If you are hearing a lot about yoga and want to give it a try, it's important that you educate yourself about the realities of yoga before jumping in and expecting that your downward dog will amaze and astound. Plus, it's important that you have all the information ahead of time as there are several different types of yoga (and if you don't speak yoga, trust me, they all sound the same) so it's important to find what's appropriate for you.
Before you plunk down the cash to start a year long series at a yoga studio, stop, take a deep breath and do these things:
1. Determine yours goals. Are you trying yoga because you want to be more flexible, healthier or for relaxation purposes?
2. Contact a yoga studio and ask them what type of yoga would meet your needs. Ask them to spell it. Say thanks and hang up.
3. Go to the bookstore. Get a book or interactive DVD on that type of yoga.
4. Try it at home until you are comfortable. (The best time to do yoga is early morning or evening).
5. Sign up for one class. Go, see where you're at compared to the class and listen to the instructions given on correcting your poses.
6. Officially join class when you feel you can keep up.
Note: Some would argue that there are all different levels of classes and you should join whenever. Maybe. But it's important to keep up with a class, as poses are typically done in a certain order at a certain rate. I think it's best to prepare yourself to be comfortable, so you aren't wasting your time or money.
While I agree you need to take into account your fitness level and needs before paying a ton of money for yoga classes, there is something for every level. Also, not only are there many different styles of yoga - there are many different teachers - each with a distinct slant.
It's really not a matter of being able to "amaze and astound" or "keep up" and if you're in a class with a vibe like that, I suggest you keep shopping, unless of course you're looking for Power Yoga - which is a whole different thing too.... It still say it's all good!
While I've found there are differences in yoga styles--Hatha, vinyasa, hot youga, etc...--I do agree that getting into yoga shouldn't be such a huge process....yoga is meant to relax and energize, not stress you out and require you to spend money on books and DVD's. Besides, doing yoga at home under the instruction of a book or DVD is a completely different experience from participating in a class. At home you don't get the hands-on instruction or the energy of the class. Most studios let you take the first class for free...definitely take them up on this, but don't stress...I really think anybody and everybody can benefit from yoga in one way or another.