It is hard to answer this question succinctly, and can best be answered by: "Just come and keep coming!" There are great scientifically-proven physical benefits but also with a committed yoga practice, there is a strong journey of self-discovery. We love this brief article from Healthline as a starting point for reading on benefits of yoga.
At River & Stone, we offer a Fundamentals class which we strongly encourage all students to explore. It serves to capture students' goals, introduce basic yoga postures and principles of alignment in a methodical way, and orient new students to broad yogic philosophies.
However, we emphasize all of our classes our all-levels. The Slow Flow & Restorative classes are also great starting points. If the Fundamentals class does not work in your schedule, feel free to explore any on the schedule and inform your teacher that you are new to yoga practice.
We often hear students express concern, "I'm not flexible." One of the core tenets of physical yoga practice is that it is available for all bodies. There are many miconceptions out there that we need to be "flexible" (or insert any other bias!) to practice yoga. Teachers at R & S are welcoming and knowledgeable in modifications to craft sequences in ways that are accessible.
By nature, heated yoga is a challenge. The room is heated to 90-95° with added humidity. It can take time to become acclimated, and there is a general level of physical (and mental) conditioning that happens in this process. However, teachers at River & Stone encourage and support that students rest as much as needed. If you are new to heated practice, it could be helpful to try a class with mild heat first.
If you have any concerns regarding your physical health and how it might be impacted by a heated yoga practice, we suggest you discuss this with your doctor first. These conversations are very individual and there are many variables to consider.
Water! It is important to stay hydrated in a class, especially a heated class. This is also an important consideration before and after a class.
Yoga Mat. Although the yogis of yore did not practice on yoga mats, we recommend one! We have mats to rent and purchase. There are a lot of opinions and preferences about yoga mats; finding one that you like may be a bit of an individual journey.
Towel. Additionally, you may see that many students opt for some type of towel over their mat in a heated class. There are different brands and types of towels, and a plain old beach towel can be a preference too. This is another place where most students find their preferences in trial-and-error.
Props. Props are our friends!! Props include blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, and many other types of assists (like chairs). Some misconceptions are that the use of props are "weaknesses" and that it is more challenging to avoid them. Most classes will at least incorporate yoga blocks, and it is strongly encouraged to have 2 blocks available for modifications and proper alignment. There are blocks available to borrow in studio if you don't have your own. Yoga straps and blankets are also commonly used and a wonderful addition. Bolsters are wonderful for restorative yoga.
Mini towel. You may want one to clear off sweat!
Thanks for asking! Also, please check out our page on Studio Etiquette.
Shoes. In effort to create an environment of sacred--and clean--space, we ask that you remove your shoes before entering the studio.
Cell phone. We politely ask that students practice presence, mindfulness, and time to "tune-out to tune-in" by leaving their cell phone in the lobby.
Food. Please do not bring food into the studio space.
Let us know in studio if you have additional questions!