Q: I have been thinking
about giving yoga a try. I've never tried it before and have no clue where to
start. What would you recommend?
A: Try some free of my free yoga stretches at http://www.YogaforSurfers.com to get started (Don't worry -- you don't have to be a surfer to benefit!). That will give you somewhat of a foundation before you start checking out classes.
Decide why you want to do yoga: to get rid of stress? Reduce aches and pains? Get more flexible? Get stronger? Yoga will do all of that and more -- IF you find the right class and teacher. No two yoga classes -- or teachers -- are alike. Keep trying out different ones until you find a good fit. Many studios allow for a free class or even a free week, so take advantage of that. DON'T sign up for an entire package until you find what you like. Just pay class-by-class at first.
NEVER allow a teacher to force you into a pose that you're not ready for. The poses should feel good; they shouldn't hurt. Yoga is not a competition. Don't worry what anyone else is doing, just breathe, adapt and adjust the poses to suit you and go at your own pace. If you are in a class and you don't like it, you can leave, go to the front desk and ask for a refund. You shouldn't have to pay for a class that's not right for you. Look for classes that say "hatha yoga" or "yoga level 1" or "yoga basics" until you get the hang of it. Avoid doing "hot yoga" if it all possible. Classes that are described as "flow" or "power" or "vinyasa" are much more rigorous and best attempted after you've gotten more experience. Stay tuned for an upcoming America Now segment where I demystify yoga and give you more tips! Yoga is fabulous for many reasons IF you find the right teacher and class for you.