Your first yoga class doesn’t have to be intimidating, especially if you prepare ahead of time. Yoga is not some exclusive club for a select few. On the contrary, yoga is for everyone! Remember that even advanced yogis were once beginners. We all have to start somewhere.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that is useful for staying present and calming your mind. Prepare for your first yoga class in advance with these practical guidelines.
How to Prepare For Your First Yoga Class
Here are main things you need to know before you go:
Flexibility is not required.
Many people shy away from trying yoga because they assume you have to be as flexible as a pretzel in order to be good at it. However, this is precisely why yoga would benefit you! Yoga can help you safely improve your flexibility, no matter where you are starting from.
Yoga poses, also called asanas, are typically given Sanskrit names. Of course, you don’t have to be fluent in Sanskrit to practice yoga. Most instructors will demonstrate each pose as well as give the English and Sanskrit names for them.
Don’t Eat Before Yoga Class
Don’t eat a big meal 60-90 minutes before practice.
No Shoes or Socks
Most yoga classes have a designated spot (such as cubbies) for shoes and socks. Bare Feet will provide better grip on your yoga mat.
Although most yoga studios provide mats for students to use, it’s a good idea to get your own mat (for cleanliness) once you know you’ll be practicing regularly.
Since you’ll be moving and stretching, fitted clothes are a must. Of course, you can wear whatever you feel the most comfortable in as long as you can stretch in it.
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the practice, so be sure to bring a water bottle with a secure lid.
All Classes Are Different
There are numerous styles of yoga. From continuously flowing poses to poses that are held for several minutes, each type of yoga is as unique as you are. If you don’t find the class you like right away, don’t give up! Be sure to try a few. A friend of mine recently tried Hot Yoga and she thought it was torture, but she adores gentle Yin Yoga.
Most studios offer an introductory class, which is a wonderful way to learn some basic postures and see if that style of yoga is a good fit.
You’ve probably already heard of Downward Facing Dog, a very common pose that stretches and strengthens the entire body. No wonder dogs love this pose so much!
How to Do Downward Facing Dog
Set up your yoga mat and get on all fours. Place your wrists under your shoulders and position your knees under your hips.
- Tuck your toes and lift your hips, moving them up. Keep your heels stretching toward your mat.
- If your hamstrings are tight, keep your knees slightly bent.
- Walk your hands forward to if you need more of a stretch.
- Press firmly and evenly through your palms and rotate your inner elbows towards each other.
- Continue to engage your legs as you keep the torso moving back.
- Hold downward dog for 5-8 breaths before easing back to your hands and knees to rest.