New Students

Welcome! We’re glad you found us.

Whether you’re new to our studio or new to yoga, we have a variety of class options for you, both in studio and via live stream. Check out Our Approach & Class Descriptions for more info on our approach to yoga, as well as a list of class descriptions.

We offer affordable and flexible rates so that you can practice in a way that fits your budget, goals, and lifestyle. You can choose from packages of classes, memberships, and drop-ins. You can also choose between options that are live stream only, in studio only, or a mix of both. Check out our Rates page to learn more.

 

For questions about which classes to take or which memberships/passes to buy, contact our studio advisor, Kari.

If you’re brand new to yoga, take a look at our FAQs below. We’ll walk you through some common questions about starting this life-changing practice. If you’ve practiced yoga before but are new to Sellwood Yoga, take a look at our About page to learn more about our studio and what makes us unique in Portland’s thriving health-and-wellness world.

Before you attend your first in studio class, check out our Studio COVID Protocol page for information on studio etiquette and class procedures. If you’re attending a live stream class, take a look at our Live Stream page for FAQs specific to online classes.

We look forward to getting to know you and watching your practice grow and deepen. Please email us at info@sellwoodyoga.com if you have any questions or concerns. See you in class!

 

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FAQs for Beginners

Are there any prerequisites for taking classes at Sellwood Yoga? Do you offer any yoga for beginners?

There are no prerequisites for our classes, and you are welcome—and encouraged!—to explore any class you wish. However, we do offer some classes and series that are designed for people who are new to yoga, regardless of their fitness background. For instance, our Beginner’s Yoga series, which we offer frequently, is a great introduction to the fundamentals of the practice and will prepare you to deepen and expand it in a multitude of directions. Yoga Basics, Gentle Yoga, and Restorative Yoga are also good classes to try when you are first starting out. In general, we encourage our students to explore a wide range of classes and find out which ones best suit their needs and interests.

Do I need to be flexible and/or in good shape to do yoga? What benefits can I expect?

You do not need to be flexible, fit, or any particular way to start practicing yoga. Yoga can certainly help you become more flexible, stronger, and less stressed out, and people report experiencing a variety of benefits after practicing yoga. It supports every system in the body (muscular, skeletal, digestive, nervous…you name it!), and many practitioners notice changes after a single class. You may feel less stressed, more centered, and deeply grounded after a single hour of yoga, and with a long-term, regular practice, the benefits accrue exponentially.

A regular yoga practice builds strength, stability, flexibility, and stamina, and it can prepare you for (or support you in) other active things that you do. Yoga also includes elements of mindfulness and breath awareness that work wonders in terms of relaxation and stress relief. It can provide you with tools to achieve more peace and well-being in every facet of your life.

What happens in a yoga class?

Although it depends on the style (see the class descriptions on Our Approach & Class Descriptions), many yoga classes start with a slow, breath-centered warm-up series. Then, the instructor may guide you through a number of carefully sequenced standing and balancing asanas (or poses), peaking with one or two that are more challenging. He or she may wind down with a few seated and/or reclined positions, and most classes will close with several minutes of savasana (or relaxation pose). This final posture allows your body to integrate the benefits of the practice and emerge centered, calm, and refreshed.

Is yoga a religious practice?

The roots of yoga are found in ancient Indian philosophy and religion, and for many people, yoga is a deeply spiritual practice that nourishes their bodies, minds, and souls. However, many practitioners approach it from a non-spiritual standpoint, relishing in its practical elements of fitness and mindfulness. There is no “right” approach. At Sellwood Yoga, we are committed to a non-dogmatic environment that is 100% welcoming and affirming. Some classes may contain practices that hearken to the ancient roots of yoga (like chanting or brief readings from foundational texts), but others are totally grounded in contemporary health and wellness theory.

How do I know which class I should take? What’s the difference between all the different types?

There are many styles of yoga, and at Sellwood Yoga, we are proud to offer a wide variety. You can check out Our Approach & Class Descriptions for more info on our approach to yoga, plus class descriptions.

If you are new to the practice, you may enjoy some of our slower, gentler classes. For example, Gentle Yoga involves holding gentle, nourishing poses for longer periods, and Restorative Yoga involves the use of props and supports, so you can deeply relax into each pose.

If you are interested in a class that moves more fluidly and dynamically, you can explore our vinyasa and alignment-based classes. Vinyasa Flow classes link breath with movement, and may range in intensity from mellower practices to stronger, more vigorous sequences.

We also offer classes that aren’t specifically rooted in yoga. For example, our Pilates classes offer a great way to tap into your core and get a good workout, and our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course (MBSR) is proven to reduce the physical and emotional symptoms of stress.

In general, if you are trying to decide which class to take, we recommend reading our class descriptions, emailing info@sellwoodyoga.com and/or calling 503.575.9982, or coming to a class a bit early to chat with the instructor. You can also contact our studio advisor, Kari, who would be happy to talk with you about which classes you should take. Above all, remember to listen to—and trust—your body; it’s your best teacher.

Anything else I should know before taking a class?

Make sure to read our Studio COVID Protocol page before you attend your first class. If you have any questions or concerns, let us know how we can help you. We love to share our passion for yoga and wellness with others.

Here’s a testimonial from a student:

“I came to Sellwood Yoga to join a friend for a class. I have to tell you, Sellwood Yoga is the best studio I have visited in Portland. I have not been able to maintain a regular yoga practice since I moved here years ago because I could not find anything that matched the experience I was used to: a small, clean, comfortable studio, with excellent instructors who really care to check and correct postures. Coming to Sellwood Yoga felt like coming home. I just signed up for the 15-class pass, and I look forward to developing a more regular practice. Thank you for creating such a lovely yoga experience.”

Still have questions? Get in touch!

You can email us at info@sellwoodyoga.com or text/call us at 503-575-9982.