How to Find a Yoga Studio

how to find a yoga studio | almost getting it together

Well, this blog has basically turned into a fitness blog. Don’t worry, I have lots of recipes and lifestyle stuff coming your way soon. But I better take advantage of all those Google searches for fitness things now, right?

As I’ve mentioned, finding a yoga studio in San Francisco has surprisingly been a struggle for me. I just love my yoga studio at home, Amazing Yoga (which I’m ashamed to admit I did not visit once while I was home… I’m the worst). I love Amazing Yoga – there isn’t any chanting (well, three “OMs” at the beginning and end of class, which actually allegedly stretch your vocal cords), the teachers are all awesome and I leave feeling like I actually worked out.

how to find a yoga studio | almost getting it together

When all else fails… yoga at home.

In San Francisco, I can’t find a studio that is hot enough, one that is hard enough or one that doesn’t have any chanting… I just don’t want to spend 10 minutes singing Sanskrit, I’m sorry. I don’t have enough time for things as it is. I’ve found one that I like well enough but not sure if I love it yet. An instructor did that weird breathing thing and I just want to do some deep breathes and bend and sweat and… why is everything more complicated on the West Coast?

Every type of yoga is obviously not for everyone. Some of my friends (hey, Jess!) LOVE Bikram, others love a more restorative practice (hi, Carly) and me? I love being sore the next day. Power Vinyasa all the way.

If you’re new to yoga, here are my tips on how to find a yoga studio:

  • Try lots of types of yoga.
    A lot of studios have first class free or new student discounts. Take advantage of those and try every type of yoga you can – heated, not heated, hatha, yin… the list goes on and on.
  • Take advantage of free classes.
    Lululemon stores always have free classes, Athleta usually does and a lot of cities do yoga in the park or yoga on the beach, etc. These are taught by local teachers and you could find an instructor who teaches at a studio nearby.
  • Have an open mind.
    I didn’t think I was going to like hot yoga the first time I went. Then… I was hooked. I don’t even like non-heated yoga anymore. If I hadn’t ever tried it (aka had an open mind about it), I would never know that I loved it!
  • Talk to the teacher.
    I took a class on Thanksgiving Day that I didn’t love. It was fine, but it wasn’t heated or very difficult. I casually mentioned to the instructor that I was looking for a studio that was heated, etc. and she suggested another studio she taught at – and gave me free passes to go! (I totally need to remember to go haha.)
  • Don’t push yourself.
    If you aren’t comfortable doing a pose, DON’T DO IT! If you hurt yourself or push yourself too hard, you’re going to have a bad memory of that class
  • Be willing to do yoga at home.
    I’ve been finding it more difficult to get to yoga than I did in Pittsburgh. Also I had an unlimited class pass at my studio so I was going as much as possible to get my money’s worth! Now if I can’t make it to a class I will maybe do some half pigeons and random poses at home to stretch out. Maybe the right yoga studio for you is your living room or deck!
how to find a yoga studio | almost getting it together

Half-pigeon 4lyfe.

If you need a little extra motivation, you might need some inspirational socks. Toe Talks sent me a bunch of their lovely socks and I wore them to do some yoga on my patio while in Pittsburgh the past two weeks (the one day it was above freezing, of course). Each pair of socks has a message… my friend is “Seek Balance” because I seem to always be at one extreme or the other! Oh, and you can really find some balance by winning a trip to Turks and Caicos sponsored by the lovely folks at Toe Talk.

The creator, Jan, was suffering through a pilates class when she looked down and wondered what her socks would say if they could talk. She realized there was a need for motivational socks… even if they are covered by your shoes, YOU know their message is there! They are comfy and cozy as well, perfect for those cold winter nights that have fallen upon us.

Toe Talk is different from every other sock because they also donate $1 from every pair to charity. Past recipients include Stand Up to Cancer, Save the Children and Best Friends Animal Society.

how to find a yoga studio toe talk | almost getting it together

Seeking balance with Toe Talk.

Do you want to try some Toe Talks to inspire your yoga practice? I’m giving away SEVEN PAIRS so you don’t have an excuse to work out… or wear clean socks. Enter below now through Sunday at midnight EST. I’ll pick a winner randomly on Monday, 1.12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pants: Lululemon (old) Sweater: Oiselle (sold out) Socks: c/o Toe Talk

Chat with me:
How do you find balance in your life? Do you have any tips for finding a yoga studio?

27 comments on “How to Find a Yoga Studio

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Heather @Fit n Cookies on January 8, 2015 8:00 am

Ha.. balance.. definitely not found in yoga in my life! I’m like you and want that sore feeling. That’s probably why I haven’t enjoyed yoga because I only have tried the slooww ones that I’m not into. I would say balance is found by dividing up my to dos and such. Asking people for help never huts either!
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Whitney Carney on January 8, 2015 8:44 am

I’ve only done yoga once. Now I really want to try it!

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Tessa on January 8, 2015 10:17 am

i find balance by not doing so much so fast. I’m starting to live life by taking everything in and learning to slow down. I don’t think I was enjoying life before. Just going through the motions.

