Your first yoga class experience can be a difficult one. While most classes are pretty relaxed there is a small barrier to entry. It is important to prepare yourself so you can get the most out of the session.
After you have attended a few classes certain things will be second nature. You won’t have to think about warming up and coming properly equipped as it will be obvious. You can derive a great deal of peace and stability from regular yoga so it is important that you are able to approach the sessions with an open mind.
Preparation may vary but the basics are pretty constant. If you are practicing at home or in a class good preparation will prevent you from injuring yourself and forming bad habits.
Learn more about what you need to do to be prepared for your first yoga class with these first yoga class tips.
1. Be Properly Equipped
When you attend your first class there are a few essential accessories you need to bring.
The first piece of kit on your list should be a proper yoga mat. It is good to get one with a strap because it makes it is easy to go to class. You will spend your whole yoga session with your mat so make sure to get one that suits you. The best yoga mats will have good traction and will be durable.
You should also stay hydrated throughout your session. A handy water bottle should definitely have a place in your bag when you attend your first class.
You should also bring a towel to wipe off sweat. A towel is especially useful if you are doing Bikram or another type of hot yoga session.
Every piece of equipment you bring should help make your life more convenient. Being properly equipped will help you to focus on the task at hand during your first classes.
2. Wear Suitable Clothes
You should invest in some quality yoga clothes. If you look the part it will make the first session easier and stop you from standing out as a newbie. You don’t have to be sporting the latest yoga gear but it helps to feel comfortable.
Yoga instructors will often suggest form-fitting clothes because it is easier to see whether you are executing the poses accurately. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing tight tops don’t worry!
As this is your first session you will be able to get by wearing whatever exercise gear you already have in your closet. Over time you may want to find some specialized yoga clothing.
For the time being, you can wear normal exercise clothes as long as they don’t slip down or sag too much when you are doing poses. Ultimately, you want to find some clothes that make you feel comfortable and are suitable for stretching.
3. Arrive Early
Punctuality is important when you want to make a good impression. It is also good to arrive early if you want to be prepared for the class. Often there will be a class before yours. If you arrive early you may be able to get a sneak peek at a session.
Arriving early is a good tip if you don’t like surprises. Getting to know the yoga instructor and other people in the class will help you feel comfortable.
The classes should be a time of focus and tranquility. You will struggle to be focussed if you are worried about how you are perceived. Arrive early and you will be able to prepare yourself for the class in the best way possible.
4. Do Some Research
It may help to know a bit about yoga before you embark on your first yoga class. Everyone probably begins with certain preconceptions about what yoga is. Your first session will be more productive if you have a small amount of concrete knowledge.
In the future, your knowledge will grow just by being part of a class. However, before your first session, it may be useful to learn about the medical and spiritual elements of yoga.
Exploring the history of yoga will be a valuable resource that you can draw on further down the line if you continue practicing. It is also interesting to discuss the steps and philosophy behind certain poses with other friends who practice yoga. The more effort you invest, the more likely you will feel revitalized by your session.
5. Avoid Heavy Meals
Doing yoga on a full stomach is a bad idea. Try and avoid eating heavy meals before a session. A full stomach will make it difficult to hold your poses. You don’t want to spend your first yoga class feeling uncomfortable because you ate a huge bowl of pasta or a lot of Mexican food.
A full stomach will probably make you feel sick as you begin to move and bend. Instead of a heavy meal have a light snack an hour or so before. A snack will give you energy without making you feel heavy and uncomfortable.
6. Concentrate on Breathing
In your first yoga class, you try and focus on your breathing. It is easy to get distracted by other people in the class. But you will probably get the most out of your first yoga class if you focus on yourself.
As you gain more experience it will become easier to stay focussed and constant throughout a session. The beginning can be difficult and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself when you lose focus or you can’t form a pose properly.
The key is to focus on and control your breathing. It is a great way to feel calm and relaxed during your class.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
If you have questions about alignment or breathing or a particular pose it is important to ask them. You won’t develop without asking questions. As a beginner, the best thing you can be is curious.
Nobody will expect you to be an expert. You can ask questions to other people in the class and to the yoga instructor. It is important that you don’t pick up any bad habits that could cause injury. Asking insightful questions is the best way to stay prepared and remain enthusiastic about the session.
8. Practice Beginner Poses
It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of the basic yoga poses before you attend your first class. The Mountain and Triangle poses are simple to execute and will help you form a base knowledge. The value of some of these beginner poses may only become evident as you advance to other poses.
While it is important to attempt some beginner poses don’t overdo it! If you try some more complex poses without guidance you may risk injuring yourself. Keep it simple. You only need to know a few poses to feel comfortable in your first yoga class.
Warming up is essential if you are about to stretch and test your muscles. Most yoga for beginners should not be too strenuous. But it is better to be safe than sorry. Warming up before a session will prevent you from pulling a muscle.
If you are planning on trying a hot yoga session it is especially important to warm up. Bikram and other hot yoga sessions push your body further than normal yoga. While hot yoga can be better for your muscles, in the long run, you also risk pushing your body too far in the heat.
Warming up will help your body get in the mood for stretching and posing. It is a great way to avoid injury and get your heart pumping.
Your First Yoga Class
Now you are ready! It is time to book a session and get going. Don’t worry about feeling nervous. If you are in a large class, there may even be other beginners there. Hopefully, your first session will give you a good impression of how yoga can improve your life
As long as you arrive with the right attitude you will have a great time. Now you know what to bring to yoga class you can arrive at your first class with the right equipment, clothes, and knowledge. Your yoga habits will probably change the more time you spend in class.
Yoga should be relaxing and rewarding. Now you know how to prepare for your first yoga class you can approach your session with respect and enthusiasm.
What things did you do to prepare for your first yoga class?
Share in the comments below!