What To Expect From Your First Yoga Class
Trying something new for the first time can always be a bit daunting, worried if you’ll make a mistake and completely embarrass yourself? You’re not the only one; we’ve all had those feelings. Whether you’re brand new to yoga or you’ve tried it in the past at home, read our tips below on what to expect from your first yoga class.
One thing that most people tend to worry about is whether or not they will be wearing the ‘appropriate attire’ for their first class; we can assure you now that there is nothing to worry about. You’ll want to wear something that allows you to move freely and comfortably, nothing too tight and restricting but also not too loose that when you’re in a pose like the downward facing dog you are constantly trying to pull your top down.
Some men prefer to do yoga topless with a comfortable pair of stretchy leggings; a simple t-shirt or vest will be just fine also. Women tend to wear a sports bra and some comfy harem pants, a t-shirt, vest and leggings are also fine it just wear what you feel most comfortable in.
What to bring?
If you’re not sure what you’ll need for your class it’s worth calling up your teacher and asking if they provide mats on arrival. Most classes will provide mats but if not, there are lots of places you can purchase an inexpensive mat. Other yoga equipment like yoga blocks, you can always use a relatively large hardback book instead, although some teachers may provide them. Bring a towel and some water and you’re good to go.
Get there early!
Arriving early will give you some time to introduce yourself to your teacher and the rest of the class and to let your teacher know if you have any injuries or will need extra assistance. You can always let your teacher know you are new and they will be able to give you some extra help through the lesson. You’ll also be able to grab yourself a good spot too!
Take your socks off
Be prepared to take your socks off! This has been the way for yoga for hundreds of years. Yoga barefoot can actually enhance your practice; your feet are using the smallest muscles which can strengthen them. When you’re wearing shoes, these muscles are inactive. If you really aren’t comfortable going barefoot, look into getting special yoga grip socks instead.
Now, it’s important to eat the right food before your yoga class, just like any exercise you don’t want to eat too soon before. But you also don’t want to go on an empty stomach and listen to your stomach growl as it might affect your ability to concentrate. Stick to something light which can also give you a lot of energy; you’re going to need it when you’re in an intense balancing posture. Try something like a handful of nuts, a small fruit pot or a delicious smoothie.
Don’t be thrown off when you hear your teacher say things like ‘Chaturanga, Mudra or Bundha’ this is simply Sanskrit which is the root of many Indian languages. If you’re worried you’ll mix up chaturanga with chimichanga, it might be a good idea to buy a Sanskrit book just to learn a few phrases. Not every teacher will use Sanskrit in their classes, most will use English. Unless you’re in an advanced class, teachers will help instruct you through each move.
Move with ease
One of the most important things in yoga is to feel good while you’re in a pose and not to force your body into positions that it’s not used to as it could lead to injury. You may feel intimidated by the more advanced people in the room but focus on your body and don’t compare yourself to others that may have been doing yoga for years. Focus more on the sensation of the movement rather than straining yourself and don’t forget to breathe! Breathing deep can bring ease to each of your movements, you’ll learn a lot about this in your class.
Whether you are someone who has had experience with yoga or trying it out for the first time, all we can really say is go in with an open mind and don’t be afraid to ask your teacher questions, they are there to guide you after all, but most importantly try to have fun!