My guess is that you’re here because you’re planning to attend your first yoga class – how exciting! If you are feeling nervous, unsure of what to expect, wondering if you are ready – have no fear – yoga should be a safe space for anyone to delve deep physically and mentally.
You might be following hundreds of hashtaginstayogis and have tried some online yoga videos but not really be sure how to make the best of your first yoga class, so I’ve put together some advice and tips to give you the best experience possible!
Find a class for beginners
Deciding which class to take it can be a bit of a maze. There are so many names: vinyasa flow, hatha, slow flow, strong vinyasa, hot yoga, kundalini yoga….woah! My advice would be to look online at your local studios and see if you can find any that are specifically tailored to beginners. It might be tempting to choose a class that sounds physically advanced or extra challenging, but it’s better to choose something which breaks things down and supports you. And remember – if you don’t like your first class, try another! What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.
Aim for comfortable
You’ve chosen your first yoga class – woop! Now to get the best experience I’d advise you choose an outfit in advance that you feel really comfortable to move and (potentially!) sweat in. And speaking of sweating – it’s a great idea to have a small hand towel and a bottle of water with you. I also feel best when I know if the studio provide mats and if there are lockers to use, the more prepared you feel about these things, the calmer you’ll feel about the actual class!
Speak to your teacher
Let your teacher know at the beginning of the class that it’s your first yoga class, as well as if you have any injuries. The teacher then will know how best to support you through the class and help you to have a great experience.
If you feel like you’re getting a bit lost, or you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing, then look around and if the teacher is demonstrating you can copy, or you could see what others are doing. The best place in the room to be for a beginner is the middle, so no matter which direction you are facing you should have someone to follow. This does have a little catch though as you should be sure not to compare yourself to others in the class, or judge what postures they can do, though if you’ve chosen a beginners class this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. You could also try and catch the teachers eye and they may be able come and help you.
Allow yourself to sit back
We often feel like we need to go steaming forward and push ourselves constantly, but half of the deal with yoga is to accept where you are now. If something feels uncomfortable or painful then take a step back – it is not failure to take a moment to have a sip of water, or have a moment (or even half an hour!) in child’s pose. I took a hot yoga class that didn’t feel right for me once so I spent about 45 minutes lying is savasana – and that was what I needed from that class.
It takes a lot to try something new and take time out to look after yourself – well done!