Finding a yoga community that fits your personality is no easy task. Yoga studios are seemingly everywhere, and they’re all making some offer that they hope you can’t refuse. But it takes more than just an amazing discount to make a studio right for you. Finding a studio that is more than a studio, but also part of an amazing yoga community can be a challenge.

What do you want out of class?

Are you looking to relax and take your mind off the boss who keeps haranguing you about your TPS reports? Do you want to get sweaty and burn off that donut from Monday’s breakfast? Maybe you want to mediate and walk away from class feeling more serene? No matter what you’re looking for, there are options.

There are yoga classes about pretty much everything. Pick an objective and it will be easier to find a class. But! There’s nothing that says you have to pick just one and stick with it. Maybe today you want to mediate, but next week you’re into sweating it out in Bikram.

Consider the Culture

There are a couple types of yoga studios that seem to dominate the scene. There are the yoga studios that are relaxed, easy going, and they don’t care if you can go deep into crow. They care that you show up and you’re interested in practising yoga without injuring yourself. Then there are yoga studios that are modern, posh, and full of yogistas (fashionista yogis) sweating it out in their top of the line yoga gear while following very precise instructions.

Both studios are viable options, and both have their place in the yoga world. It’s simply up to you what culture is more to your taste. Try them both out. Maybe one will suit your needs for now, but you grow out of it as your practice evolves.

What yoga community are you looking for?

Are you looking for a community where a few yogis grab an ice cold, organic eco-friendly green tea after class, or where people are more anonymous and don’t know each other’s names? Some studios want their students to hang out and foster a real sense of friendship while others are just happy to have a smiling face in the classroom.

If you want to take it outdoors, there’s a yoga community for that too. Outdoor yoga classes are popping up all around the country, as outdoor yoga really lets you connect with nature and feel the sun shining on your face.

No matter what you’re looking to get out of yoga, there will be a community for you. But don’t be disappointed if it takes you a few tries to find what suits you.

Be patient, take your time, and don’t be afraid to cheat on your hatha yoga teacher with a Bikram instructor. Learning from a variety of teachers will only help you deepen your practice and grow as a yogi.

Photo by David Fulmer.