So you’ve finally made the big leap into the unknown – your first yoga class is approaching. You’ve picked which class to go to, found out where to park and how much the class will cost, but what should you expect when you walk through the doors?
Yoga – more than just an exercise class
The mysterious first yoga class is a time of discovery. You’ll discover that not every yoga practitioner is a highly committed, eco-conscious vegetarian; that designer gear will not help you into a difficult pose any sooner; and you will discover secrets about your body and your mind that even you never knew. Sound intriguing? Well that’s yoga for you! It’s more than just an exercise class.
Yoga teachers have got your back – there’s no need to worry
Yoga people tend to be a friendly bunch. The dynamics of each yoga class and each studio differ greatly but all should be welcoming and inclusive, not judgemental. Everyone in the class is an equal in the eyes of the teacher so stop worrying about your lack of knowledge or inability to touch your toes, it simply doesn’t matter.
Yoga classes are non-competitive
Don’t try to keep up with other people in the class. Yoga is an individual practice and everyone is different. Even yoga teachers aren’t perfect at every pose. We all have our physical limitations and part of yoga is learning to respect your body, be kind to it and don’t push it further than it wants to go. Your body will open into poses when it is ready, so be patient during the early stages of your practice.
,strong>What to take to yoga classes
On a practical note, what do you take to a class? Water is a good idea, unless you are practising Ashtanga when water should not be consumed during the class. You may wish to take a small towel and, if hygiene concerns you, your own mat and an eye pillow for the relaxation at the end.
Studios generally supply mats so it is not essential to buy your own; this decision comes down to personal preference. Some studios may not disinfect and update their mats as regularly as perhaps they should and practising on a stale smelling mat is not the most pleasant experience. On an environmental note, if this is your first ever experience of yoga it is probably best not to buy your own mat until you know that the practice is for you.
Stinky mats bring us on to some rather basic studio etiquette which is all too often ignored. If you use one of the studio’s mats, you should clean it after the class. This only takes a moment and you will find a disinfectant spray and cloths near where the mats are stored. Please take a moment to do this; if one person cleans their mat then others tend to follow.
Yoga poses first up
The content of your class will vary depending on the style your chosen studio follows. Generally speaking though, beginners’ classes focus on the asanas or poses and tend not to include any advanced breathing techniques or chanting.
If you approach your first class with an open mind, a spirit of adventure and an understanding that yoga is not a competitive sport then you will be fine. Congratulations on embarking on the first stage of your yoga journey, and enjoy!
With the Yoga Classes Directory, now you can search for local yoga classes in your area.
All yoga traditions are represented, so you can easily find a local yoga studio that offers the tradition of your choice – bikram, hatha, ashtanga or iyengar yoga classes are all listed in the Yoga Classes Directory.
Considering yoga teacher training? We’ve got that covered as well with yoga teacher training offers available worldwide.
What about yoga gear like yoga pants, yoga clothes and yoga mats?