5 Tips to Get Your Friends and Family to Try Yoga

Yay yoga! We love it! It has helped us in so many ways and we want to share it with everyone! Then we realize that not everyone wants us to share it with them (insert sad face). Yoga is officially mainstream, it is everywhere. Chances are there is a yoga studio close to your house, or your gym offers classes.
But yoga is still a scary mystery to a lot of our friends and family. And now that it has become more mainstream, some may be even more intimidated by the photos and videos they see on the internet and social media.
I will never forget my first yoga class. My friend became a certified yoga instructor and asked me numerous times to try her class. This is what I knew: the class was an hour and a half, it was heated to about 100 degrees, the yoga mat I bought was $12, and I had no freaking clue what ‘yoga’ was. I was terrified, but I went. And I had one of the most amazing experiences in my life.
So how can we help our friends and family decide to take their first yoga class, aside from telling them they get to take a nap at the end? Actually, go ahead and say that!
The biggest thing that held me back was my unfamiliarity with yoga. I had no idea what it was or what to expect, which takes us to our first tip . . .

Here are 5 tips to help get your friends and family to try yoga for the first time:


1. Give them a clue

Clue them in on what to expect. Some people respond well to knowing ALL of the details so they feel prepared. Tell them exactly how the process works: you will walk in, sign in at the desk, put your things in the dressing room, take off your shoes, put your mat down where you feel comfortable, etc. You can even give them insight about the instructor and what he/she usually practices, like chanting or pranayama, so they won’t feel completely lost.
Also, give them tips that will help them succeed. What they should wear, what and when they should eat before class, arrive early to get signed in for the first time, what they should bring, etc. Once they feel completely prepared and more relaxed about proper etiquette, they may be more likely to join you.
But don’t tell them TOO much . . . we still want them to have their own experience.

2. Try it at home first

We are lucky enough to live in a world where many different yoga classes and styles can be practiced in our own home. This would be a fantastic place to start for the unsure beginner and familiarize them with a yoga class. Although beginning your yoga journey with a teacher and receiving help with alignment and safety is very important, yoga at home will boost a beginner’s confidence and prepare them for their first studio class.
Not only can you purchase yoga classes on DVD, but you can find them on Netflix and Amazon Prime with the occasional option to watch instantly. The internet is a great place for streaming classes and many are free! Check out our list of YouTube channels for free yoga. You can also look into monthly subscriptions to sites like YogaGlo, oneOeight, YogaDownload and Gaia (formerly Gaiam TV).

3. Make the class relatable

With the growing popularity of yoga, you can find some interesting classes that may be helpful to getting beginners on the mat. Is your friend a beer or wine connoisseur? We have a class for that. Breweries and wineries are now offering happy hour style classes – come enjoy your yoga first, then your beverage and friends after class.
Or maybe your friends and family are into music and the night scene. You can now find classes themed around different genres of music – yoga and Dr. Dre? Yes please. Wanna hear your instructor drop the F-Bomb in the middle of a heavy metal class? You can do that too! Or you can add the club vibe with Glow Yoga as you practice under blacklights decked out in glowing paint.

4. Bribe them

This happens to be a favorite of mine because it worked. I am not suggesting you threaten to post that horrible selfie unless they go to class with you. A simple, “Hey! What if I workout with you twice a week and you go to yoga with me once a week” should work.
Or if the stakes aren’t high enough, maybe you agree to try something brand new with them. If they are into climbing or skating and it is brand new to you, agree to go! Show them you are willing to try something out of your comfort zone too.

5. Free helps

Free is often a magical word. And depending upon the time of year, you are sure to find a free yoga class floating around. In the warmer months, many studios or teachers offer free yoga in public parks and some studios offer a weekly community class that is either free or discounted. There are many classes held as fundraisers for a certain person or family and often a local charity.
Donation-based classes are a great option for beginners as most of the students are newer and it is a much more relaxed setting. And if you are unable to find a free class near you, be a rockstar and offer to pay for your friend’s first class. You will probably be their favorite person.

We hope these ideas will help open some yoga room doors for your loved ones. Be sure to not only tell them about the changes yoga has made for you, but also show them. Everyone practicing yoga found it at different times in their lives – and they all found yoga at a time when they needed it most. So if your friend is putting up a good fight, maybe it just isn’t the right time yet. But you will be there when the time is right.
Also, remind your friends to not be discouraged if they do not like the class. There are many different styles of yoga, yoga studios, teachers and classes. Invite them to try different ones until they find one that resonates with them.
Do any of these tips sound promising? Have you been able to encourage an unsure friend to try yoga with success? We would love to hear more ideas and stories! Please share in the comment section below.

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Are you new to yoga? Welcome to you newest obsession. Read on for five tips to help you get acclimated to your blossoming yoga practice.
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Michelle Stanger

Michelle Stanger is a 200-RYT yoga instructor with years of teaching experience. She specializes in Power Vinyasa, Buti Yoga and handstands and is best known as a teacher for her fun, light-hearted attitude and classes that are as challenging as they are welcoming.


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