Tips for Your First Class: Yoga


You’ve decided to try Yoga.  Great idea!  But now what?  The other day a member asked me, “I am going to try Yoga, should I buy some special Yoga shoes?”  Often, when we decide to try a new fitness format we don’t know how to start, what we need, or what to expect.  Some folks are afraid to try the unknown, so I applaud you for stepping into a new fitness format and giving it a try. 

If you have never taken yoga before it is a good idea to arrive early to class and introduce yourself to the instructor.  Instructors want to help you get the most out of their class so that you come back, time and time again.  Introduce yourself and simply say, “Hello, my name is __ and this is my first Yoga class.”  Be sure to include any ailments you may suffer from in your conversation so that he knows how to properly modify and cue the exercises.  Keep in mind, in Yoga, may put your body in positions that are not familiar, so at first it may be challenging and seem uncomfortable.  The challenge is part of the process.  That being said, you should not feel pain.  Listening to your body and challenging it is key; as is knowing when to back off. 

You needn’t purchase special shoes or fancy accessories to practice Yoga.  Show up.  Most facilities have mats, blocks, or straps and the instructor will tell you if any of those tools are necessary.  Purchasing a mat, though, is a good idea if you are particular about germs or have taken a few classes and know Yoga is a good fit.  Bare feet are best in Yoga and clothing should be comfortable. 

The most valuable bit of advice I can offer is this: In Yoga there needn’t be any worry.  Don’t worry if your shirt falls up and your skin is exposed.  Don’t worry if the person next to you can touch her nose to her knee and you can’t even reach your feet.  Don’t worry about the pending deadline at work or what you will make for dinner.  We all come to Yoga with a full plate of our own worries, leave them at the door.  Be present on your own mat.  The journey in the practice of Yoga is both physical and mental; don’t muddle your practice up with worries.

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In Good Health,