If you’re ready to make the commitment to a lifetime of health and wellness, you’ve come to the right place!
My friends are always asking me how to prepare for their first yoga class. There’s so much that goes into a yoga class that it can seem intimidating at first. When you’re new to the practice, everything may sound foreign as soon as you step into the studio. The move may feel foreign or even impossible in your body. Don’t worry! It takes time and investment to establish a regular yoga practice and start to feel comfortable in a yoga flow. And…it’s possible for anybody to cultivate a regular yoga practice! Yes, that means YOU too!
Here are some tips on how to prepare for your FIRST visit through the doorways of a lifetime of physical and mental well-being!
1. Picking the Right Class and Studio
Best practice is to head over to a studio website and check out their availability of classes. I would look for classes labeled “beginners” or Level 1 as they are usually helpful with explaining most poses step by step. I would also call the studio to inquire about their introductory courses and promotions. Many studios will offer a free class or limited sessions at a highly discounted rate.
If you see an All Levels class, it may sound intriguing, but the teacher may assume you will already know the poses and not take time to explain them in detail. Prior to class, definitely introduce yourself to the studio staff and instructors and let them know that it is your first time. As a teacher, when a student lets me know it’s their first session, I will remind them to take breaks as needed and even practice “Watch-Asana” (sitting down and observing the room) whenever they need to. It also takes a few classes before the words and movements start to sound, feel, and look familiar.
2. Always Start with Using Yoga Props!
I made the mistake of starting my yoga journey sans yoga props. I finally shut my ego down and said, heck, I NEED these blocks because I am NOT an expert in yoga. Blocks and straps are great tools for yogis at the beginning and throughout the years of yoga practice. It can take months of practice to touch your toes, so using a block helps to bring the ground closer to you. When you enter a studio, make it a habit to grab two blocks and a strap along with a mat. Listen to the teacher’s cues on how to use the props to prolong and support your practice.
Here is a list of yoga props you need and some you might want.
3. Get to Know Your Teacher
Introduce yourself to the teacher and let them know it’s your first class. As a teacher, I tend to slow down my instruction and offer extra attention to the student who is new to the practice. Keep in mind that in group classes, the teacher can’t have their eye on you at all times and may focus some of their attention on other students. The most important thing is to listen to the cues being sent to your brain by your body. If you start to feel pain, it’s a perfect time to back off from a particular pose. It may mean that your body is not exactly ready for that pose. A good rule is that sensation is good, and pain is not.
If you want additional care and attention, and can financially afford it, I recommend taking a few private lessons with a yoga instructor. In the session, you can request assistance with specific poses and allow the instructor to guide you into the correct form.
4. Bring the Right Gear
Having the right gear can make a huge impact on your first experience. Most people are surprised by how sweaty they get from their first yoga class. With this in mind, I recommend bringing a change of clothing or a light layer to wear post-class. I also highly recommend wearing fitted clothing so that clothing does not shift during practice. The last thing you want to happen is the embarrassment of exposing your private parts to the classroom. And yes, this has happened to me while I was teaching and was very distracting.
Some studios and gyms may have yoga props, however, it’s great to start a habit where you bring your own equipment. That way you can de-sanitize it regularly.
What to Wear to a Yoga Class:
- Tank top
- Yoga shorts, capris, or pants
- Sports Bra
- Sweatband or Headband
- Hair Ties
What to Bring to a Yoga Class:
- Yoga Mat
- Water Bottle (filled with water)
- Yoga Towel or Bath Towel
- Hand Towel
- Yoga Strap
- Yoga Block
Did you know we review activewear on Schimiggy Review? Check out our activewear reviews.
5. Avoid Heavy Meals Before Class and Come Hydrated
Avoid heavy meals prior to class as it may cause you to feel sick when you start to twist and fold into your poses. You are allowed to have a small snack 2-4 hours prior to class. Snacks such as fruit, granola bars, yogurt, or smoothies are perfect before and after yoga.
Come hydrated to class. Water helps you contract your muscles and lubricates your joints. When hydrated, you’ll experience fewer muscle cramps and muscle fatigue.
6. Come to Class Curious
When I completed my first class, there was so much I realized I did not know. I still kept an open mind about learning more about this ancient practice and came back 100 more times. All the weird stuff, such as chanting, mula bandha, etc, became more familiar and I now live it as a yoga instructor and practitioner. There are so many benefits to the practice of yoga; improves health, flexibility, and the mind/body connection. As long as you are open and receptive to it, you will experience the power of this transformative practice.
Most studios will have a list of things to bring and tips on how to prepare for your first class. I recommending using this blog and heading over to the studio website to familiarize yourself with what’s needed for a successful first class.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope your first class is stellar! Namaste!
If you liked this article, you may like these too:
- Yoga Pose Library
- 50 Yoga Class Themes
- Why Does Meditation Make Us Feel More Relaxed?
- How to Get a Cheap Gym or Studio Membership
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