If you’ve never gone to a yoga class before, now’s as good of a time as any to get started. Yoga can bring about a sense of well-being, and it’s also chock full of physical benefits, like muscle toning and lengthening. Yoga is an isometric exercise, meaning you use your body’s weight against it. You typically do poses in sequences, and then repeat them a few times before moving on to another asana, or pose and another sequence.
Getting ready for your first yoga class means you’ll probably want to start small. Try out a 30 or 45 minute class to start. Most yoga classes, however, are an hour. Beginners need more time to learn how to do poses, and experts like to do more pose sequences or hold a pose longer. In a 30 minute yoga class, you will likely only be working on one or two poses and getting the mechanics of them right. A 45 minute yoga class is another quick sequence, but you can get some sun salutations in!
60 Minute Classes
An hour long yoga class is the standard time frame for yoga classes in most studios around the country. You will arrive at class hopefully a few minutes early, so you can set out your mat and start to practice yoga breathing and warm up. The teacher will then lead you through a guided warmup and breathing, and you will start doing poses. You will do these for about 30 minutes, and then maybe take a short break or do some seated poses. Floor work, however, is deceptively hard. It looks like you are just laying there, but you are working your abs and core and legs. The final 10 minutes will usually be a corpse pose and meditation. It’s similar to a cool down period, and really relaxes you for the rest of your day.
Half Hour Classes
Some yoga classes are an hour and half. These are often taught in “hot” yoga studios because those classes lend themselves to being longer. Hot yoga is an intense session, and is a full body workout that sometimes requires a 70 to 90 minute class. Most yoga classes on weekends will also offer longer classes, for those who can’t make it to regular classes during the week.
If you’re new to yoga, don’t take more than an hour at a time. It can be difficult to get started if you’re trying to go for longer than that. Namaste!