A Complete Guide To Yoga


Yoga Classes Directory : Yoga For Beginners : History Of Yoga : Benefits Of Yoga : Types Of Yoga :  More

On this page we have compiled a comprehensive guide to yoga studios in your area along with in depth information on yoga for beginners, the history of yoga, benefits of yoga, types of yoga, yoga terms, and much more.

Yoga Classes Directory

The following are a list of yoga studios in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and all over the USA. The directory is listed in alphabetical order by state. Just click on one of the links to visit the page of classes being offered in your area.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, and Tucson AZ. Click on the link to visit the page.

California – Southern

The following is a guide to yoga studios in Burbank, Corona, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Orange County, Pasadena, San Diego, and Santa Monica CA. Click on the link to visit the page.

California – Northern

The following is a guide to yoga studios in Berkeley, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Click on the link to visit the page.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver CO.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa FL.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Atlanta and Cartersville GA.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Honolulu HI.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Aurora, Chicago, and Northfield IL.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Indianapolis IN.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in New Orleans LA.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Baltimore MD.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Boston MA.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Detroit MI.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Minneapolis MN.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Kansas City MO.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Las Vegas NV.

New Mexico

The following is a guide to yoga studios in Albuquerque NM.

North Carolina

The following is a guide to yoga studios in Charlotte and Raleigh NC.

New Jersey

The following is a guide to yoga studios in Jersey City NJ.

New York

The following is a guide to yoga studios in Brooklyn and New York City NY.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Columbus OH.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Portland OR.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh PA.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Memphis and Nashville TN.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio TX.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Virginia Beach VA.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Seattle WA.


The following is a guide to yoga studios in Milwaukee WI.

History Of Yoga

Yoga is the oldest physical conditioning discipline known to mankind. For over five thousand years, yoga has helped people unite their body and mind to achieve overall well-being. The word yoga derives from the Sanskrit language and means to yoke-together or to unite. Yoga teaches that proper mental, spiritual and physical conditioning, combined with various breathing techniques that put the lungs to work in their full capacity, helps bring peace and happiness to the mind and spirit.

While no one knows exactly when it first originated, what most would agree upon is that India is the formal birthplace of this ancient practice. In the old days (and current) yogis would live a hermit lifestyle where they devoted their entire life to achieving samadhi and enlightenment. Unlike todays practice that mainly focuses on asana practice (the sequencing of physical poses which is what you mainly see taught in yoga studios around the world), the original practice mainly focused on breathing (pranayama), meditation, cleansing, and fasting. When combining this practice along with Seva (the act of giving and doing charity work in your community) and asana practice (yoga poses), this is what a traditional yoga practice comprised of.

Types Of Yoga

There are a large number of yoga types practiced today. Some yoga styles can be far more physically demanding than others, so it’s always advisable before one begins to check with a physician if one has health issues that may be exacerbated by yoga postures. Students should only accept instruction from qualified yoga teachers.

There are six paths or branches of yoga, with Hatha yoga being the most common of the Western styles. The other yoga branches are: Raja yoga, which strictly adheres to the eight stages of yoga, Karma yoga, which is the path of service, Khakti yoga, which is the path of devotion, Jnana yoga, which is the path of wisdom, and Tantra yoga, which is the path of ritual. One can also combine yoga paths.

Although the Hatha branch of yoga is most common in the West, it’s important to note all of the yoga branches have various and different styles. Some of the styles combine physical and spiritual yoga to equal degrees, while other styles are more physically demanding. Some yoga styles follow a set pattern while other styles many vary patterns depending on the level of ability of yoga students. No style is better than another. One can choose a style that best serves their abilities and needs.

In the US, the most common types of yoga practiced in studios include Hatha, Ahstanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Integral, Kundalini, Anusara, Power, and Yin. To learn more about these styles please use the following links:

Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga is a way to physically, emotionally, and spiritually bring the yoga student to a higher level of self awareness and subsequently a more balanced approach to living. Yoga originated in India, and is still widely practiced there. Unlike high-impact forms of physical conditioning, such as weight lifting and distance running, yoga uses postures and breathing to relax, strengthen, increase flexibility, and tone the entire body. Yoga meditation and yoga devotions help center the mind and increase spiritual understanding. Yoga is appropriate for all ages, and does not require one to be in superb physical condition in order to start. Yoga uses a series of asanas, or postures, which can be modified depending on a person’s individual needs.

Some Yoga benefits are..

-Stress Relief
Yoga can help reduce the effects of stress on your body. One of the benefits of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and can lower the amount of cortisol in your body.

-Pain Relief
Daily exercises of yoga can help ease the aches and pains of the body. Many people with very serious diseases have reported less pain after these daily exercises, such as asanas or meditation.

-Better Breathing
You will learn to take deeper, slower breaths with daily exercises of yoga. It will help to increase your lung function and set off the body’s relaxation response. This can be one of the most powerful benefits of yoga.

You will notice your level of flexibility will increase, which will help with your range of motion. Sometimes in the yoga daily exercises, people cannot even touch their toes. The benefits of yoga will include lengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your body to help you become more flexible.

-Increased Strength
Yoga poses use all the muscles in your body and help you increase your strength level from head to toe. The benefits of yoga and daily exercises will help you strengthen your muscles close to the bones, which increase the support of your skeletal system as well.

-Weight Management
You will see the benefits of yoga begin to affect your scale. Daily exercises are always recommended, but yoga helps reduce the level of cortisol in your body. This aids in weight loss and fat burning.

