Are you thinking about trying yoga in 2020? You have plenty of company. According to a new study released by the CDC that analyzed data from 2017, more than 14% of American adults practice yoga. Yoga originated in India around 2700 B.C.E. and continues to grow in popularity in the U.S., ranking #7 on the American College of Sports Medicine’s recent 2019 fitness trend predictions.
Here we explain what you should know before your first yoga class—how to choose a beginner-friendly yoga class, the history of yoga, what to wear, what type of movements to expect, basic etiquettes, and so on.
Yoga is about much more than fitness. It has a long and deep history that is often overlooked in the U.S. Yoga originated in the Indus Valley Civilization thousands of years ago. Before its transition to the West over a century ago, it was never considered merely an exercise. It is a philosophy of how to live well by transforming yourself and how you experience daily life with all of its ups and downs.
You don’t need to have a certain level of fitness or flexibility to try yoga.
If you search online, you’ll see images of people balancing in ways that seem to defy the laws of gravity and twisting their bodies into complex poses. These images can be mesmerizing and also intimidating. Especially if perhaps you have limited flexibility and have never before tried yoga. Remember, you don’t need expensive clothing or any baseline level of flexibility to try yoga.
There are many different styles of yoga. Here’s how to choose a class for you.
From hatha to vinyasa to yin yoga and more, there are many different styles offered in the U.S. It can be overwhelming to sort through the options, especially if you’ve never done yoga before. Further, styles may vary by teacher and by studio. Some studios have their own brand of classes. Just call local studios and ask which classes they would recommend for beginners.