We all need to start somewhere, but let’s celebrate first that you have decided to try yoga. Like anything new, you may be feeling apprehensive before you start. Here are some tips to help ease your mind going into your first class.
1. WEAR SOMETHING COMFORTABLE
In yoga, there will be a lot of twisting, bending and stretching so be sure to wear something comfortable that you can move around in. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be the latest lululemon or lorna jane! Avoid anything with zips, and try to wear a top that isn’t too lose as you will spend some time upside down or on your head and you don’t want your top to fall over your head. If you do want to wear a baggy top, may try a fitted singlet under that. Don’t worry too much about your shoes – you will be barefoot for the class! If it’s cold outside, you are even welcome to wear your slippers to the studio!
2. DON’T EAT TOO SOON BEFORE A CLASS
Some of the exercises you will do in yoga involves twisting. These exercises are great for assisting your digestion, but they wouldn’t be very comfortable on a full stomach. If you want to eat something prior, try just a snack such as a banana or muesli bar.
3. LEAVE YOUR PROBLEMS AT THE DOOR
Try to arrive to class 10 minutes early and spend 5 minutes sitting in your car, focusing on your breath and releasing any frustrations you had for the day. Rushing to get to class? Don’t worry, take a minute on the mat when you get in to focus on your breath and clear your mind before you start.
It will take time to master the connection between your movement and your breath, but throughout your first class, keep trying to focus back onto your breath. Try not to hold your breath – may sound funny, but some of the poses are challenging and that would be the first instinct for your body – to hold your breath. Continuing to breath will help your muscles relax into the pose.
5. KEEP AN OPEN MIND
You may experience some unfamiliar sounds or requests during your first yoga pose. Many of these are based on ancient spiritual rituals and we ask you to keep an open mind to the benefits of these.
6. DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU
Yoga is an individual experience. The practice of yoga will empower you to let go of control and be ok with where you are at. It’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else – remember everyone was. This ability is so powerful and is fundamentally useful in our everyday lives as well.
7. POSITION YOURSELF AT THE FRONT OF THE CLASS
Even though you want to stay at the back of the class, try close to the front so the teacher can help you with your poses and you will learn so much faster