Yoga is suitable and beneficial for all, despite your age or fitness level.
Are you preparing to go to your first ever yoga class? Here are some things to remember:
1. Arrive to class 10 minutes early
This will allow you enough time to fill out any paperwork (probably just the first or second time), get your belongings set down at the side or back of the room and begin to connect with the idea that this is specific ‘me’ that you deserve!
Also, this will help you to place your yoga mat in a comfortable place in the room without disrupting others!
If for some reason you are late, try and make eye contact with the teacher to check it’s okay to enter the room and be respectful of your fellow classmates – place your mat down gently so you don’t disturb the class.
2. Eat light food before yoga class
Keep the day of your first yoga class light and simple by having healthy food at least two and half hours before class. Try and steer clear of saucy, fried, fatty, spicy, and high-acid food as they take longer to digest.
If you want to eat a quick snack a couple of hours before class, grab yoghurt, fruit or vegetables.
3. Drink plenty of water before and after the class to keep you hydrated.
In a typical yoga class, you will lose water weight. Better if you start drinking water at least two hours before your class since your body needs time to absorb the water properly for hydration.
Over time, you’ll learn how much water your body needs before and after the class.
4. Wear comfortable clothes that don’t restrict your movement:
You don’t need to wear long trousers or leggings although you can – just wear something you feel relaxed and confident in.
Remember that unlike running or other gym exercises, you will be bending and stretching a lot, so loose clothes tend to fall in your face during downward poses and it will become difficult for the teacher to check your alignment.
Take your shoes off! Yoga is practised barefoot; shoes and socks are generally not permitted unless they have grips underneath. Being barefoot allows more grip on the mat in various poses.
If you have any problem being barefoot, invest in a pair of yoga socks!
(I’ll be doing a review of my Toesox pretty soon so stay tuned!)
5. Talk to the teacher!
Have a brief conversation with the teacher before the class starts: Many people are shy or uncomfortable talking to the teacher, but please understand that they want to help you 🙂
This will enable you to have the best experience possible during your first class. And believe me, a teacher will provide adjustments and more detailed instructions if you tell them you’re new!
Make sure to let your teacher know of any limitations and medical conditions you have that might affect your practice. Most yoga poses can be adjusted to your needs and the teacher can help you modify.
6. Keep your mobile phone off!
Maintaining a sense of clam and stillness in the room is difficult when someone’s phone is ringing and—it’s distracting for others too!
7. Let go of the ego
There is no place for comparative thinking in yoga. If you are practicing in a place that makes you feel judged then this is not the right place for you to be.
No one is going to judge you here.
As a yoga practitioner I myself am real and human – with my limitations and struggles too. I understand that everyone has their own physical mental, or emotional needs which come into play in their practice.
It doesn’t matter if you can’t yet do the specific pose or your body is not super flexible.
Always honour your body — and work within a pain free range.
Happy learning, newbie yogis – See you on the mat!