4 beginner workshops for yoga newbies

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yogaWalking into your first yoga class can feel like walking into a crowded room naked. "I put my what, where? Why do so many words end in asana? Is everyone watching me?!"

Thankfully, a handful of New York's top yoga studios are rolling out mats for first-timers in honor of the New Year (and your resolutions to chill out more and get some yoga in your life).

So whether you're a runner with hamstrings of steel or haven't worked out in months, you can learn the basics before braving a full-on yoga class.

By 2014, you'll be ending every sentence with "Namaste." Here are four beginner yoga workshops to get you there. —Lisa Elaine Held

Jaya YogaJaya Yoga

This South Park Slope community studio is hosting two four-week beginner workshops—one with Leslie Graves and the other with Alison Dorfman—that will teach the basics of alignment-based vinyasa, classical yoga philosophy, how to use props, and more. You can sign-up for the whole series or drop-in for one serving.

Saturdays from January 5–26, 2:15-3:30 p.m., or Sundays from January 6–27, 12:15-1:30 p.m., $60 for series, $17 for single, www.jayayogacenter.com

yoga unionYoga Union

Alison West's careful, alignment-based approach to yoga is perfect for beginners, and this three-part series at her Flatiron studio will be a recurring workshop throughout the year. "We do strong foundational ABCs to help everyone practice safely in any form," West says. The series will be taught by instructor and Yoga City founder Brette Popper in January and Kaitlyn Hipple in February.

January 5, 12, and 26 OR February 2, 9, and 16, 3:00–4:30 p.m., $50 ($35 if you miss the first session), www.yogaunion.com


kula yogaKula Yoga

Rockstar instructor Marisa Sako trained with alignment gurus like Alison West, Leslie Kaminoff, and Kula Yoga-founder Schuyler Grant. She'll introduce you to Kula's intelligent brand of athletic vinyasa that's known for its focus on fundamentals and attention to alignment. Each week covers particular poses, starting with sun salutations and standing poses and ending with inversions and forward bending.

Saturdays from January 12–February 2, 2:00-3:30 p.m., $85 ($100 day-of), www.kulayoga.com

Marisa SakoBend & Bloom

Marisa Sako is also teaching a one-off workshop for newbies at this fave Park Slope yoga studio, where she'll break down fundamentals like basic asanas, breathing, and sequencing. The workshop will set you up for success in Bend & Bloom's regularly scheduled Basics classes.

January 13, 5:00–7:30 p.m., $30, www.bendandbloom.com


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  1. January 8th, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    While nothing beats a good person-person yoga instructor, don’t forget there are plenty of options nowadays for people to try yoga in their living room. Even doing yoga in a forest or on a beach can have added benefits of fresh air.

  2. January 9th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Sacred Sounds Yoga is also offering a 2-Week Beginners Vinyasa Yoga Workshop w. Jill Camera on Sunday, February 3rd and 17th at 2:00pm-4:00pm! Cost: $25 per session or $45 for both sessions. Pre-registration is recommended.

  3. January 11th, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Excellent article on options for propelling newbies into Yoga. I agree with Deven on the importance of fresh air while doing Yoga, as breathing plays a pivotal role in Yoga exercises.

    If you do not live nearby a forest a beach, a good leafy neighborhood park is never too far.

  4. February 22nd, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Yeah, Vinnie, I live on the west coast and feel truely spoiled with the mountains and oceans!

  5. April 22nd, 2013 at 6:28 am

    I really agree with you Devin, clearly a good environment helps a lot, but more importantly, good teachers will help even more… once you master the basics, you will be able to benefit from practicing Yoga anywhere!

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