So, you’re going to your first yoga class! I may be more excited than you, but don’t worry, you’ll make it out alive and feeling better than you did when you walked in. I know it can be an intimating, scary thing to try – I was confused as all get out my first yoga class. Simply focus on the showing up part, don’t stress about the rest. I’ve got you covered with 5 things to know before your first yoga class…
(1) It’s not only okay to be a beginner, but it’s completely normal and exciting! Turn doubts into curiosity, fears into excitement, and self-consciousness into a conversation with your body. Every expert starts as a beginner; there is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed while you’re trying. There’s no good or bad at yoga; there’s showing up for your practice, breathing and meeting your self with love and compassion.
(2) You probably won’t know what the heck is going on, and that’s okay, too! It’s a great, freeing feeling, being so caught up in what the teacher is saying, how the heck you’re going to get your body into that shape, and remembering to breathe, that you forget all your other responsibilities and troubles outside the room. There’s a time and place for responsibilities, but there’s also a time and place for you to focus on and take care of YOU – yoga can be that time.
A friendly reminder: please, don’t judge yourself based of what other people are doing. You have no idea how long the person next to you has been practicing yoga or really what they have been through on any level. Don’t use other people as a reference point. We all have our own timing; trust your journey.
(3) Use the props! Why the heck do you need blocks, blankets, straps or bolsters in a yoga class? To prop you up, my friend! They’re lifting the floor up to you so you can keep a nice open chest and straight spine with lots of room to breathe. You may not know what all of this means, but trust me, it’s nice. Props aren’t just for beginners nor are they a sign a weakness; they’re for everyone and also a sign of strength, showing that you know your body, that you take care of yourself, and put your body, health and safety above trying to look a certain way.
(4) Dress comfortably and ditch the socks. Yoga is not a fashion show, competition or performance; it is a practice to connect with yourself and something bigger than yourself. You don’t have to own Lulu Lemon to walk into a yoga studio. You can wear comfy, stretchy or loose pants or shorts, a sports bra, or not, any comfy loose or tight t-shirt – I prefer pants to shorts so I don’t slip in some poses if I sweat, and tight shirt to a loose, so it doesn’t flail all over the place as I move upside – and ditch your socks. Don’t worry; no one is looking at your feet because they’re looking at their own. So, take them socks off and let those toes spread wide open and breathe.
(5) Don’t give up on yoga because you disliked one experience. There are so many types of yoga, so many studios and so many different teachers that one class is not reflective of all that yoga encompasses. In fact, the physical of practice of yoga is not reflective of all that yoga is either; it is one of the eight limbs of yoga. So, maybe you didn’t connect with the teacher, maybe it was hard to find parking or it was a long drive; maybe it was too hot, too crowded, too fast or too slow. I truly believe there is a yoga for everybody. Experiment and learn from each experience until you find a teacher that feels right for you.
I would LOVE to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let me now how your first yoga class was! Do you have any tips for new yogis? Were any of these tips were helpful for you? Is there anything else you wish you had known before your first class? Let’s help each other out.
P.S. Namaste is a gesture (“mudra” in Sanskrit). It looks like that emoji that was debated over whether it was a prayer gesture or two hands high-fiving. You know the one, yeah? Look it up on my insta #mudramonday. To the point, namaste represents the belief that there is a divine spark within each of us. It is an acknowledgement of the soul in one to the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, namaste literally means, “bow me you” or “I bow to you.” It can be said, “The soul/divine spark in me acknowledges/bows to the one in you.”