What To Expect In Your First Yoga Class
So you are thinking of going to your first yoga class? Walking into a yoga class with no previous yoga experience can be quite daunting at first. You might think everyone will be super flexible and you won’t be able to do any of the moves. Or you may just be worried about what to wear or even what will happen throughout the class.
Yoga classes are made up of a whole range of different people- from beginner yogi’s to advanced practitioners. As you will read below, you cannot be bad at yoga- thats why its called ‘yoga practice’ because we are all practicing!
What Should I Wear To Practice Yoga?
It’s a good idea to wear loose and comfortable clothing to your first yoga class. Women tend to wear leggings, or yoga pants with a yoga top and crop. Baggy tops are not recommended because they will flap over your face and/or reveal your stomach in poses like downward facing dog and shoulder stand. Men generally wear shorts and a shirt. Always remove your shoes and socks before entering the yoga studio- you will probably see a pile of shoes at the door or lockers available to place your items. As yoga is supposed to be practiced in a safe, calming and relaxing environment, most yoga teachers will not allow mobile phones into the yoga studio.
Arrive Early And Remain Quiet
It’s a good idea to arrive five or ten minutes early to your first class, most of the time there will be a registration form to fill out and you may also take that time to relax and calm down in child’s pose, stretching or laying down with your eyes shut. Make sure you tell your yoga teacher if you have any injuries or medical conditions, yoga is for nourishing the body- not inflaming the body. Find a yoga mat or position in the room that feels comfortable for you, sitting at the front may be more beneficial for someone new to the practice as the teacher can help you with difficult poses. You may also be required to gather some yoga props such as blocks, straps and a bolster. Once the class starts try not to chatter to your friends- it’s polite to stay quiet until the class has concluded.
You Don’t Need To Be Perfect At Nailing A Certain Yoga Pose
Yoga is not about being the most flexible or strongest person in the room. The key is being able to approach a yoga class with an open mind and non-judgemental view of your own body. The teacher will guide you into beginning poses at the start of your class, this may be in a seated or standing position. The teacher may also adjust your body or align you into some positions during the class to help correct you into a pose. If you do not feel comfortable in a pose or it becomes painful, simply rest yourself in child’s pose.
Remember To Breathe
It sounds obvious, but when people are finding a pose difficult in yoga or they are concentrating too hard, they will start to hold their breath. Usually in a pose you will take a big inhale and exhale. With each exhale, you can start to inch a tiny bit deeper into the posture. It’s really important to keep breathing throughout the class as it will also help to calm and relax the mind.
The End Of Your Class
At the end of the class you will lay in a savasana pose, in which you lie down on your back with your palms facing up and feet folding out. This allows you to check in with yourself and cool down evenly throughout the body. After savasana pose, you will be asked to come up into a seated position. The teacher will bow her head, place her hands at heart centre and say Namaste, which means I bow to the divine in you. You do not have to join into the chant, you can just listen. Finally if you borrowed your yoga mat from the studio it is polite to wipe it down so it is clean for the person who uses it after you!