We all know the many health benefits of yoga. They range from physical to emotional and everything in between. So, what is holding you back? Why haven't you taken your first yoga class?
Are you nervous?
We all have been there. Starting something new is always a bit scary. But the good news is that you don't have to be nervous about your first yoga class.
I am going to tell you exactly what you should expect and what you need to know before walking into a yoga studio for the first time.
What to Bring
The great thing about yoga is that all you really need to get started is a yoga mat. While there are some other tools that you may choose to incorporate in the future (blocks, straps or therapy balls), the mat is the only essential one to start with.
While you can always borrow a mat from your yoga studio, at some point you will want to invest in your own mat. Here is an article that may help you choose the right yoga mat for your journey.
Other items you may want to bring with you include a towel and a water bottle. Mat towels are slightly different than regular shower towels because they absorb more moisture, but you can bring a regular towel to your first yoga class.
What to Wear
Don't worry about running out and purchasing high end yoga outfits because you think you need them to fit in. The only important quality to your clothes is that they are light, breathable and comfortable. Many yogis prefer tight fitting clothes versus loose shirts and t-shirts because the loose fabric may interfere with certain poses. In the beginning, wear what you feel comfortable in.
What to Eat Prior to your First Yoga Class
Just as with any physical activity, it is important that you are well hydrated and have the energy to withstand the physical demands of the activity. For yoga, we recommend that you have a light snack with a glass of water 30 minutes to one hour before class. This will prevent you from feeling weak or faint during your first yoga class. Stay away from heavy meals as they will weigh you down and cause discomfort during yoga.
When to Show Up
We always recommend that you arrive to your yoga class early (about fifteen minutes). Because yoga is all about relaxation and meditation, it is imperative that you do not interrupt a yoga class by trying to sneak in late. You could break the mood and mindset of the participants and even cause an injury by distracting someone in the middle of a yoga pose. Arriving early also gets you a great spot. In your first yoga class, it may be tempting to hide in the back of the classroom. We actually recommend you get front and center so the instructor can assist you as you learn.
Yoga is a personal journey so do not get caught up in being perfect right out of the gate. Expect that you may not be able to perform all of the poses in your first yoga class. If you don't feel comfortable or safe performing a pose, just don't do it. Modify the pose or get into a pose that you feel comfortable in. Don't be afraid of being judged.
You will probably hear words that make no sense to you in your first yoga class. Don't worry - you'll be able to understand by watching the instructor and observing the others in your class. You'll catch on in no time. If you let the instructor know that you are new, he or she will likely explain the words as you go.
Speaking of language though, you'll need to zip yours while you are in class. No talking or distractions allowed!
Get Started Now
If you are ready for your yoga journey to begin, don't let fear stand in your way of that first yoga class. You'll likely find that you quickly fall in love with the art, the meditation and the people you meet.
The first step is always the hardest. Once you get through your first yoga class, you'll find that it wasn't so scary after all!