As a full time yoga teacher since 2002, I’ve guided thousands of new students through their first yoga class. I’ve witnessed the excitement and emotion that accompanies their experience. New students often worry about being judged, keeping up with class, and knowing what to do. Following these guidelines will help you get ready for your first yoga class:
Have No Expectations
A yoga class is a safe place to let go of expectations and learn about your body. If you approach yoga with a win or lose attitude, you won’t enjoy it. Allow yourself to feel the experience during the class, rather than analyze it. After the class you’ll have time to think about the experience.
Stay the whole class unless you become ill. Even if you sit or lie down during the class, you will still be doing yoga. The essence of yoga is to teach us how to feel our inner and outer bodies. Feeling the sensations of our body can be done standing, sitting, or lying down.
Don’t Fear Judgement
Nobody in the class is there to judge you. The other students have come to feel good and get healthy. Their only expectation is that you come on time and follow studio etiquette. The only person with time to watch you during the class is the teacher. It’s their job to help ensure your safety.
Contact the studio in advance so you know exactly what type of yoga classes they teach: Gentle, Flow, Hot, Yin, etc. In general, wear light stretch clothing, come well hydrated, and avoid eating heavy before class. You can’t do yoga on a full stomach, but you will need some fuel to burn.
Do Your Research
Yoga is a wonderful practice to explore. It can serve as a catalyst for making all sorts of positive changes in your life. Keep in mind though that not every studio, class or teacher will be the right fit for you. If you don’t feel supported or at ease, try another studio.
Some studios choose quantity over quality. They continuously overcrowd their classes through online daily deals. In some cases the student looking for a serene quality yoga experience may be disappointed. Visit the yoga studio to look around and ask questions before signing up.
Be Open To All Possibilities
Don’t limit your choices by judging a studio or class based on online reviews. No two people experience yoga in the same way. Before taking your first yoga class, research all the yoga studios in your area, then sample as many as possible. As you experience different studios and styles of teaching, you will eventually find the right yoga class for you.
How will you know if it’s the right class? Don’t worry, you will feel it.