What to expect when you first start practicing yoga
Are you thinking about joining a yoga class but feel a little nervous or unsure if you are bendy enough?
Well don’t be!
Well done on taking the first few steps on finding out more about yoga. The main thing I would like to get across in this blog is that YOGA IS FOR EVERY BODY!
Try to get to your yoga class at least 10-15 minutes early,
you’ll need to fill out a form if it’s your first time at a studio.
Grab yourself a mat, find a spot in the studio, take your shoes and socks off and either lie back on your mat or sit up and use the time before your class starts to quiet down your mind and relax a little. Remember that part of yoga is escaping that every day chaos for a little while, so make the most of it as soon as you arrive!
Wear comfortable clothing - No you don’t need to wear the latest yoga clothing designs, or have the hottest pair of yoga pants. Although sometimes spending a little money on wearing clothing that makes you feel good is a great investment, and I personally find buying new active wear motivates me to exercise because I want to wear it straight away. As long as you can stretch and move freely in your clothing, then it’s perfect!
Generally classes may start with a small meditation; this is to start connecting us to our breath and our body’s and to bring our awareness to the present moment. Through out the class your instructor will remind you to stay aware of your breath and will instruct your inhalations and exhalations with the movements that you learn, again this is to keep us in the present moment and constantly connected to our breath and body, this is why yoga is a ‘mindful practice’.
Of course the first time you do any new exercise class, the movements might feel uncomfortable, challenging or strange to your body as you are using muscles that aren’t normally being used or putting your body in different positions. This is normal! With every class you attend the movements will feel easier & nicer, and you will eventually fall in love with every one of them. If not straight away!
Luckily yoga is all about listening to your body, if something doesn’t feel nice or you are feeling tired or uncomfortable with any movements, you are always welcome to come back to child’s pose or downward dog (these are resting poses) which you will be taught in your first class, no doubt!
Every one comes to yoga for different reasons, some may be to increase strength & flexibility, some might come to reduce anxiety & de-stress. Your reason may be different every week, so learn to listen to your body & take it at your own pace, no one is there to judge or pressure you.
Lastly, you may hear a few or a lot of different words that you have never heard before, for example ‘savasana’ or ‘namaste’.
Class will always finish with savasana, which is a resting pose where you lie back for 3-5 minutes sometimes longer & literally just rest & allow your body to balance all the energy you just created in the class and absorb all of it's benefits.
If your'e lucky you might even get a little head massage from your instructor :)
Once you sit up to finish, your instructor will say Namaste, and all the students repeat it back. Namaste means, the light within me see's and honours the light within you. It is a way of showing gratitude to each other at the end of the class.
Bring a bottle of water, and don’t be scared or shy to ask you instructor any questions you might have. They are always willing to help and love to watch you improve and progress.
For your first time make sure the class you book yourself into is a beginners yoga class, or suitable for all levels.
One more thing!
Have fun, relax, enjoy, challenge your body and your mind AND ENJOY!