You’ve probably seen all the amazing poses, colorful mats and matching sports sets plastered across the internet. Although it has a long history, originating in India circa 2700 B.C., it has recently become one of the most popular health and fitness activities to hit the modern-day world.
The reason this calming practice has made such a huge impact is that there are many spiritual, emotional, and physical health benefits to reap. However, getting started can be confusing and intimidating.
Don’t worry about looking a certain way when you first begin your journey. Keep reading to find out what to expect and how to prepare for your first yoga class.
Choose a Studio
The first thing you want to do is find a studio that you like. A few ways to choose the perfect studio for you is to check out their current class schedule to make sure it works with your availability. After that, you can contact them to request a walkthrough of the facility.
Every studio has different types of yoga classes and instructors who teach in a variety of ways. It’s best to inquire about these things if you’ve done some research and had your heart set on a specific form of practice.
Pick a Class
As mentioned, there are different types of classes you can sign up for, so you should take your time looking through the best ones for you. Starting off with a general beginner level session for your first yoga class is a good route to take.
Read through the descriptions of each class to make sure it’s appropriate for your current physical condition. You may also want to consult with your doctor or an instructor if you’re unsure.
Leave Expectations at the Door
This may seem like a weird tip for what to expect for your first yoga class but it’ll be one of the most helpful. The thing is that yoga is a practice that encourages people to let go and get into alignment with surrender and flowing.
If you go into a yoga session trying to force an outcome, then you might not get the most out of the class. Try to walk into the room without putting any expectations on yourself or others.
Appropriate Class Attire
Yoga does aim to make people feel more relaxed and enlightened. So the last thing the instructors want you to be is uncomfortable during a class. Since you’ll be doing a lot of stretching and movements that you may not be used to, it’s probably best to wear loose-fitting clothes or flexible workout leggings.
Typically the poses and transitions go at a slow, steady pace but you can still work up quite a sweat during your first yoga class. Consider wearing a sports bra (if that’s comfortable for you) or a tank top.
What You Need for Class
You don’t need much for your first yoga class, but there are a few things to bring that are required for class. Firstly, you definitely need a yoga mat to perform your poses. Your mat can be viewed as your sacred personal space during the class.
Next, you’ll probably want to bring a water bottle and towel (which aren’t required) in case you get a little too sweaty or parched. Another thing that you have the option of taking with you are yoga blocks. These can help you with balance while you go through certain poses.
Keep in mind that a lot of studios are able to supply you with yoga mats and blocks. If you need these materials then it may be best to inquire before arriving.
Learning the Basics
Most yoga classes follow a similar structure of doing a series of pose sequences a certain number of times. When you first come in the instructor usually gets everyone settled in by connecting to their breathing and settling in on their mat. They also go over their guidelines and suggestions for getting through the session.
You’ll even run across some yoga teachers who share a little information on their background and approach to the practice. They’ll probably go over some of the common yoga terms, such as chanting “om” and “namaste”, or you’ll get prompted to do them along with the teacher.
Expect your first yoga class to begin and end with chanting “om” and breathing deeply. Warn your teacher about any health concerns that you may have, and let them know if it is alright for them to fix your poses or give you alternatives if needed.
Focus on Breathing
Beyond all the flexibility and poses, yoga is a gentle and deep spiritual practice that encourages you to connect with yourself. The foundation of the practice builds mostly on our ability to breathe intentionally and remain in the present moment.
There’s no competition for who can do the best stretches or perform the most difficult poses. Yoga is a journey that helps you to be the best version of yourself by prompting you to become enlightened through mindfulness and radical acceptance.
You can study more on pranayama exercises if you’d like to explore breathing techniques that will help your yoga practice more in-depth.
If you want to give yourself time to calm your nerves and feel out the studio, it may be best to arrive at least 15 minutes before the class starts. This will give you time to make sure you have everything you need for the session or rent anything that you don’t already have.
It would also be an opportune time to speak with the instructor about any questions or concerns you have.
Ready to Sign Up for Your First Yoga Class?
Taking the first step to start any new health journey can be exciting, yet nerve-wracking at the same time. However, yoga is a very welcoming practice and you’ll usually feel all the stress and anxiety lifted off of your shoulders after your first yoga class.
If you’re ready to get signed up for a class now, feel free to contact us today.