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10 tips for your first yoga class

What you what to know before entering a yoga studio

For years I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw. Year after year, I waited for January 1st to start a new life, get in shape and take care of my body, mind and soul. I was lucky when that day came.... However, it wasn’t January 1st, it was middle of June - the time when I finally realized that there is no better time to change then now.

If you set your New Year's resolution, don’t wait until Monday, start now!

The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time. Most of us are ready to start life anew. Maybe you or a friend of yours is going to try yoga for the first time in 2018? It can be an intimidating and scary experience, so to make it more pleasant and fun I put together my 10 tips for your first yoga class.

Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.

  1. Call the studio first. Ask if they have yoga for beginners. You may be surprised that some studios don’t have beginner's yoga at all. Do they rent yoga mats or do you need to bring yours? Make sure to ask about the parking situation.
  2. Don’t eat for at least 90 minutes before class and drink plenty of water. If you are hungry eat something light like an apple. If you don’t feel like eating an apple you are not hungry.
  3. Arrive early. Perhaps 15-20 minutes before class.
    • Many yoga studios have no parking. The last thing you want to do is to stress out before the class looking for street parking.
    • Usually you must fill out a liability waiver before your first class. It can take longer than you think.
    • It is always good to come early and settle down before class. 
  4. Turn off your cell phone. I usually put my phone on airplane mode so I am not distracted at all. Once, I forgot to put my phone on airplane mode while I was teaching a class. My phone was hooked up to the PA system and right in the middle of class my friends began texting in a group conversation. When I looked at my phone there were more than 20 texts… Yeah, not cool at all.
  5. Check out the description of the class. Before entering the room, check out the description of the class (some studios have several rooms). You don’t want to jump into a power yoga class if it is your first session. Even if you think you are physically fit for power yoga, I strongly recommend starting with a beginner's class to learn the fundamentals of yoga.
  6. Talk to the teacher before the class. Introduce yourself to the instructor, tell them that you are new to yoga (if you’ve done your 4th class you are still new) and don’t forget to mention any injuries/surgeries you had in the past.
  7. Set up your yoga mat in front of the room. Even if you are super shy, set up your yoga mat in front of the room. If a teacher can see you, be able to adjust you, help with alignment and give you modifications, you will learn your yoga much faster.
  8. Always use props. If the studio has props, grab 2 blocks and maybe strap. I always have two blocks when I take classes. Over the years I learned that less is more in yoga. If I can’t reach the floor I bring the floor closer to me by using blocks.
  9. Take breaks as often as you need them. Learn child's pose. Every time you feel like you need a break use it. And don’t worry it is completely normal to take breaks.  
  10. Don’t compete with other people. Yoga is not a race. It is not a competition. You showed up in the studio for yourself, so keep your practice internal.

When you find a teacher whose instructions and energy resonates with you, you will fall in love with your practice.

If you didn’t like the first class, do not get discouraged. Try a different teacher. I personally think that yoga is all about connection and when you find a teacher whose instructions and energy resonates with you, you will fall in love with your practice.

Last but not least, your success depends on your commitment. Put it on your schedule and treat it as a doctor's appointment that you can’t miss. If you are going to skip your yoga classes, chances are that you will see the doctor more often. The more you practice yoga the less hospital visits you will make :) 2-3 times a week is optimal to see results.

Let me know if any of the tips helped! And if you have anything to add feel free to share it.

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