beginners’ yoga classes + courses
Here at The Courtyard we are passionate about making Yoga accessible to everyone and have created a supportive, welcoming and enjoyable experience for beginners of all ages (our students age from 10week old babies to those in their 90s!), abilities, shapes and sizes to learn and enjoy the many benefits of yoga (no - you don't have to be flexible already to practice Yoga!). Our experienced and friendly teachers will guide you through poses to ensure you are practicing correctly and safely, we have small classes for beginners and value your individuality. Our teachers can give modifications if required for many injuries or specific health issues. We have taught over a hundred beginners since we opened, so if you are new to yoga, don’t worry – you are in safe hands at the Courtyard.
We’d highly recommend starting with one of our Beginners’ Courses, but if this is not possible you would also be very welcome to attend a Level 1 or Open Level Yoga Class from our regular yoga schedule. Another helpful option, particularly if you have concerns about your health or ability to participate, is to book a one-to-one class with one of our experienced instructors to introduce the basics, how to modify to suit your individual needs and get you feeling confident to join a group class should you wish.
You can request a call with one of our instructors to discuss how Yoga can help you and how best to get started here. Alternatively click the button below for details of upcoming beginners group courses and to sign up online:.
yoga beginners’ courses
A beginners’ course is the ideal way to start your practice. It will give you a strong and safe foundation from which you can confidently explore the different styles of yoga on offer in any of our Level 1 or Open Level classes. It is also a great way to return to your Yoga practice if you have taken a break or if you just want to refresh the basics.
All of our beginners courses are taught by experienced teachers and you will learn in a supportive and stimulating environment, alongside other friendly faces who are also new to yoga.
We have been running these courses since our very early days and are proud to say that we have watched several of our students progress from complete beginners to dedicated Yogis as well as excellent Yoga teachers.
What will you learn?
The basics of the postures
Meditation + relaxation
How to use props
Book your beginners course:
yoga classes for beginners
We understand that it might not always be possible for you to commit to one of our 6 week beginners courses so we also offer classes every week that are suitable for beginners across a variety of yoga styles. If you are not sure which style to start with, you can consult with our wellbeing team or check out our yoga styles guide to find your perfect class.
Level 1 Classes: Open to complete beginners, those in the initial stages of yoga practice or those seeking a gentler practice.
Open Level Classes: Open to all levels from complete beginners to more experienced practitioners. The teacher adapts the class according to the students.
new to the Courtyard? Still unsure what Yoga’s all about? Request a chat with one of our teachers or see if we have any upcoming free taster classes
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient philosophy that is best known as a form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing and create balance between the body, mind and spirit. The main components of a Hatha yoga class are postures (or asanas) and breathing.
The practice originated in India about 5,000 years ago and has been adapted in other countries in a variety of ways. Yoga is practiced by billions worldwide and is now commonplace in schools, hospitals and surgeries.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
The NHS advises that yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, especially strength, flexibility and balance. There's some evidence that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress.
From all of us who run and teach at the Centre, Yoga has enriched our own lives in a huge variety of ways and it is wonderful for us to guide our students so that they can experience the amazing benefits for themselves. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to practice.
Can yoga help prevent falls?
Yes. Yoga improves balance by strengthening your body – particularly your ankles and knees – thereby reducing your chances of falling. However, falls may sometimes be caused by a health condition, in which case it's a good idea to see your GP.
Can yoga help with arthritis?
Yoga is popular with people with arthritis for its gentle way of promoting flexibility and strength. Scientific research is catching up with what Yoga teachers have experienced, and suggests yoga can reduce pain and mobility problems in people with osteoarthritis. However, some yoga postures are not suitable for people with the condition and will need to be adapted. If you have arthritis we encourage you to try Yoga but to have an initial chat with one of our teachers first to ensure you choose an appropriate class. We also advise to check with your doctor or physiotherapist before starting.
Am I too old for yoga?
Definitely not. We have taught Yoga to many beginners ranging from their 70s to 90s, and they love it. We welcome every age group to start Yoga not only as a wonderful form of exercise but as a life enhancing philosophy that can be applied at any time, from childhood to your advanced years. Our most senior teacher (and Owner of the Centre), DIanne is in her 70s and still teaches over 10 yoga classes per week plus her own self practice and has no intention of retiring!
Do I have to be fit to do yoga?
No. You can join a class suitable for your fitness level. For our group classes and beginners courses you do need to be able to get up and down from the floor. However we offer private sessions which are chair based. One of our recent chair yoga students is in her 90s and is finding the sessions hugely beneficial!
Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?
No. Yoga will improve your flexibility and help you go beyond your normal range of movement, which may make performing your daily activities easier, reduce stiffness, aches and pains.
Can I injure myself doing yoga?
Yoga-related injuries are very uncommon. Some injuries can be caused or aggravated by overstretching if you push your body further than it’s ready or do not practice with correct alignment. Dianne, the Courtyard Centre Director, has practised and taught Yoga for over 50 years and studied in India and around the world alongside a variety of excellent teachers. Our classes pay particular importance to alignment and safe practice and she ensures all our teachers are highly trained, experienced and have a solid understanding of Yogic principles. We always encourage you to listen to your own body and to rest or modify postures as appropriate to ensure that you practise safely and free from injury.
What style of yoga should I do?
There are many different styles of yoga, such as Hatha, Iyengar and Kundalini. Some styles are more physically challenging than others, while some may have a different area of emphasis, such as posture, breathing or relaxation. Many yoga students and teachers develop their own practice by studying more than one style. You can read all about the different styles we offer here.
No style is necessarily better than any other. The key is to choose a class appropriate for you and there is usually more than one!
Can I use a book or yoga DVD instead of going to a class?
It's much better to start with a class to learn the poses and breathing techniques correctly. With a DVD, there will be nobody to correct your mistakes, which may lead to injury over time. This is something we are all very passionate about and when we opened the Centre, we have carefully chosen teachers to join us who feel confident to adjust and advise when appropriate. With some experience of being in a class, and an understanding of alignment of postures and how your body works a DVD/ online videos can then be helpful for keeping up practice (practice makes permanent). Indeed we encourage you to practise at home or in our lovely studio at one of our self practice sessions (free with optional donation to charity) but as an adjunct to your group classes rather than as a replacement. You will find that practising Yoga with a group creates a special atmosphere and energy that is harder to recreate on your own. It also gives you the chance to make friends and be part of our Yoga community, stay motivated and keep on learning. Dianne, who started The Courtyard Centre has been practising Yoga for over 50 years and still considers herself a student of Yoga, continuing to learn and refine every day of her journey.
Any queries?? - Please CONTACT US