Going to Your First Yoga Class

first-yoga-class-preparation

Why try Yoga?

So, you’ve been thinking about taking your first yoga class.  Good for you!  Yoga is an excellent way to boost your body’s overall health and wellbeing, and it is proven to have many therapeutic benefits that can be beneficial to everyone, not just those who can bend like you’ve never seen before.  Take note; if you want to avoid some potentially disastrous results, you’ll want to wait until higher-level classes to try the most difficult moves, take it from me!

Getting Ready

Before your first class, be sure to eat a light, healthy snack and arrive a few minutes early.  Most importantly, be sure to arrive wearing comfortable clothing.  Remember that you’ll be moving your body in ways that are new to you and you’ll need to wear clothes that don’t ride up, are not too loose or too tight.  You’ll certainly want to be paying attention to the teacher’s instruction more so than worrying if you’re flashing the class your bloomers.  A pair of stretchy, but not tight, pants like these Yoga Pants, work great.  And be sure to wear your hair back and out of your face to keep your focus on relaxing your body.  There’s a great headband from RiptGear that can help you with this.  It’s stylish too; RiptGear Headband.  Finally, it’s important to know that yoga classes take place with your socks off.  You’ll want to enter the room, set up your space, remove your socks and start to relax onto your mat.  Studios will often have yoga mats to use or rent but most people prefer to use their own; remember that students can get awfully hot and sweaty in there.  If you don’t have a mat and would like to know how to buy one and which are best, there’s a great review you can check out here: Yoga Mat Review.  And don’t forget to bring a water bottle and towel to class, too.  Remember that mention of getting hot and sweaty?

First Class Checklist

  • Eat a light snack before
  • Drink water before
  • Don’t wear clothes that ride up
  • Bring a water bottle
  • Wear a headband
  • Bring a towel
  • Arrive a few minutes early
  • Have fun!
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First Studio Class

Now it’s time to start your first yoga class.  Yoga classes often start with a chant or mantra, a saying to help you become present in your own body.  In fact, yoga classes will generally focus on breath and breathing, and you’ll be asked to be aware of your breath slowly going out and back in. This is a way of calming and relaxing your body for it to become more limber.  Be sure to listen to your body as you stretch and move it in these new poses and don’t push too far.  You want your movements to feel beneficial and healthful even if they are difficult.  If your body experiences aches or pains that don’t feel right, stop.

The benefits of yoga can be tremendous if done properly.  Not only does it build strength and flexibility, posture and balance, but it can also calm and relax your mind.

Your yoga class will likely end by putting your hands together and saying the word “Namaste”.  Namaste is an ancient Sanskrit word that translates to “The divine in me bows to the divine in you”.  It is a way of thanking your teacher for the class.  Your teacher will say it back to thank you for coming.

yoga-class

Trying it at Home

If all of this classroom etiquette seems intimidating, know that you always have the option of trying yoga for the first time in the comfort of your own home.  There are numerous books and DVDs out there, geared toward everyone from beginners to experts.  Many are written by highly skilled authors who show you constructive photos and videos of pose sequences and routines that teach you the proper way to move.  Many people who practice yoga at home have even created permanent yoga spaces.  These can become areas of quiet and solace, personal retreats from the hustle of the day.

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Wrapping it up

Being a beginning yoga student can be both a pleasure and a challenge. Be sure to approach your first yoga class with patience and openness.  Most things will be new to you so allow yourself the opportunity to have an open mind with no preconceived notions as to how the class will go or what you can or can’t accomplish.  An open and calm mind is the goal of yoga but for many beginners, it can be difficult to relax into that space of empty thought and become one with their bodies and minds.  For many, this is the most challenging, yet the most rewarding, aspect of yoga. Before long you will find yourself holding positions you never thought you could and feeling more relaxed than ever.  You won’t be disappointed that you mustered up the courage to try your first yoga class.