Over the years, one of the most common things we’ve heard from first-time yoga students is that it can be intimidating to take a yoga class – or even step foot inside a studio. The idea that yoga needs to look a certain way or yoga practitioners need to look a certain way or have a specific physical ability isn’t uncommon, and it also couldn’t be further from the truth.
We’re here to set the record straight and tell you – right here, right where you are and as you are in this very moment, is everything you need to take a yoga class. Truly.
Our style of yoga is for any body. Young, old, flexible, achy, unbalanced, in shape, thick, skinny, tall, short; whatever you consider yourself to be – it doesn’t matter, every body has a space in our studio.
To put your mind at ease, we’ve put together a list of the most common questions we get from first-time yogis along with common misconceptions and helpful tips to know heading in to your first class.
Q: I’m not flexible, so I can’t do yoga, right?
Ah yes, we hear this so often. Every body is unique and what one person can or can’t do in terms of range of motion is completely different than what another person can or can’t do. And guess what – the reason our practice is for any body is because the style and sequence we teach can be customized to meet you where you are, and continually modified to adapt to your body and physical abilities as they change (because they will)!
Flexibility is not a requirement, and truthfully, those who are naturally flexible aren’t necessarily at an advantage. Being overly flexible poses it’s own downsides such as “sitting” in your joints in a pose rather than actively engaging your muscles which can lead to negative outcomes in the long run.
So – no need to check flexibility off as a pre-requisite to finally taking a yoga class.
Q: What do I need for class?
The bare minimum you need for a yoga class is yourself, a water bottle, and a yoga mat (which you can rent).
Ideally, a yoga mat designed for a heated practice. If you plan to come into the studio to practice, we encourage you to rent a mat rather than bringing a PVC yoga mat because they are not suitable for our style of yoga. Anyone who has practiced on a cheap yoga mat can tell you, the mat makes all the difference between slipping and sliding or a stable foundation (and a lot of unnecessary sweat).
What we suggest for both new yogis and long time practitioners is what we refer to as the “perfect bundle”: A mat, strap, and block. These 3 tools will provide you with everything you need to experience a supported and powerful practice that works for your body.
Q: What do I wear?
Comfort is key. Choose lightweight clothing you can move freely in. Closer fitting clothing is ideal so you don’t get tangled or caught up while moving.
And forget the socks – we practice in bare feet!
Q: Which class is good for beginners?
At Evolution, we don’t categorize our classes based on experience level because our sequence is adaptable for every body, so you won’t find any “beginner” classes here. Your best bet would be to choose a Journey Into Power class; this is our standard vinyasa practice.
Q: Can I take class if I don’t know any of the poses?
Yes! Many people start off not knowing any, or only a few. It’s just like anything else new – you learn!
Set yourself up in the middle of the room so you have a vantage point from every side. This way you can look around to reference the shape of a pose if you hear something you’re unfamiliar with.
And if you’re unsure, just ask! There is no rule that you can’t talk during yoga. Our instructors are more than happy to help you, that’s what they’re here for! All of our instructors are trained and have the ability to guide you either through verbal cues or hands on assists, given your consent, to be sure you are safely positioned within a pose.
The more you practice, the more you’ll become acquainted with the names and shapes.
Q: What options do I have for taking a yoga class at Evolution?
We offer 3 practice formats:
In-Studio: You can practice in-studio at any of our 3 locations (York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg, PA). Packages and Memberships are accepted at all locations.
Livestream: Join us from anywhere in the world and experience real-time connection with our instructors and the rest of the EPY community in a see me, see you format where our instructors can interact and offer real-time feedback. Livestream classes are included in all Class Packages and Memberships.
On-Demand: When your life schedule doesn’t match up with our studio schedules, then on-demand is the perfect option for you. Anytime, anywhere access on your terms. Not only that, our on-demand library offers whole-life wellness content to support whole body and mind health with yoga, meditation, nutrition, and self-growth content. Bonus content like pose breakdowns, prenatal practices, and more make this an ideal supplement for those looking to customize their practice. Find out more about Evolution GO here. On-Demand is included in all Memberships.
Q: What if I can’t keep up with the rest of the class?
Our practice combines breath to movement – so if you’re moving with your breath, then you’re keeping up. There is no need to go at the same speed as the person next to you or the rest of the class. This is important to remember at the beginning of class during Sun Salutations when it is common for everyone to be moving at difference paces through Sun A and Sun B. Eventually, everyone will end up in down dog together.
Q: Won’t I get bored doing the same sequence every class?
A quote once said; “Yoga isn’t boring, you’re boring”. And it’s true. We practice the (basically) same set sequence for a reason – because it works. And it will always work for you so long as you remain curious and work toward what is next for you in your practice.
