga on and off for 20 years. I was extremely lucky that my first yoga teacher was excellent and made me enjoy and want to do yoga, but then after I moved, I was lost in the wilderness for many years so for 15 years of that 20 my practice was mostly "off". I tried gym classes, different yoga studios, classes at the library, adult education classes, DVDs, the works. Then having moved yet again, I lucked out and found a good studio run by another excellent teacher. The problem was I never usually managed to make it to the studio owner's classes, so again I was pretty off and on as I struggled to commit. Finally I was able to organize my schedule and go when the owner is teaching certain classes and it's like I've come home again.

I've tried hatha yoga, ashtanga (power) yoga, vinyasa yoga, Bikram (hot) yoga, restorative yoga, and yin yoga. I find I much prefer yin yoga, a general hatha class, or a slow/gentle vinyasa style. Bikram is a bit hokey. Ashtanga is very challenging, as a fast vinyasa class can be too. Restorative was a bit too much like lying around on props for my taste. I do not have the discipline to do only DVDs, nor will I push myself when doing a DVD to stay in a pose for very long.

So, I don't know HOW to find the good ones. Pure dumb luck, I guess. I do think I've had the best individual attention and teaching at yoga studios. I would say that attending classes AND doing some DVDs is probably the sweet spot as far as getting a practice going without going bankrupt.
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Shald
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by Shald » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:20 pm

Good for you to want to learn yoga! I started yoga 10 years ago to reduce stress and experienced an added benefit of a toned body. My back pain that used to keep me awake at night is also completely gone.

I agree that a good teacher makes all the difference. I also suggest trying introductory specials at different yoga studios to see which teacher/style fits you best. My practice didn't really take off until I met a couple of very good teachers, after which I experienced a noticeable transformation in both my body and mind. Please find a teacher who stresses correct posture. Yoga injury is more common than you might think. My friend had to quit yoga after injuring her knee during practice.

You might find that some yoga styles suit your personality and temperament better than others. I tend to get restless during a gentle, slow, restorative class and actually feel calmer during a more dynamic flow (vinyasa) class. It's different for everyone.

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grap0013
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by grap0013 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:44 pm

P90X. Go big or go home. 1 hour 32 minutes. Burns about 650 calories. My back has not felt this good in 19 years. Do your best and forget the rest! Tony Horton is my teacher. I previously had no yoga experience.
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Re: Which is a best place to start learning yoga?

Post by takeshi » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:08 pm

atlanta_dad wrote:Where did you learn yoga from? Any suggestions?

You really should ask people in your area for recommendations.

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