10 Important Tips on How To Survive Your First Yoga Class

This article was originally posted on sophiexsanders.com , which is our founder’s personal blog on living an empowered life beyond yoga. Read the full blog post HERE.




Deciding that you want to start doing yoga is the first step. It's easy to get stuck there, though. Don't be intimidated! You basically do not need anything to practice yoga. The important thing is the attitude - how you show up and the words you say to yourself . (I can vs I cannot)

This guide really is for anyone, wherever you are at in your practice. And if you are here, you are ready right now to do the work.

The beauty of yoga is that it can be adapted to suit the needs to every body and to any bodies. All that is needed is an open mind and a willingness to explore your body. Yoga is more than the Asanas (physical aspect); there is Meditation (using breath as a guide) and Inquiry (practice of being curious and in self-discovery). With time and patience, yoga will provide you with a greater sense of well-being, which extends beyond your mat.

rawpixel-771284-unsplash.jpg

Your Yoga Class Survival Checklist

10 Tips on How to be Yoga-Ready

WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING

…that will allow you room to move around without discomfort. And be mindful of the translucency of the material and the “shortness” of the shorts.

TRY NOT TO DRINK OR EAT TOO MUCH AN HOUR AND A HALF BEFORE CLASS STARTS

Coming to class with an empty bladder and bowels always helps! 

If you are like me, and you need a little sustenance to keep your energy up, grab a couple of dates, an apple, half a banana or a protein bar. If I have the time, I’ll make myself a green avocado smoothie.

HYGIENE

Please ensure that you’ve  showered and smelling good and clean. And out of consideration for others, please try to refrain from wearing strong fragrances such as perfumes and lotions. 

BRING A TOWEL AND WATER TO CLASS

Some studios offer towels for free or pay $1 to rent. So please check with the studio.

Same thing with the water - some provide water dispenser/water cooler to refill, some with purchase and some none at all. It is important to stay hydrated.

And again, if you forget to bring a bottle, it’s not a big issue. I’ve forgotten mine a lot of times when rushing. Drink more after please.

COME TO THE STUDIO 10-15 MINUTES EARLY

This is to get familiarize yourself with the space and to get setup for your first class. You can get to know your teacher and let her/him know about any injuries or physical limitations. Especially if you are new, or your are pregnant, that you want your teacher to be aware of. If you didn’t purchase a class and fill out a waiver online, you will have time to do that as well.

CHOOSE A GOOD SPOT

Find a mat where you can better hear or see the teacher. Stop hiding. You’ve already arrived! You’ve blocked out 1 hour for this. You’ve paid your money. Have the best experience you can have on your mat.

Don’t know what to do when you are seated?  - Meditate or lie down and rest before class starts.

RAISE YOUR HAND

Before class starts, the teacher usually ask if there’s anyone new or have any injuries or conditions before class. Raise your hands, so the teacher knows where you are, or if you’re uncomfortable about being “out there”, catch the teacher before class and let her/him know in private.

LOOK AND LISTEN

Look to the other students or the teacher if she’s demo-ing for the shape of the pose, and listen to the teachers cue. It’s Ok if you get confused; or you put right foot instead instead or left. It’s ok if you didn’t get it right the first time and It’s ok if you’re not sure you’re doing the “right” thing. You’re doing just fine! Have fun with it.

STAY

Patanjali says - the real yoga begins when you want to come out of the pose.

Yoga does get uncomfortable. Your legs feel like they are going to drop off, like you want to puke or you have difficulty breathing. And you can’t stop the word in your mind that keeps repeating on “I can’t. Get me out. It’s not me.”

Pause, listen to your body, get out of the pose if you need to, sit down and breathe. Try a child’s pose with your forehead on top of your stacked fists, or sit in hero’s pose, or if you get dizzy, lie down and prop legs up on a block.

If you have any health issues like low or high blood pressure, vertigo etc, please consult your doctor before attending any yoga classes, and please inform your teacher beforehand.

SAVASANA

This is the most important pose in yoga. Don’t be in a rush to leave.

For a lot of students savasana (final rest pose) can be the most challenging because most of us are used to being in constant motion, and lying still with ourselves and our thoughts, with no movement to distract us, can be a new experience. Again, just start where you are, and try to avoid judging your experience. It’s an opportunity to focus your attention inwards and giving your “ME” the love that it deserves.

Savasana will give you access to get present, awakened and ready for what’s coming up next for you.




YOU ARE READY NOW!

See you on the mat soon.