Is yoga a stretchy, pretzel-shaped mystery to you?
Mark Sept. 7 on your calendar.
Yes, it’s Labor Day, but here in Austin it’s also Free Day of Yoga Day, when yoga studios all over the city offer free classes so people like you can try yoga for the first time. (Not that yoga veterans get left out of the fun – it’s also the perfect time to experience a new style of yoga or check out a new studio or instructor.)
Austin’s Free Day of Yoga dates to 1999. Today, cities across the globe and as far away as Guam, New Zealand and the Netherlands, host their own such days.
Most Westerners are familiar with Hatha yoga, which uses physical postures like standing and balancing poses, twists and forward and back bends, plus relaxation and breathing techniques, to achieve health benefits. But there are a slew of other options, from Iyengar and Ashtanga to Viniyoga and Kundalini. All of them can help increase flexibility, strength, stamina and balance – and reduce stress.
The best way to find the right style and teacher? Try a bunch of classes until you find one you like. Go here to see a schedule of the free classes in Austin.
Here are some tips, from the organizers:
- Arrive early. Classes are well attended.
- Wear comfortable clothes so you can move easily.
- Come with a stomach that is neither too full nor too empty.
- Remember most yoga classes are taught barefoot.
- Bring a towel, blanket or yoga mat to class.
- Do the best you can and don’t overdo it. If it hurts, you may be taking it too far.
- Go at your own pace and respect the limits of your body.