Maybe you already practice yoga or you have a friend, sister or colleague that is always inviting you to come along. Yes, they do seem a little yoga addicted. No worries, they are not really addicts or anything close to it; they've just seen that they feel better and they want to share it with you. And like them, I am writing the following with the same intention.
Are there benefits from the first session?
Yes, of course. Just like in any other physical activity: you will oxygenate the body, get high on endorphins, and therefore, feel better. Moreover, yoga includes a relaxation in every session: savasana. So you'll leave renewed and charged with energy (maybe even smiling a bit more). Also remember: it's ok if you don't like the class that you had. Maybe you haven't found your match yet, and that's ok! At the beginning, the movements and asanas (postures) might seem foreign, but with time they will be part of your muscular memory and it will become more familiar.
Is yoga expensive?
It's one of those things that you can make as expensive or cheap as you'd like. I do recommend you get yourself a good yoga mat (blog post on this here), some blocks (or you can also use some encyclopedias), and a strap (or a belt will also do). If you decide to go to a studio, you will find packs of coupons of classes that will make the price per session better. There is also a lot of content on line: from free youtube videos to my morning routine guide, to other specialized courses. I personally use alomoves, I love it! Once you know a little bit, you can begin to practice at home with a book or guide (find my ebook here). However, to start, I would recommend going to a studio since the teacher will show you how to practice safely.
What about after a year of practicing yoga?
If you practice once a week you will observe changes in both body and mind. Physically you will be more flexible and stronger, plus body awareness and balance. The more time you put it, the more progress you will see. You will also be more aware of you breath and have tools to be more relaxed when under stressful situations. I believe that one of the best things that yoga teaches us is acceptance. You learn a lot about your body: what are it's limitations, when to push it, when to pull back. With time, you will also get to know your mind a little better, get to know your needs through your thoughts and emotions.
Is it compatible with other sports?
Of course! This is an excellent idea. Yoga eliminates any "imbalances" that we have due to our daily habits o posture. For instance, we tend to always carry a bag on the same side, talk on the phone with the same ear close to the device or use always the same hand to brush our teeth. These little patterns can be "undone" on the mat. It is similar to what happens with sports: any tension, you'll be able to work and ease it with a planned yoga practice. And , it can be useful for strength training too and keeping your flexibility and mobility in line.
What about during the different stages of life?
Childhood, pregnancy, aging... yes,yoga is for everyone. Kids will need a little bit more play and stories around a class, pregnant women will need to adjust the intensity and movements to their changing bodies; and as we age, yoga will help us to preserve muscle tissue (which begins to decrease at the age of 30) and maintain mobility. One of most inspiring yoginis for me is Tao Porchon Lynch; she is 100 years old and she's always been practicing yoga since her 20s. She keeps teaching and she also dances salsa, how cool is that? Seriously!
I don't know if I've convinced you are not, no pressure ;) I just hoped that I've deepened your curiosity around yoga, and that maybe next time someone invites to join them to class, you respond "YES". And who knows, maybe you become a little addicted too.