The new year is here. You’re ready to tackle 2020! You’ve got goals and you want to achieve ’em. If you’re looking to work on your health and wellness this year, yoga might be part of the equation. And if you’re asking yourself, “How do I pick the best yoga studio near me?” you have a lot of factors to consider.
As always, we’re here to have your back.
We’ve narrowed down the many questions you might have about what makes a yoga studio the right (or wrong) fit for you to just eight considerations. Keep scrolling for all of our best advice!
1. Can you easily get to the studio?
The first step in choosing the perfect yoga studio in your area is thinking through what kind of geography is going to be realistic. After all, if you can’t actually get yourself there on a regular basis, there’s really no point!
It’s important to be honest with yourself about how far you’re really willing to go for a workout. A fifteen-minute drive is objectively no biggie, but only you know if that commute will give you an excuse to skip out because you need to be within ten minutes or less to actually show up regularly. Your threshold will be different from your partner’s, your best friend’s, and your mom’s. The yoga studio you choose needs to fit your needs.
Start by thinking through how far you’re willing to travel to yoga from your home. Use Google Maps or Yelp to map out all of your options in that radius. You might also consider the routes on which you might stop for a yoga class! If you’d like to plan to take classes on your way to or from work or to your kids’ school, look closely along that path for studios, too.
2. Does the class schedule work with your routine?
Here’s another practical consideration — this one’s all about time, not location.
Once you’ve narrowed down your studio options to a shorter list based on geography, spend some time reviewing each studio’s class schedules online (you can find ours here!). Compare those schedules to your personal, work, and family calendar.
Are the classes you’re most interested in taking available at times when you will actually be able to go to them? Are there a variety of class options offered during convenient time blocks for you? Is it easy enough to schedule classes on the go or last-minute? If you want to take full advantage of a yoga studio, it’s best to know ahead of time that it will be convenient for you to try a mix of classes.
3. Do the studio’s offerings fit into your budget?
(We know, we know — so many practicalities. Such is life!)
We’d like to be able to say that health and fitness is literally priceless and that money shouldn’t be an object when you’re investing in physical activity… but we all know that’s not true. Exercise is proven to support mental health, but committing to a workout routine may prove counterproductive if it costs so much that your bank account starts to suffer! According to Talkspace, financial issues can become a difficult daily stressor and cause anxiety about the future.
To avoid these problems, review the costs of classes at the studios you’re considering. Given your current budget, how many of those classes can you afford to take per week or per month? If, at a particular studio, that’s not aligned with how often you want to do yoga (or your New Year’s resolutions!), you should probably strike that one from the list.
And another hot tip: make sure you’re evaluating the cost of each yoga studio based on the regular price of a class or class package, rather than on a short-term sign-up special they might offer.
4. Are there a variety of class leaders to choose from?
Per the Mayo Clinic, boredom is a common barrier to regular fitness. Often, hopeful workout warriors stray from their exercise routine because they get sick of repetitive movements every day. You’ve gotta keep things interesting if you want to stay engaged in chasing those health goals!
Ensure that this kind of variety will be available to you ahead of time by choosing a yoga studio that has a few leaders to teach classes. That way, you can try flows with different leaders, find one that you love best, and shake things up with a new teacher any time you’re feeling a little bored. Every leader at our Boulder and Villanova studios offers something different to their classes!
5. Do you actually enjoy the class experience?
After you start asking yourself “How do I find a great yoga studio near me?” you shouldn’t stop after doing research online. We encourage you to actually get in the studios you’re interested in. Many studios offer great deals for first-timers — take advantage of them! Grab your mat and test drive a class.
Are you into the brand of yoga practiced at the studio? Do you like the way the leaders teach the classes? Can you see yourself returning for a similar class on a weekly basis? Will these classes help you reach your health goals? All of these questions are important to consider!
6. What’s the vibe around the studio?
Now that you’re in the studio, you can also feel out the factors that are harder to put a finger on — the people, the atmosphere, etc.
Do you feel welcome and at peace when you walk in the front door? Do you pick up on a sense of community before, during, and after classes? Would you be excited to bring a friend or loved one to class with you? Will it feel like a treat to come to class at this studio? Does it motivate you?
7. How can you bring the studio experience home?
If you find a studio you love, it may bum you out to realize that your experience with it has to be isolated to those four walls, so it’s a bonus if there are classes you can stream at home or while you’re traveling… and on your own time.
We hate to brag, but our bulldog online platform does this pretty, pretty well. It’s all about making the experience more expansive and inclusive! If you think it will be important to your overall workout regimen to have streaming and online options, it’s worth asking questions about these kinds of studio offerings.
8. What’s the special sauce?
A yoga studio is about more than just the mechanics of the classes. Every studio brings a little something extra to the table. At bulldog, it’s all about high-energy flows, upbeat playlists featuring throwback tunes and other jams, and super fun class leaders.
Find the special sauce at each studio you’re considering and figure out what excites you most!
Once you start asking yourself “What’s the best yoga studio near me?” consider these eight factors in your search…
1. Proximity. Can you get there easily? Will you make the trip? Is the studio easily accessible to your office, kids’ school, or other common destinations?
2. Schedule. Are there plenty of classes available at times that are convenient for you?
3. Budget. Can you make a longer-term commitment to the studio without totally stressing over the cost?
4. Leaders. Are there multiple class leaders available at the studio for you to get to know and learn with?
5. Class Experience. Test out a class and see how you feel about it! Can you see yourself feeling motivated to go to these classes on a regular basis?
6. Vibe. Does the studio feel good to you? Do you feel comfortable with the community? This one’s hard to put into words, but you’ll know when it’s right.
7. At-Home Experience. If the studio offers streamed or online classes, that’s the cherry on top!
8. Special Sauce. What extra special something does the studio offer? What excites you about it?
Best of luck finding the perfect studio for you!
Are you looking to try new yoga studios in 2020?
Get Started with 25 Days of Yoga Classes
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Driving image: Spencer Davis/Unsplash; Calendar image: Eric Rothermel/Unsplash