If you are thinking of trying a yoga class for the first time and you’re feeling a bit apprehensive, have a read through my top tips to help feel a little more prepared. Everyone is a beginner at some point so each person in your class will have felt the same way you do! If you’ve already booked in for a class or course, well done you! You’ve made the first step which is definitely the hardest! We all find starting something new daunting, but it’s also really brave and I usually find that things that seem the scariest are often the best things I ever do.
If you’re on the fence about whether to try yoga or not, see how you feel after reading this post, you might find yourself booking a class!
- Being flexible is not what Yoga is about! So many people say to me “Will I be able to do yoga? I’m really not flexible!” Yoga is a practice, we use the postures to help us gain strength and flexibility, but that’s not the ultimate goal of yoga. Every body is different and each person will find certain postures easier than others and that’s ok! It’s more about enjoying the journey than the end destination.
- Make sure you wear comfortable clothing that you can move in. A lot of women will wear leggings to class as they are great to move in but don’t get in the way! If you do choose to wear leggings please invest in a decent pair as the cheap ones do tend to be see-through!
- Everyone will have their own mat in class, your teacher should have a few spare ones that you can use to begin with, but if you think you’ll be coming to class each week it’s nice to have your own and is more hygienic. You can find loads on the internet ranging from around £7 right up to £80! Start with a cheaper one and then when you’re ready you can look for something a little more substantial.
- If you arrive early to class, and you’ll soon find yourself wanting to be there as early as you can, lay down on your mat with your eyes closed and relax.
- Yoga classes are generally a really friendly place to be, so smile at the other people around you and have a chat before or after class. You’ll find there’s lots of like-minded people there and you’ll find friendships forming quickly.
- Bring some extra layers with you like a jumper and some socks to put on for relaxation at the end of class. You’ll might feel a little chilly once you stop moving.
- Try not to judge yourself! Everyone is going to find certain things easier than others and you might end up stood next to someone who can do all the things you can’t. We all feel like this sometimes but you will find your yoga practice far more beneficial if you can let go of your ego, self-judgement and judgement of others.
- It’s ok to take a rest. Listen to your body, if you need to take a few moments to breathe and regather yourself, that’s ok. Your teacher won’t have any issues with this they may just pop over to make sure you’re ok!
- You might be confused and that’s normal. You’re going to hear all sorts of names for the postures in English and in Sanskrit (the ancient Indian Language). Don’t worry, your teacher will explain and/or demonstrate everything so you can forget about names until you feel more comfortable. Everything is new in your first few classes so focus on being proud of yourself for stepping out your comfort zone and trying something new!
- You will probably find that your yoga teacher is likely to touch you during the class. This could be to make an adjustment whilst you're in a posture, to help you go deeper into a posture, or to help you connect to your relaxation at the end of class. If this is something you're not comfortable with then just have a quiet word with your teacher at the beginning of class to let them know.
- It's ok to fart! Some of the postures we do in yoga are to stimulate and massage the digestive system so farting is very normal. It's much healthier to let it out rather than trying to hold it in, no one will mind!
- It will change your life! Learning how to bend, stretch, breathe deeply and connect movements with your breath will change your life in more ways than you can imagine! You’ll find it easier to manage stress, your relationships with other people will improve, you’ll feel more confident in yourself and your body and you’ll begin to understand your mind far more. Basically, yoga makes everything better!