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Which Yoga is best for beginners

Poplar Osteopathy

December 1, 2023

As a compete beginner, picking the right Yoga class for you can be a challenge.  There is so much choice with a lot of unusual terminology and can be confusing. The result of this is that you might go to a class which is not aligned with your goals which could then put you off for life! This would be a real shame as an appropriate yoga practice could change your life.

Picking a class is also further complicated because even within different styles of Yoga the teaching experience and method can vary massively.

Before attending your first Yoga class ask yourself the following questions

  1. What it is you want from a Yoga practice e.g strength, flexibility, stress management, spirituality, community?
  2. Can you get up and down off the floor and can you kneel?
  3. Are you physically fit  or do you have any injuries?

The answers to these questions will help you pick the class which is right for you.  If you  cannot kneel or get up and down off the floor then you may want to consider a chair based or restorative class.

If you have an injury you want to make sure the class is not too big and the teacher is trained appropriately to be able to support you in this practice as the majority of basic Yoga training does not equip Yoga Teachers to manage people with health conditions or injuries.

If you are looking for Yoga for strength and conditioning then a stronger  style such as Power Yoga or Hot Yoga might be more appropriate.  If you are looking for Yoga for mental health then you want to make sure there is enough time dedicated in the class for the breathing, relaxation and meditation.

If you don’t want any of the ‘spiritual stuff’ and just want to be more flexible, then you might be better off at a stretch or body balance class in a gym.  That’s not to say you won’t experience improved flexibility from any yoga class as it is a byproduct of a regular practice, but there will generally be elements of its origins in the majority of classes.

Once you have answered these then do your research, talk to the Yoga Studios, see who teaches in your village hall and gym, ask in your local Facebook groups and speak to the teachers before booking. Don’t be afraid to ask them about where they qualified, when they qualified, what other qualifications they have, tell them your concerns about joining if you have any.

And most importantly, try a few different styles of Yoga and also a more than one teacher of that style before committing financially. Having rapport with a teacher is vital to really be receptive to their message.

And finally when you’re in your first class:-

  • Speak up if you have questions
  • Tell the teacher BEFORE the class if you have injuries; a good teacher will be able to adapt everything they are teaching for your individual needs or will tell you if the class might not meet your goals.
  • Listen to your body – work within your pain limits and stop if it hurts or feels wrong.
  • Do your practice and forget about what other people are doing, their body is different to yours. YOGA IS NOT A COMPETITION, (especially with yourself).
  • It’s normal at the end of the class to lie down or sit in meditation, you can take something warm to put on or a blanket.  This is sometimes the hardest part.

And remember… have fun taking time for you!

Hatha yoga class at Poplar Osteopathy

Yoga descriptions

To help here is my interpretation of some of the more common physical Yoga styles (there are many more).



Although on a timetable it is generally used to describe a more traditional approach,

Slower classes with a good focus on breathing and a meditation part at the end.

This is generally a good option for a beginner.


Vanda Scaravelli was a woman.

Not a posture focused practice more a mindful movement practice

Freeing and awakening the spine

A lovely healing nourishing practice and might not resemble your perception of what Yoga should be.

Try this one if you haven’t it’s amazing.


Only do this if you are strong and un-injured. Not for a beginner unless you are confident in your strength and mobility.  Think burpees and push ups.

Same sequence of postures repeated every time.

If it has the word Mysore attached to the class title then it would be expected that you already know the sequence.


BKS Iyengar was a man; he liked things precise and in alignment

Postures are static and methodical.

Props are used to help achieve his interpretation of the ‘proper’ alignment


Each pose is held for a long time

Based on meridians of Chinese philosophy


The lovely sleepy one with blankets, bolsters, cushions and pillows

DO THIS ONE .. A LOT especially if you’re stressed, or have been ill recently or have children, or are about to have children. In fact everyone should do this.

Good for a beginner or anyone really


Hard physically demanding poses

For strong and uninjured people

Vinyasa / Flow

Sequencing of postures flowing from one to another seamlessly using the breath, class pace and intensity will vary.

May require more strength and higher fitness level from the start

Check with the teacher prior to attending that it is what you want


The ‘energetic’ one  and by this we are talking PRANA

Sometimes involves lots of movement and noise.

May include mantra, chanting, strong breath work, ecstatic dancing and shaking.

Hot / Bikram

Bikram is a man (who is currently a fugitive from the US government in Mexico)

He created the hot sweaty Yoga.

Practiced in a heated room

To find out more about our classes and Aimee click Here

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Aimee and Rhodri of Poplar Osteopathy Clinic Milton Keynes

We are an osteopathic clinic in Milton Keynes with a unique approach

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Milton Keynes Clinic

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