6 Things To Keep In Mind During Your First Yoga Class

Yoga

By Kate

Feelings of intimidation often seem to accompany stepping into a yoga studio for the first time. Regardless of how many classes I teach or take, I can still remember how out of place I felt during that first practice. As the instructor tossed out words like ujjayi and supta baddha konasana, I anxiously looked around the room and wondered if anyone else was experiencing the same feelings of culture shock that I was. Half my sweat was a byproduct of the 90-degree room, but I’m fairly certain the other 50% was due to pure feels of ‘wth is happening right now?’

Fast forward a few years, and a yoga teacher training program later, my worn in mat now feels like home. Still, I feel for any student who walks into the room with the same doubtful and intimidated expression I did. Like most things in life, I found the somewhat cliché, the more you do it, the more comfortable you become, advice to be true. That being said, I do offer these things to keep in mind to new students, hoping to help make their first go at yoga a comfortable and positive experience.

No one else is looking at you.

I say this to mean, we’re each so focused on our own practice (ie: not falling down) that other students in the room will rarely be setting their gaze on your mat.

We all had a first class.

I’m going to head out on a limb here and note that Warrior Two and Trikonasana weren’t words or poses in anyone’s innate knowledge base. It often takes a handful of classes to feel at ease with the sequence and that’s okay. We’ve all been there.

Listen to your body.

While the anatomy and alignment pieces of the practice will eventually come and feel more natural, your body does know its limits. If something feels wrong, readjust or drop into child’s pose.

It’s okay if you aren’t flexible.

This is usually in response to people offering up their lack of flexibility, which happens often. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes to do yoga. You’ll gain flexibility through your practice and the poses will look different for each person, with the benefits being the same.

Breathe.

When all else fails, simply breathe. Deep breathing is one of the simplest ways to create relaxation in the body, focus the mind, and it serves as one of the pillars of the practice.

Keep Shopping.

There are so many different types and styles of yoga. Naturally, what works for one person won’t necessarily suit someone else and that’s alright. I encourage taking the time to find what you enjoy.

The first time trying anything can feel a bit uncomfortable. That being said, yoga has the leg up (both literally and figuratively *we got jokes*) in that it offers total relaxation, otherwise known as, Savasana at the end of class. It’s a reward that’s worth both the work and the wait.

{featured image via pexels}

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