New to yoga? Read this before your first yoga class!
Yoga is a very freeing exercise, which you will find out in your first yoga class. It not only helps tone your body but it helps to free your mind from life’s daily stresses. Many people used to think that yoga was a lazy man’s (or woman’s) exercise because it didn’t seem like it was a true workout. But, there are many different styles of yoga to appease anyone whether you are a cardio queen, strength trainer or gentle walker.
It’s become very popular in the past ten years and it’s very easy to find classes near you (try googling or check your local paper for ads). You can always find content online or in print (books, magazines), as well. Anyone can do yoga, which is one very awesome thing about it!
Thinking about starting a yoga practice? Read on to hear about what you can expect before your first yoga class!
1. First, do your research
If you are going to shell out money for a yoga class, you should visit different studios to get a feel for the location. Many studios offer drop in classes as well as a fee per month. There are many different teachers and styles, so it’s best you try a drop in class or two before making the monthly commitment. It may seem like a deal, but if you don’t like the teacher’s style, you won’t show for class and you’ll waste your money.
2. Bring a buddy
I can’t tell you how motivating it is to exercise with a friend. I’ve been that person who has dived right in, all or nothing, into new endeavors only to have life get in the way just because it was easy to let it. You may think practicing yoga is pointless with a friend because it’s quiet, but that’s not true. If you are going to pay for your practice, going with a friend will keep you both accountable and you won’t feel so alone, especially if you have anxiety in a group setting.
3. It’s okay to bring your own equipment
Contrary to popular belief, you are not obligated to use studio equipment. Many teachers encourage you to use your own equipment! Yoga is all about being comfortable, and if you went and bought a mat that’s beautiful and makes you feel confident, bring it! That also goes for blocks, ropes, etc. Chances are, though, that if you’re a beginner you haven’t invested in anything yet, and that’s absolutely fine!
4. Don’t get discouraged
Unless you’re attending a Vinyasa Flow class or otherwise specified, most classes will be appropriate for any level of practice, even beginner. With that said, you may see some people who are more flexible or know every move without missing a beat. Don’t let that get you down! Everyone starts somewhere, and true yoga enthusiasts don’t judge. Just do what you can and do what feels good. Some teachers even show you how to adjust different poses for different levels of practice…which is a great thing to ask them before deciding!
5. It’s all about the breath!
Finally, probably the most important thing you should know is to make sure you breathe! You are not practicing yoga if you forget to breathe. That is the main reason why yoga is so calming and beloved. You can’t think about much else when you’re focusing on the inhales/exhales. Do not hold your breath during the poses! That will only make it harder and may discourage you from furthering your practice.
Hopefully, this list will help you on your journey with yoga. This doesn’t cover everything but it’s a great baseline.