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How To Begin Your Yoga Practice In Texas

When you begin your first Yoga class in Dallas, Houston or anywhere else in Texas, you will probably hear your teacher, or yogi, refer to it as “your practice.” This refers to your individual experience with Yoga over time. And, with Yoga, your practice should always be evolving and changing, so it will never get boring.

The fact that you’ve decided to begin doing Yoga is the first, easy step. But don’t get stuck at the first step. And, for Pete’s sake, don’t get intimidated by others in the class. The following information will help you take that next step so that you can start enjoying the pleasures as well as the benefits of Yoga.

Select a Yoga type
It all begins with a little research. There are a wide variety of Yoga classes being offered in Dallas, Houston and other Texas markets. So if you pick one that does not suit your personality and state of physical fitness, you may not like it. Take your time. Do thorough research and choose wisely, grasshopper.

The best place to study which Yoga style you’re interested in is online. For most Yoga newbies, a Hatha or Vinyasa class will probably be the most appropriate. Both of these are basic styles and you can always try something fancy later on.

Finding a Yoga class
Check local alternative newspapers in your town just about anywhere in Texas, wellness magazines for listings or do a search on the web for Yoga and your town. You can also ask a friend who practices Yoga for a recommendation.

Once you get a listing of Yoga centers, pick a studio that’s convenient to your home or work, so getting to class will be easy. Make sure you start with a basic-level class. Many gyms also offer Yoga classes with excellent teachers. If you already belong to a gym and they offer the classes as part of your membership, start there.

What should you bring?
For the first day, you won’t need much except yourself and comfortable, breathable clothing. You should read up on the basic Yoga equipment you will need as well as do some research on basic beginning poses. Many studios, centers or gyms have Yoga mats that you can rent.

What should I expect?
In the typical Yoga class, the students place their mats in a loose grid facing the front of the room, which can be identified by a small altar or by the teacher’s mat. Don’t line up your mat exactly with the one next to it because you and your neighbor will need some space in certain poses. The students can sit in a cross-legged position and wait for class to start, or perform some gentle stretching exercises.

Some teachers may begin class by leading the class in chanting “om” three times. Depending on the teacher, there also may be a breathing exercise or short meditation at the beginning of the class. This is followed by warm-up poses, then more vigorous poses, then stretches and final relaxation. Sometimes the yogi will go around to each student during final relaxation and give him or her a little massage. And most teachers will finish class with another round of “oms.”

Congratulations! You just finished your first Yoga class and you may be a little sore in the morning.

So what if I don’t have access to a Yoga class?
Sure, there are a lot of great Yoga books and videos available. But there is no substitute for learning directly from a good yogi in a Yoga class. So if you can’t get to a Yoga class, start with any beginner’s video because this will give you more visuals to follow than you’ll find in a book.

Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at