-Improved Circulation
Yoga will help improve your body’s circulation. In turn, with daily exercises, you will see the benefits of yoga with lowered blood pressure and pulse rates.

-Cardiovascular Conditioning
Even the most gentle style of yoga will help to lower your resting heart reate and increase your overall endurance. This is one of the important benefits of yoga to help improve the amount of oxygen taken in during the daily exercises.

-Focus on the Present
You can have greater coordination, memory skills, reaction times, and improved concentration skills by utilizing yoga for daily exercises. These benefits of yoga will extend far out of the yoga center.

-Inner Peace
What more could you want. This is one of the primary reasons that people do daily exercises of yoga. This is one of the most important benefits of yoga and is also one of the more easy ones to attain.

Health and Yoga

In a recent study by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, they report that yoga can benefit low-back pain, improve fatigue in breast cancer survivors, decrease stress, and help resolve sleep disorders.

For centuries doctors have recognized there are a few basic rules to living a longer, healthier, life. Phrases like: “laughter is the best medicine,” and “an apple a day helps keep the doctor away,” are as common as they are true. The teachings of modern yoga, show, “the proof is in the pudding,” when it comes to the age-old litanies of the neighborhood M.D., because modern yoga is based on five principles that truly do help a yogi live a longer, healthier, life. In recent studies on yoga, it has proven to improve peoples health and well-being.

Yoga teaches the first principle, proper relaxation, helps the yogi reach a state of physical, mental, and spiritual calm. In yoga there are many postures that help promote relaxation, and because yoga isn’t about stressing the body to its pain threshold like many other exercise regimens, learning to relax through yoga is painless and fun.

Yoga teaches the second principle, proper exercise, is much more than bulking up muscles through a series of weight based mechanical movements. Yoga postures or yoga asanas, are not based on repetitions or sets, but on holding poses for a period of time. Yoga exercises are an excellent way to build strength and balance, and increase flexibility.

Yoga teaches the third principle, proper breathing, helps the yogi use the lungs to their full capacity, which in turns gives vital energy to all parts of the body. Yoga teaching that deep abdominal breathing is the best way for the body to receive oxygen and prevent tension that makes proper relaxation difficult.

Yoga teaches the fourth principle, proper diet, helps the yogi in all aspects of life including physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Yoga teaches an unhealthy diet makes it easier for the body to suffer from disease, and the mind from negative thoughts.

Yoga teaches the fifth principle, meditation, helps the yogi calm the mind and concentrate. In yoga, meditation helps unite the body and the mind and bring peace to yoga practitioner. Yoga meditation is not about emptying the mind so much as it is about ignoring the other senses for a space of time in order to focus on the “self.”

These five basic principles were created by Swami Sivananda so yoga would be more easily understood by Western yoga students. These five yoga principles are proven to help yoga practitioners achieve the utmost from the yoga experience, and develop an understanding of true meaning of yoga.

A Guide To Yoga Terms


Pranayama is the art of breathing. Yes we all do it but most of us do not do it correctly. What many in the yoga community don’t realize is that when they are “turned on” to yoga what they are actually getting revved up from is the yogic breathing and oxygen intake. Basically in our stress induced lives we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off and are doing shallow breathing. What this means is that because oxygen is not reaching the deepest parts of our lungs, this causes stress and anxiety. So as we start to get into our yoga practice, it is forcing us to spend one hour (or more) on doing intentional breathing which helps oxygen reach the depths of our lungs. This is the high people correlate with yoga. The truth is that yes, asana practice is great. But this really helps more with bone and muscle issues. The joy and high you are feeling is from the oxygen brought on by deep breathing.

To learn more visit our page on Pranayama


The terms used in yoga and the word yoga itself, are derived from the ancient Sanskrit language. Yoga means to yoke-together, or unite. In yoga this term implies the uniting of the body and mind. There are some who back away from attempting yoga because the difficult sounding words make yoga sound scary and mysterious. While it may take some time for beginners to learn all of the different yoga terms, it’s worthwhile to note a few of the more common yoga terms, and hopefully take away a bit of the mystery for beginners.


Guru is one of the most common words associated with yoga and is sometimes misunderstood. A guru isn’t a “yoga teacher.” A guru is a master of yoga and is considered to be spiritually enlightened well beyond what most yoga teachers are. Gurus help their students attain the highest level of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical fitness.


The word asana in yoga means a physical yoga pose or yoga posture. Yoga practices are made up of a series of asanas. The names of almost all of the many, many yoga poses end in “asana.” Asana’s vary in level of difficulty, and for those beginning yoga, it’s best to start with the asana’s that are not too difficult and work into the more advanced postures.

These are just a small sample of the many yoga terms you will learn as you begin your yoga experience. Depending on what style of yoga you chose to learn, some yoga terms will be more common than others. Yoga words and their meanings will come more easily as you practice the physical and intellectual areas of yoga. The important thing to remember is that yoga isn’t just exercises. It’s a lifestyle that you can adapt to at whatever pace you wish.

Yoga In The Media

In the last twenty years yoga has gained a lot of traction in the media. Because it has risen in popularity most of the major media outlets such as the New York Times, Womens Health, Huffington Post, and of course the industry magazine Yoga Journal are covering every major component of the industry and community. One of the major talking points though are injuries caused by yoga. The truth is that the media loves to sensationalize everything and of course wants to find the negative. While many of these reporters focus on the positive benefits, you will also see many reports on students becoming injured while in class.

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