Your guide to finding an idyllic place to practice
Yoga studios are dedicated spaces for the practice of yoga and meditation. Studios that I've enjoyed have an abundance of natural light and are quiet, temperate sanctuaries with little exterior noise. The space is clean and clear of clutter and furnishings and very tranquil in interior design. Some rooms are large and able to hold classes of 20 or more students. Other rooms are small and intimate for smaller groups.
Yoga studios are often owned and operated by yoga teachers with the assistance of administrative staff. Staff tend to be yoga students as well. It is a very supportive environment.
You can also take classes in made-for-the-moment studio spaces like church basements and recreation centers with yoga instructors who move from place to place. While a studio will likely have yoga blankets, yoga blocks, yoga straps and yoga bolsters, a more transient space will likely not have the proper yoga equipment and you will be asked to bring your own gear.
Finding a yoga studio to take classes should be relatively easy. The yoga magazines listed in our magazine section have studio indices, which include much of North America. Checking the bulletin board at your local health food store, bookstores or cafes should provide some clues. Or let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages of your phone book under Yoga.
Deciding on which studio is another easy task simply because yoga studios tend to let you take a complimentary class in order to try them out. This is a wonderful way for a beginner to get their toes stretched and to feel the vibe.
But, it doesn't stop there. No matter what level of yoga you are studying, drop in classes are a universal option. This means that for the price of a single class, usually under $20.00 and no further commitment, you can try out a studio, a teacher and a yoga style by joining in a regularly scheduled class. This bodes well if you find yourself traveling on a regular basis and want to keep up your study. Yoga teachers welcome fresh faces. Be sure to confirm class times and drop in protocol by calling in advance.