Common Questions from Beginners
Q: What's the best way to get started at this studio?
A: See our New Student Page for a description of 3 Great Ways to Get Started.
Q: Can I start by coming to regular yoga classes?
A: Every body is different. Therefore, this answer is different for everybody. Remember that everyone was a beginner at one point. For some, that moment is in the past and for others that moment is in the future. If you're nervous in any way about getting started, we're happy to provide recommendations and advice on the best starting point for your practice. We invite you to contact us and let us know about any physical injuries/limitations, any goals you have in mind, or simply any questions you may have. Alternatively, you can sign up for a class and arrive 15 minutes before the start of class to introduce yourself to the instructor by letting them know you're a beginner. We offer several beginner-friendly classes that can be explored on our Class Descriptions Page. Our New Student Special (30 Days of Unlimited Yoga Classes for $49 + an optional Private Lesson for an additional $50) is the most common way our students get comfortable with the entire yoga experience. Learn more about this great offer on the New Student Special page.
Q: What class should I start with?
A: Beginners should start with our Gentle Yoga or Yin Yoga classes (offered daily), which move at a pace that is suitable for new students (see Class Schedule & Class Descriptions Pages). Once comfortable, students can try All Levels and Vinyasa Flow classes, modifying postures for their individual experience and ability level.
Q: Do I need to sign up for class in advance?
A: It is not necessary to register for regular yoga classes in advance. We have a large studio space and usually have room for all students who show up. However, it is necessary to pre-register for Yoga Workshops.
Q: Will I be the only beginner in class?
A: If you attend our beginner-friendly Gentle or Yin yoga classes, chances are you will not be the only beginner in class. Be sure to tell the class instructor that you are new; he or she will be sure to keep an eye on you and will try to give you personal attention during class.
Q: What if I have an injury or physical condition?
A: We routinely work with students coming back from injury or who have a physical condition or limitation. The key is to speak to each teacher before class so that he or she is aware of your situation, can offer suggestions for usage of props and modifications, and in many cases can even tailor the class plan around your needs. But he or she can only do that if you come to class early and speak up!
Q: I'm not flexible. Can I still do yoga?
A: Yes. Yoga can help you to develop flexibility, and we offer modifications and props to help accommodate you while you work toward a more flexible you! Gentle and Yin Yoga classes, recommended for beginners, emphasize flexibility.
Q: I'm out of shape. Can I do yoga?
A: Most likely, yes. If you have serious concerns, consult with your physician before starting a yoga practice. If you've simply fallen out of an exercise routine, listen to your body and only do what you can do, working to your edge, not past it. Take child's pose any time you feel yourself losing connection with your breath or getting tired. Use props and listen to the instructor's instructions for modifying postures to make them more accessible. Over time, you'll build up your strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility.
Q: I'm pregnant. Can I come to regular yoga classes or do I need to attend Prenatal Yoga?
A: This is a highly individualized question for you and your doctor to discuss, but as a general statement, if you have a regular yoga practice when you become pregnant, it is often safe for you to continue to come to regular (non-prenatal) classes during your pregnancy. If you are new to yoga, you should plan to register for a specific prenatal yoga class. Even if you do have an established practice, prenatal classes are often beneficial for learning how to modify postures during pregnancy, and for connecting with other expectant yogis. Check our Workshops & Events page to see if we have any Prenatal Yoga classes coming up. If we do not have any prenatal classes scheduled you may schedule a Private Lesson with a teacher who has completed a comprehensive 85-hour Prenatal Teacher Training course.
Q: What should I wear to class?
A: You do not need to purchase anything new for yoga class. Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely. Shorts, sweat pants, yoga pants, t-shirts, and yoga tops, are all commonly worn by our students. We practice barefoot, so no special footwear is required.
Q: What should I bring to class?
A: You do not have to bring anything to class, although you are welcome to bring a mat if you have one (see next question), and you may want to bring a bottle of water (we also sell bottled water for $1). We have all the props you will need at the studio.
Q: Do I need my own mat?
A: No. If you have your own yoga mat, you are welcome to bring it, otherwise, we have plenty of Lululemon and Manduka mats for students to use free of charge. We do not recommend purchasing a yoga mat until you're sure that you plan to continue with your practice. At that point, you will probably have a better idea about what type of mat you'd like to have and can make a wiser purchase decision.
Q: What should I expect and do when I get to the studio?
A: Here is a general description of what you should plan to do when you arrive for your first class. The instructor and desk assistant will welcome you and help you to get set up, and you'll find our studio environment to be very welcoming and easy to follow.
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early. If the class before your class is still in session, please wait outside the studio until it is complete.
Disconnect. Turn OFF your cell phone. Don’t put it on vibrate. You should put it in airplane mode or turn it off completely. You’ll be surprised how quiet the class is at certain points, and a phone vibrating in someone’s purse can definitely be a distraction.
Take off your shoes. Since we’ll all be walking around barefoot, it’s best if everyone removes their shoes upon entering the studio.
Sign in. Put your name on the sign in sheet at the desk. Be sure you’re signed in so that the studio’s records are accurate.
Introduce yourself to the teacher (she’ll probably introduce herself to you first) and tell her you’re new, what your prior experience is, and inform her of any injuries or other limitations you might have.
Put your mat down, grab your props and take the few minutes left before class to be still and get ready physically and mentally for class. Stretch, twist, or just lie on your back or sit on your mat, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you start the important process of giving yourself over completely to yoga for the next 60-75 minutes.
Q: Are private lessons good for beginners?
A: Yes. Private lessons are a great way to get started, especially for students who are uncomfortable jumping into a regular group class, and also for students who have specific goals or physical limitations, injuries, or condidtions. Learn more on our Private Lessons page.
Q: What is the average age of students at Valley Vinyasa?
A: Many beginners are intimidated by the thought of coming to a class full of young, fit, and flexible students. At Valley Vinyasa, we pride ourselves on being the most beginner-friendly studio in town, and part of that is the diversity of our student population. Our average student is 45-55 years old, and we have many students who are older than this, especially in our beginner-friendly Gentle and Yin Yoga classes. Valley Vinyasa new students feel welcomed and comfortable regardless of their size, shape, or fitness level. Our commitment is to make yoga accessible to everyone.
Q: Can children practice at your studio?
A: Due to our specific insurance coverage, students must be 13 years of age or older in order to practice at our studio.