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Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon on January 8, 2015 10:41 am

Haha those socks are awesome!! Love it! Get in your yogi groove, lady.
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Larissa on January 8, 2015 10:46 am

I would say maybe its not that you haven’t found a studio you love, but an instructor you love. My studio is amazing, but even so, I don’t mesh with the style of some of the teachers. They are wonderful people, of course, just not the class for me. See if studios offer “find your teacher” type of discount packages to try several classes.

And then… give yourself and the teachers some slack. A good teacher will mix things up, so some weeks you may have more chanting or funky breathing meditations. Just let it push your comfort zone some. You probably have to try the same class for several session to get a good idea what the regular practice includes.

Good luck continuing your search! I know I would be lost if I ever have to leave my studio.
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Kay @ Kay Bueno on January 8, 2015 11:15 am

I have terrible balance, both literally and metaphorically. But I’ve been trying to take things slower lately, drink more tea, think about what I’m doing. Idk.

We should try more studios in the city. I think there must be a place that fits you better. (And I should do more yoga.)
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Alexa on January 8, 2015 12:08 pm

I’m not so good on balance, but some days I just really try to go to bed early so I can start the next day fresh.

also agree on the chanting in yoga, no like. Would love a pair of socks as I slip around on the mat and I think it would help with grip!
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Mattie @ Comfy & Confident on January 8, 2015 1:28 pm

Finding a yoga studio you love can be challenging. I like to take advantage of Groupon and Living Social offers to try out new places and see what I find and if any studios are keepers.
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Keri on January 8, 2015 1:41 pm

I find balance in my life by scheduling time for myself – to take bubble baths and workout.

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ali on January 8, 2015 2:14 pm

balance… hmmmm…. still working on that too. i’ve had a tough time finding classes that i like. it is all about the teacher usually. so i tend to practice at home most often….

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Olivia Schwab on January 8, 2015 2:28 pm

This is a great post! It’s hard to find yoga classes sometimes… thanks for the tips!
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Farrah on January 8, 2015 7:02 pm

Those are all great things to consider! I don’t think there are any yoga studios anywhere near me, although I think my hospital gym does offer classes (if I got out early enough to get to them…)

I haven’t done yoga in a while…I need to just convince myself to start doing it at home! I have a couple of Tara Stiles’ DVDs that I’ve been meaning to follow along with!
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Jennifer on January 8, 2015 9:00 pm

I work best with penciling workouts into my calendar. It forces me to follow a guide. I’ve only done yoga at my gym.
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Erin @ The Almond Eater on January 8, 2015 9:45 pm

You didn’t visit Amazing while you were home?!!! What is wrong with you? I’m kidding. Half kidding. I think trying a handful of different studios and taking advantage of their new student specials is huuuuuge. Amazing was the first one I tried, though, and I immediately fell in love for obvious reasons.

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Emily Ardoin on January 9, 2015 7:36 am

We had free yoga classes at my university that I adored! (All of the teachers were young, energetic, and extremely helpful). I really liked yin, although I also like Ashtanga for a bit more of a lively class with a lot of stretch. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find another yoga center that I like (and can afford!) since I’ve graduated.
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Jenn on January 9, 2015 9:12 pm

Balance? The closest I get to that is meditating during walk breaks on my training runs :)

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Paige c on January 10, 2015 9:27 pm

I find balance by learning to say no to the things that aren’t extra important and taking time for myself everyday, even if it is only 5 min

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Danielle on January 11, 2015 12:31 pm

Ah yes, I can totally relate to this! I fell in love with a tiny yoga studio while I visiting “home” in PA, and I haven’t been able to find one I like as much in FL! I’ve been doing yoga at home to make up for it…which is cheaper anyway :-) Thanks for sharing the tips!
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Shannon on January 11, 2015 2:58 pm

I like to try different studios to find one that works for me.

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Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness on January 11, 2015 7:00 pm

Cute socks!

I’m with you, I usually like my yoga classes challenging and sweaty. I do a lot of yoga at home, but also recently found a studio nearby that’s my go-to place when I want to do yoga with other human beings and not just my dog, who tries to lay on my mat underneath me! Ha.

Ah yes, balance is so important! I try to be balanced by working out a lot but giving my body a chance to rest; eating healthy and clean but letting myself drink wine and eat dessert when I want it; and working hard but also taking time to relax and decompress.
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Vangie K. on January 11, 2015 7:48 pm

I find balance by staring at one spot in front of me and regulating my breath. Thanks for the giveaway:)

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Montana @ Pretty Lil Mudder on January 12, 2015 4:47 pm

Great tips! I have yoga ADD lol- I can never commit to ONE style of practice. Lately I’ve been on a hot yoga kick, but then I tried acro yoga and fell in love with that! So when my unlimited pass is up at my favorite hot studio, I think I’ll hit the aerial studio for a bit :-) Luckily the studios in my town are full of awesomeness and I love a few of them! Good luck with your search! I hope you find one you love!
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Alexa on January 20, 2015 5:36 pm

I got my new socks today! Can’t wait to try them out!
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Cassie on January 25, 2015 2:22 am

Yay let me know what you think!

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