Every single pose can be scaled up or down depending on your needs. If you find yourself bored in the practice or unable to focus, then it’s a signal that you need to scale your practice up.
It’s called a practice for a reason. There is no finish line in yoga, there’s just what’s next. The practice is so transformative because there is no plateau, no need to rotate or cycle in order to continue to gain results. There will always be something new to learn and something different to try – you just have to do the work and be curious.
Q: Is yoga for guys?
It sure is! We have a lot of men in our classes, of all ages, who are regular practitioners. You won’t be alone, there are plenty of men in our community!
Q: Will I actually get a work out doing Power Yoga?
Our style of yoga is a mix of cardio and aerobics in the form of a whole-body workout. (No muscle gets left behind). How strenuous or intense your yoga practice is is completely in your control. If you’re looking to sweat, gain strength, and tone – it’s all possible! Get creative, too. Our Yoga IGNITE class adds resistance bands and free weights into the practice to amp up the burn, so if that’s what you’re interested in we suggest popping into one of those.
Remember, though, we also offer Deep Rest classes that are fully geared toward ease and rejuvenation if that’s what you’re after. Think deeper stretching, longer holds, and yes – no heat.
Q: How often should I come to class?
It all depends on what your goals are. We have a saying here; “Practice 3x a week to change your body, practice 5x a week to change your life.” The saying runs true, ask any community member their personal experience based on their practice frequency and you’ll see the more you come, the bigger your results an the greater impact on your life overall.
But there is no minimum requirement. If your schedule only allows you to come 1-2 times a week, then work with what you can manage. Something is always better than nothing! And yoga is a practice intended to improve your overall wellbeing and life – if you’re stressing yourself out to make it to 3 studio classes a week you’re not doing yourself a favor.
This is also why we offer 3 practice formats; studio, livestream, and on-demand*. This way, no matter your availability, time of day, where you are in the world there is always an opportunity to practice if you want to.
*On-demand access is included in all of our Memberships and as part of our Virtual Subscription, evolution GO.
Q: Is it ok to leave class early?
Schedules can be crazy, we get it. And we’re happier to have you in class for some of the time than no time at all! If you need to leave early, just set you mat up in the back of the room or near the door and exit quietly when you need to.
If you can’t make it to the studio, you can always join us for a Livestream class from anywhere to still get that real-time studio energy. We get lunchtime yogis who pop in for 30-minutes from their office or home office often!
Q: And what if I’m running late? Can I still take class?
Yes, you can. Depending on the location, the front door may or may not be locked once class begins. Check with your home studio to see what their protocol is for when class starts. But generally, if you’re running late just come into class quietly, find a space, and work yourself into the practice. We suggest beginning with some Sun Salutations on your own to warm your body up and then join in wherever the rest of the class is.
Once class is over, head to the front desk so the instructor can properly add you to the class roster and check you in to our system – you wouldn’t want to miss a class counting toward Century Club 😉.
Q: Can my child practice with me?
So long as your kiddo is quiet and non disruptive, it’s perfectly fine for them to be in the studio with you while you practice. You’ll know if your child is becoming disruptive, and if so, just gather your things and exit class quietly. If your kiddo is practicing, we have a special pricing for children 12 and under – just let the instructor know at check in and we’ll get them added to the roster.
Q: Can I still practice if I have an injury or am recovering from surgery?
We have many students who have dealt with one of the above and have created a practice that works for them. Get clearance from your doctor or surgeon prior to practicing and then modify the practice as needed until your body is fully healed. Alert your instructor to your injury/recovery prior to class beginning so they are aware.
If you are unsure how to modify your practice to suit your physical needs, you can always schedule a private session with one of our instructors where you can work together to create an adaptive practice, this way you can pop into any public class and modify as needed.
Please note: Our instructors are not qualified to offer medical advice. All medical questions and clearances should be directed toward your doctor.
Q: Do you offer hands on assists during class?
Yes. At check-in, If your instructor plans on doing hands on assisting, you will be given a double sided card. Place the card at the top of your mat during practice in clear view of your instructor and choose whichever option suits you; yes, you are open to assists, or no, you do not wish to be assisted. You are welcome to flip the card at any point in class.
Q: Do you offer special rates and packages?
Yes. High School and College Students get 10% off any of our standard memberships and class packages (excluding our Get Started introductory offer). Valid student ID will need to be shown at the time of purchase. Evolution Learning Institute (Our Yoga Teacher Training) graduates receive a lifetime 20% discount on all memberships and class packages.
Now that we’ve got all of those questions out of the way, all that’s left is for you to take class 😉.
Our goal here at Evolution is for you to feel supported and comfortable in your practice and anytime you walk through our studio doors. So if you ever have a question – just ask (yes, even during class!).
Any of our instructors are more than happy to support you and your continued growth in whatever way they can!