Tips to Start a Yoga Practice

b083c5de947d497c86344c6304252e8bHave you been curious about taking a yoga class, but feel too intimidated to go? Maybe you’ve heard about the many benefits of practicing yoga: strength, flexibility, balance and stress relief – but you have no idea what to expect from your first yoga class. I’ve been teaching yoga for one year, and I’ve met so many people that are hesitant to go to a yoga class.

Walking into a yoga studio for the first time can be a scary experience. Just being brave enough to be there means you belong there. Doesn’t matter your body type, how flexible or not flexible you are, if you have the latest and greatest gear. Yoga is for everyone.

If possible, take a beginner’s class or series. This will give you a solid introduction to the basic poses. If your local studio or gym doesn’t offer this, still go to yoga. It’s helpful if you let the instructor know that it’s your first class. Throughout class the instructor can guide you to variations of poses that will work for you. Remember, yoga is a practice. You don’t have to be “good” at it or hit all of the advanced poses. You just need to show up!

As you get ready for your first yoga class, here are a few tips:

  • Wear clothing that allows for a full range of motion
  • Bring your yoga mat if you own one
  • Wear a form-fitting top or something that can easily be tucked in
  • Leave your phone in your bag ringer turned off
  • Bring water and a towel if you sweat a log
  • Yoga is practiced with bare feet, so remove shoes/socks before class
  • If the teacher suggests using certain props (block or strap), grab them before class starts

Also, there are a few words you might hear in class. You don’t need to commit these to memory, but it mighten lessen your confusion to review these now.

  • Namaste “the light in me acknowledges the light in you,” usually said at the closing of the class
  • Vinyasa – a style of yoga linking breath to movement as you move through poses
  • Ujayii – a kind of breath that makes a sound, reminding you to stay with the breath as you practice
  • Om – a sound chanted at the beginning and/or end of class to connect with universal energy and bookmark your practice
  • Savasana or Corpse pose – the final relaxation at the end of class
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