Gosh Pauline, I've written entire articles on this very thing. I'll try to briefly answer your question.
The student has to identify their purpose. It is very difficult for us to know what is right for ourselves without having such a framework. If you are simply looking for an exercise regimen, okay. If you are looking to evolve mindfully, okay. And, of course, all points in between. But you have to have an idea before the exploration unless you are happy as a large with the experience of exploration itself :-)
What I advise is that new students call three local studios and ask the same four or five questions (of their own creation). Hear and feel the answers being offered. Ask about teacher skills, mission of the studio, registration with Yoga Alliance, et al. I avoid questions of price and so forth as it's simply not german to yoga at all one way or another.
Once you decide which studio is resonating with you, buy a multi-class pass of 5-8 classes. Take those with three different teachers. After each class, sit quietly and feel the residue of the practice in your own body - do this without being disturbed and without evaluation of the mind.
I believe this process most earnestly directs new students where they belong. The path, of course, will change. You will be moved closer toward or farther away and both are a matter of getting you to the right spot.
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