Can’t touch your toes? Out of shape? Yoga can help you become more flexible while strengthening and toning your muscles. Yoga can also help you relieve chronic tension, cultivate concentration, and encourage self-acceptance.
Going to your first yoga class can also be intimidating, but as with any new activity taking that first step can be very rewarding. Below you’ll find some beginner yoga tips for your first class.
Pick a Yoga Class
If this is your first ever experience with yoga or first time with a live teacher, pick something that sounds easy. Swallow your pride and choose a class that has a name like “beginner,” “relaxing,” or “gentle." Avoid classes that use words like “power,” “fast-paced,” and “advanced.” Even if you’re already in really good shape, it will take some time to adjust to the class structure and unique poses.
Get There Early
Get there at least 15 minutes early: It’s very important to be on time for class. Showing up a little early allows you enough time to fill out any necessary paperwork and organize your stuff (most likely you won’t be able to bring it into class with you). You won’t miss any specific instructions that the teacher gives at the beginning of the class for first timers. If you’re ever late to a yoga class, be respectful of your fellow classmates and place your mat down gently and quietly.
Don’t Come with a Full Stomach
As with any exercise, avoid eating a large meal right before class. However, it's important to bring a water bottle and make sure that you’re adequately hydrated before class.
Wear comfortable, stretchy clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement. You don’t need any special brands of clothing. Most people prefer somewhat fitted clothing for poses such as "down dog" where a baggy shirt might slide up. You don’t need shoes, bare feet will allow you to grip the mat better. Consider dressing in layers, chances are you’ll get a bit sweaty and having a sweatshirt to pull on afterwards feels wonderful.
Pack Your Bag
- Bring a water bottle.
- If you have a mat, bring it (most studios will have some to borrow or rent—check their website)
- If you tend to sweat a lot during workouts, bring a small towel (a lot of studios will provide these, but it’s better safe than sorry!)
- Do NOT bring your cell phone, you won’t want it to be a distraction during class. Leave it in your car or your bag outside of the class.
Attending a yoga class is not a competitive sport. You are there for yourself, not to prove to some strangers that you’ll be awesome at yoga your first time. Listen to your body with compassion and enjoy the experience.
Do you have any other helpful beginner yoga tips to share? Let us know in the comments!