Updated: Nov 18
Are you new to yoga? Not sure what to expect or what to wear? These few tips will help you get started:
1. Expect a friendly environment
Everybody feels a bit unsure in their first yoga class. Remember that yoga is not a competition, no marks are given, no one wins or loses. So please refrain from comparing yourselves with others, especially as there are usually people with various levels of experience attending. Expect a friendly environment where you will be made feel welcome.
In my classes I have had complete beginners but also somebody who had been practising for fifty years! There will also be people of varying ages (so far 15 – 91!). I always offer variations and modifications for different yoga postures and moves so that everybody can practice safely but also finds a challenge to work on. You will be guided through the practice, finishing with a lovely relaxation. If you have any questions, if anything is unclear, just ask. The most important thing is to be mindful of yourself. This way, you will get the most out of every yoga class.
2. Dress comfortably
Wear something comfortable, which allows you to move freely, like joggers or leggings and a t-shirt. The latest yoga pants and fashion accessories are by no means necessary. Avoid see-through leggings! Men, beware of revealing shorts. Take your shoes and socks off as yoga is best practiced with bare feet. This will allow you to feel the connection with the floor and stop you from slipping in certain poses like Downward-facing Dog. Bring a jumper or blanket to keep warm during the relaxation at the end of class.
3. Equipment, food, and drink
Bring your own yoga mat if you can. If you already have yoga props, like a block, brick, belt or blanket, bring them along, too. Leave your mobile phone in your bag and put it on silent or airplane mode. It is recommended that you don’t have a heavy meal before a yoga class. Eat a light meal 1-2 hours beforehand. During your class, keep hydrated by drinking some water as and when necessary, even if your teacher doesn't prompt it.
4. Listen to your body
Approach your yoga practice with a mindful, curious, kind and generous attitude. Do what feels good and don't do what doesn't feel right. Don’t judge yourself or others. Instead, see yoga as an opportunity to understand your body and keep it healthy. In fact, yoga is about understanding your whole self. When you are new to yoga, some poses can be challenging, some can be uncomfortable, but there should never be pain. In the unlikely event that you experience a sharp pain, immediately stop and chose a neutral position, such as sitting or lying on the floor, and tell your teacher.
5. Keep coming back
Sometimes yoga is love at first sight, Sometimes it takes a bit longer feel the benefits. As with so many other activities, the benefits build up. Practice makes proficient. With each class you take, the benefits accumulate and the impact will increase. So give it some time to find the your personal yoga path.
6. Online yoga tips
When you attend an online yoga class from home (live or pre-recorded), make sure the space you have is suitable (clean, flat, and free of clutter). Having a dedicated space for your home yoga practice can help get into the swing of things. Maybe you even have the luxury of being able to convert a spare bedroom into your yoga room. Make sure any props you may want to use are at hand. A spare wall makes a great prop, too, especially for standing poses and balances. Having said this, props can be replaced by books and poses can be modified. Listening to your body is maybe even more important when practicing from home.
What I like about yoga
You might already be convinced about the benefits of yoga, but here’s what I like about it:
· It’s ‘Me-time’.
· It’s time out from chores and challenges.
· It’s an opportunity to clear my mind and be in the moment.
· I’ve become fitter, stronger, more flexible, and more balanced.
· I enjoy the company of the other people in the class.
· I love the feel-good effect afterwards.
· I feel at home in my body, happy and content.
· I’m in a good mood and smiling.
"Move, Breathe, Relax."