YOGA FOR BEGINNERS
- We offer a weekly class for beginners called Beginners Yoga: Yoga for the Inflexible every Sunday from 9:00am to 10:00am. Drop in anytime to this ongoing class designed just for beginners.
If you’re new to yoga, it can seem intimidating: the strange names for poses, the images of yogis bound up like pretzels, the mystique that surrounds the world of yoga. Happily, yoga is not nearly as mysterious as it may seem at first.
There’s a reason why yoga continues to become more popular all over the country (and the world), and why health experts recommend yoga more and more to people of all ages and abilities. Yoga provides proven benefits to body, mind, and spirit.
In this section, learn what yoga is all about and what to expect, then check out our class schedule to get started. Come drop in to any yoga class; no need to be a member. Learn more about drop-in pricing, class cards, and memberships (and be sure to check out our $75 Welcome Month: try up to 12 classes to see what works for you). More questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We love introducing people to yoga.
Yoga benefits body, mind, and spirit. Yoga’s many benefits have been experienced by millions of people around the world for generations. At last, science is catching on, and doing research to measure and document these benefits. This list of yoga’s proven benefits is incomplete, but it gives a glimpse into the joys of integrating yoga into your lifestyle:
Physical benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone; cardiovascular and circulatory health; lower blood pressure; improved respiration; energy and vitality; metabolism regulation and weight loss; improved athletic performance; reduced inflammation; relief from chronic pain, and more.
Mental and emotional benefits of yoga include: stress reduction; relief from anxiety and depression; sharper attention, focus, and concentration; calming and centering of the nervous system; improved sleep, and much more!
Wear what you would wear to exercise in. This could mean a tank top or t-shirt, tights, gym shorts, or sweatpants. Dress for your comfort and ease of movement. No socks or shoes necessary; yoga is practiced barefoot. It’s best not to wear a fragrance to class. If you have long hair, wear a hair tie to pull your hair away from your face (but don’t worry if you forget; we provide hair ties free of charge!).
Napa Valley Yoga Center provides everything you will need for yoga class: yoga mats, as well as yoga props that are used in some poses, such as foam blocks, straps, bolsters, and blankets. You may wonder what all these props could be for! Sometimes it’s to help us reach our foot in a pose, get a better stretch, or to support us when seated or lying down. Many classes take advantage of props, and your teacher will tell you which ones to gather from our well-stocked prop wall in the classroom. We also provide hand towels and filtered water. Bring a water bottle if you like. If you have your own yoga mat, bring that too!
Napa Valley Yoga Center has a large parking lot, so you won’t have any problem parking right in front.
For your very first yoga class, please arrive at least 15 minutes before the class start time. This will give you time to sign in, get familiar with the studio, stow your belongings, set up your mat and props in the classroom, and meet your teacher. We have cubbyholes right outside the classroom for stowing your belongings (be sure to turn your smart phone to silent), and we always have front desk staff on duty. Napa Valley Yoga Center is a safe environment, but valuables are best left at home.
When you arrive, let our desk staff know you’d like the new student special: new students can sign up for a month of up to 12 yoga classes for just $75!
Introduce yourself to the teacher, and feel free to let your teacher know it’s your first class or that you’re a beginner. This will help your teacher support you so you have a fantastic first class experience. Our teachers love introducing people to yoga. Your teacher will tell you what props you’ll need, and you’ll gather your props plus a yoga mat and choose a spot anywhere in the classroom to set up and wait for class to begin.
Classes at Napa Valley Yoga Center are 75 minutes long, unless otherwise noted on the class schedule.
Yoga classes almost always begin with a quiet time called pranayama, where we settle in to the space, leave our cares outside, and bring our attention to our body and breath. Then, your teacher will guide the group through gentle, slow warm-up exercises that will engage your body and your attention.
You may hear names of poses that you’ve never heard before. Look at the teacher and at other students for guidance of what to do. Don’t worry about looking strange; yoga students are all focused on their own practice and are used to seeing other students do their own thing. Never feel any pressure to do a pose that isn’t right for you; yoga is a completely adaptable practice, and yoga students regularly change the poses to work better for where their body is that day. Every pose is always optional, and your teacher will offer a variety of options for more challenging poses so that everyone can benefit.
Most classes will slowly build in intensity as we engage our strength, flexibility, balance, and focus more. You will feel challenged! And most importantly, you will feel good. Some gentle style classes, such as Yin and Restorative, remain at a more soothing level throughout the class.
Every class concludes with a period called savasana (sha-VAH-sah-nah), where students lay still in silence with eyes closed. Savasana is a time for your body and mind to integrate the practice. Yoga practitioners universally speak of the peaceful, relaxed, buoyant feeling that comes at the conclusion of a yoga class.
In your first few classes, you may feel a little confused or even frustrated. Or you may feel energized, elevated, and enthralled! Or a combination of all these feelings and more; yoga provides an infinite opportunity for every individual to grow and make gains. And you will make gains; the more classes you take, the more you will see changes in yourself. These include physical changes like better balance, more strength and flexibility, improved posture, and lowered blood pressure, as well as internal changes like greater sense of calm and a more positive attitude towards life.
Private yoga is a great way to start your yoga practice! If you’re hesitant about dropping into a class full of potentially more experienced students for your very first class, consider private sessions to familiarize yourself with yoga and build confidence. We custom match one of our experienced teachers to your needs and interests. We can come to you, or you can come to our studio for a private session. Contact us to learn more about private yoga.
Some people say they can’t do yoga because they’re so inflexible. But that’s exactly who yoga is good for! The more you do yoga, the more flexible and stronger you become. We firmly believe that yoga is for every body, and wherever you are right now is the right place to start. Every individual has the ability to benefit from the practice of yoga.
If you’ve been thinking about giving yoga a try, consider our new student special: one month of up to 12 classes for $75.
Learn about the different styles of yoga offered at Napa Valley Yoga Center, and see what descriptions resonate with you. We also invite you to contact us directly to discuss what classes may be the best fit for you. If you are brand new to yoga, or haven’t been involved in fitness for some time, it is best to wait before trying classes described as Advanced or Strong. These classes will have a level of challenge that may be too intense at first. If you’re looking for relaxation and stress reduction, try Restorative or Yin.