New Student Guide
Welcome to The Happy Yogi! We remember what it is like to try yoga for the first time - exciting and bit scary. Well fear not, we have a wonderful group of teachers ready to guide you through this uncharted water with kindness and compassion. We want your first experience to be safe, warm and wonderful.
Yoga is a practice free from competition. We encourage you to listen to your body and adjust your practice as necessary. If you have an injury or medical condition, please inform the teacher prior to class so that they may provide necessary guidance or adjustments. Common medical symptoms or conditions requiring caution include: high blood pressure, ulcers, hernia, lower back pain, spinal disc problems, and pregnancy.
Below are some common questions and tips including what to expect when you arrive. If you have more questions, give us a call or send us an email. We are always happy to give additional guidance!
What if I am not flexible?
Then you are perfect for yoga! If you are inflexible at the start of taking yoga, you will see slow but steady results as you learn to lengthen your muscles safely. You may also find relief from chronic back pain often associated with tight muscles.
What if I have an injury?
If you have an injury, always tell your teacher at the beginning of class so they may provide accommodations. If you have limited range of motion from a current or past injury, you may want to start with Gentle Yoga. Our Gentle Yoga teachers are especially equipped to support your yoga practice. If you have a significant injury or are being treated for an injury, we always recommend checking with your doctor before beginning a yoga practice.
What class is best for a beginner?
All of our level I yoga classes and gentle classes are suitable for beginners. Our level I classes are powerful, learning experiences in which you will literally re-discover your body, how it works, and what it can do. They are designed to give you the time and support to understand the proper alignment of yoga asanas (postures) and breathing technique.
- In Hatha Yoga, you will be guided into various yoga postures or asanas, one at a time. You will hold each pose for five or more breaths, while learning the alignment of the pose.
- In Vinyasa Yoga, we link several poses together in a sequence using the breath to pace the practice. In the level I, we will break down each pose and learn the alignment. Then we will link or flow the poses together with the breath.
Vinyasa classes are physically challenging and more dynamic than Hatha classes and will typically require more weight on your hands and arms. Hatha classes introduce a slower more meditative approach to getting in and out of each pose and may be preferred if you are looking for a less athletic introduction to yoga.
We encourage you to try both styles to see which best suites you. Many students will practice both Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga.
Be patient as yoga is a gradual progression with consistent practice and attention to alignment and technique, your yoga practice will deepen and you will experience the many mind/body benefits. For more information on choosing our classes, see Finding the right class.
When can I try Hot Yoga?
Our Hot Yoga classes are Vinyasa Yoga classes in a heated room. Students should have at least one month of consistent practice and be free from injury before trying hot yoga. Students must also be at least 17 years old to participate in Hot Yoga.
How do I register?
New students can register online or in the studio. Our New Student Specials will allow you to try a variety of classes and teachers. After that you can decide on a package based on your budget and the number of classes you plan to attend per week. See our pricing page for details.
What do I need to bring?
You will want to dress in comfortable clothing that doesn’t limit movement. You may want to bring a water bottle and a mat if you have one. If you do not have a mat, we have mats available to borrow during class. Drink plenty of water before and after class, and do not eat a heavy meal at least two hours before class.
Tips for Your First Class
1. Plan to arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete a new student form and get acquainted with the studio.
2. We have a water cooler to fill your water bottle prior to class.
3. Yoga is practiced barefoot. You will be asked to leave your coat and shoes in the lobby. All valuables go into the studio space with you.
4. In the studio, you will set up a yoga mat and other props such as blocks, blankets, straps or bolsters. The teacher will let you know what props you need.
5. After class, drink lots of water. You may also choose to bring a travel mug and make a cup of tea for the road.
How often should I practice yoga?
We encourage new students to practice two or three times per week to realize the mind/body benefits of yoga. However, students that are only able to practice once per week will still see the benefits of yoga, they may just take more time.
It is not uncommon for advanced practitioners to practice daily, but their practices will vary from day to day based on their needs. Yoga helps you develop a connection between body, heart, and mind allowing you to be more aware of your self-care needs. Your practice one day might be an hour of asana/postures and the next may be 20 minutes of pranayama (controlled breath) and gentle movement.
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