Trying something new can easily make you anxious and seem scary. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible coming to your first class at the studio, whether you are a beginner or seasoned student.
Keep in mind that everyone, including teachers, had their first yoga class at one point in time. Here are a few things to help you as you begin your yoga journey:
To avoid stressing before class, arrive early so you can locate the studio, meet the teacher and get a spot that feels comfortable to you. For new students, we recommend arriving 20 minutes early to get settled in. After your first class, we suggest you arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of the start time.
When it comes to what to wear, you want to be as comfortable as possible to be able to move around. Keep in mind not to wear anything too loose because it may move around or inhibit your ability to do the pose, which can distract you. You want to be focused on your practice and not on what you’re wearing. Also be sure to remove your socks to avoid slipping and injuring yourself on the mat!
Know it’s judgement free
We pride ourselves on being a studio for EVERY body and skill level. This means we encourage students to leave any judgment you have about yourself or others at the door. You may feel intimidated by everyone else around you, but remember that this is a time to focus on yourself and your practice. If you are nervous about being judged, keep in mind that the other students are too focused on their own poses and alignment to have time to judge yours.
Listen to your body
Remember that all poses in yoga have modifications. Don’t feel like you need to do every pose the way the teacher or others around you are doing it. There are different blocks and props that can modify each pose to help benefit your specific body. Our teachers are trained in offering modifications, so you’ll often hear them call out two or three different ways to do the pose. Take whichever one feels right for you and your body.
Go with the flow
There are certain things in class you may not fully understand the first time. This can include an OM sound, which may be startling if you’ve never heard it. Instructors may start or end a class with this sound, which promotes unity. Feel free to join in if you feel inclined to do so. You may also hear the instructor bow his or her head with hands at heart and say “Namaste,” which is a Sanskirt word meaning “I honor you.” It’s not uncommon for students to repeat the word back as a way of thanking the instructor for the class.
Don’t fixate on names
Don’t worry if you don’t know all of the different names for each yoga pose. The instructor will demonstrate each pose or explain how to do it. You also have all of the other students around you to follow. If you’re nervous about this, you can always research before your class the most important poses of yoga to familiarize yourself. But remember, doing the pose in much more important than knowing what it’s called.
The most important point, and one that your teacher will continue to say, is don’t forget to breathe. Try turning off all the thoughts running through your mind and just focus on your breath. Focusing on and slowing down the breath can help calm the brain, which is why it is so important throughout your class. You may even hear the instructor cue different forms of breathing techniques, which may seem strange at first, but just go with it – they know what they’re talking about.
If at any point you feel that a certain pose is too challenging, feel free to take a break and go into child’s pose or rest on your mat. It is completely normal, and in fact, you will most likely see other students going into this pose during long sequences. By the end of the class, you will learn to love when your teacher says it’s time for child’s pose. Do not push yourself too hard and rest if you need to.
When you first arrive, don’t hesitate to tell the instructor of any injuries or concerns you have. They’re there to help make your practice as enjoyable as possible. Similarly, if there’s something you don’t understand in class or about the studio, feel free to ask after class. Chances are you aren’t the first and ask the question, and won’t be the last!
During yoga, it’s not unusual to feel certain emotions as your mind and body begin to relax. Emotional releases, including crying, are not uncommon in a yoga class. Almost everyone has experienced this at some point, so don’t feel self conscious. Instead, sit with the feelings and see where they’re coming from so you can take something even deeper away from your class.
Ready to try a yoga class in a fun, supportive environment? Sign up for one of our fun classes here!