One of the most common things I hear from new yoga students who have tried yoga in the past that was supposed to be accessible to beginners is that it did not meet their needs. Most felt like that they were striving and confused in class, while others wanted more of a physical challenge.
When I opened Embody Yoga & Wellness Studio, I envisioned a place where people could find a class that met them exactly as they are. The instructors teach a variety of yoga classes that are accessible to all types of beginners. Finding the right class means finding out what kind of beginner you are.
So where do you begin?
Ask yourself what you are looking for in a class. Even though you may be physically able to participate in a more active class, is this what you are looking for? Is your primary goal to build strength and flexibility? Or to relax and renew?
Do you have any experience with yoga? If so, what styles of yoga did you enjoy?
Do you have any injuries or special conditions?
Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, you can review the classes below to find the fit for your unique needs.
Gentle – This is a slower paced class focusing on gentle muscle toning and stretching that is accommodating for students with injuries, illnesses, and special conditions. Yoga props such as bolsters (large firm cushions), blocks, and straps bring the poses to you. It is great for older adults or for those who just want to slow it down. A typical class will end with postures to relax and practice mindful breathing. Also accessible to pregnant ladies! No previous yoga experience is necessary.
Alignment Based Hatha – These all levels classes introduce beginning students to fundamental yoga postures and principles of alignment. It also welcomes continuing students to mindfully build upon their practice. The biggest difference between this class and Gentle Yoga is that we practice more active poses including Sun Salutations where we flow from standing to the floor and back up to standing with the breath. Students should be comfortable handling some weight in their wrists and getting up from the floor from their hands and knees to standing. The instructor will still offer modifications or an alternative pose within the scope of this class for your unique needs.
Flow – Similar in activity level to Hatha Yoga, these classes place more emphasis on connecting movement with breath. Hatha Flow is more active and Mindful Flow is a slower pace.
40+ Mobility & Stability – Finding the balance between mobility and stability is vital to sustaining a life-long practice in a healthy aging body. These classes often focus on a family of poses (ex: backbends) working towards a peak pose. You will learn how to establish the foundation and strength of poses and pose variations (stability), while you learn to extend and evolve through lengthening and breathing (mobility). A variety of props such as blocks, blankets, straps, bolsters and chairs will be used to assist with explorations of postures.
Yin Yoga – Yin Yoga uses longer holds designed to enhance joint, bone and connective tissue health. A complementary practice to any strength building or cardio exercise, as well as an active yoga practice, yin yoga can also greatly benefit those recovering from illness or injury.
Gentle & Yin – Combines the beauty of both styles.
Chair Yoga – This class is done with the support of a chair to make yoga accessible to people with physical limitations or reduced mobility. All poses are either done seated in the chair or standing with the option to hold the chair for support. Since the class does not require you to sit on the floor, it is accessible to those who would find it challenging to get down to the floor and back up to standing unattended.
Restorative Yoga – This class is beautiful for ALL! Restorative Yoga is a healing form of yoga that is practiced with props to provide a supportive environment for total relaxation. Typically four to six long-held, gentle and relaxing poses are practiced per class; creating physiological responses which are beneficial to your health and can reduce the effects of stress-related illness. The class is slow, deeply nurturing and suitable for all ages. These classes are typically held as workshops and shorter series (check here for offerings).
Yoga Fundamentals Course – Occasionally we offer a 5-Week Yoga Fundamentals Course (check here for offerings) which is similar to Gentle Yoga. Space is limited to fewer people to allow for more individualized instruction. It has more of a workshop type setting where open dialogue between the students and instructor is encouraged.
If you have any questions about choosing the perfect class for you just get in touch!