Sure, let’s start doing yoga! But… there is such a big choice and it’s easy to get lost while searching for a class and teacher that would be best to start with. What steps to take when you want to put your first ones on the mat?
I personally started with Iyengar yoga. It was great for me because I knew little about the proper alignment in asanach and nothing really about how to use my breath in yoga, which is a crucial part of the practice. Iyengar yoga classes were slow, focused on details and good to start with, to feel my body a little better in stillness that the practice offered.
After three months, from one-time-a week I became a full time practitioner and continued with Iyengar yoga, while starting to feel I would like to add a little more dynamics to my practice. I saw the door the yoga world wide open and I could see so many possibilities and ways of moving that my curiosity led me to astanga yoga, a more dynamic and – let’s say – movement focused practice. This was intense, strong and energetic experience and in the beginning I liked to still mix it with Iyengar classes once in a while but in the end I let go of that and focused only on astanga. After about a year of regular astanga practice my body said subtle “no”. I had to take a little break and rethink what style is best for my body.
I always recommend my friends to start with hatha or Iyengar yoga or a slow, beginner vinyasa. It’s good to first learn about alignment, breath, yoga theory on a class that is slow paced and where you have time to feel yourself. More dynamic options are great but they don’t leave so much space for correcting the mistakes that sometimes are crucial for your physical health if you practice yoga often. Also, if you’re not familiar with how to breathe while practicing, moving dynamically will probably make you loose the harmony of breath completely and will make it hard to enjoy the class.
From my personal experience I would first join slow-paced yoga classes, where the teacher shares a little more about yoga theory and guides slowly through the movement and then experiment with different styles, when you already know what’s going on.
I hope that helps!