We get it. Your first yoga class can be intimidating. What do I bring? What do I wear? Am I going to be lost while the rest of the class is four poses ahead of me? What if I can't do all the poses the teacher is instructing? Attending your first yoga class takes a lot of courage. But I want to take a moment to take the guesswork out of some of this mystical seeming yoga stuff. Consider this your intro to yoga.
1. Wondering what to wear? Any sweat pants, yoga pants or athleisure should be fine. Just make sure whatever you wear allows you to move comfortably and doesn't restrict your movement in any way. As for tops, keep in mind that flowy tops will literally float off your body when your doing certain poses like forward folds and downward dog. If you're not comfortable with your tummy being visible, opt for a more fitted top or something you can tuck into your pants. Wear shoes that you can easily slip off as most studios want you to remove your shoes upon entering.
2. What do I bring to yoga? Bring your own yoga mat when possible. It will make you feel more prepared and not all studios have additional mats available (However, Pure Motion Yoga does so if you come to our studio without a mat- no worries! We have plenty). You might also bring a water bottle. Try to avoid eating right before class as this can sometimes upset the tummy. Turn your phone off or on silent before entering any studio to avoid any interruptions in class. Try to arrive 10 - 15 minutes prior to the start of class so you can get settled in and sign any new student waivers.
3. Alright so now that we've covered new student etiquette, let's talk about another question you probably have : How do I know what class to attend or what classes are beginner friendly? The answer to this question varies greatly depending upon your current physical abilities and activity level. Let's first assume you have a very low activity level and you're using yoga to introduce some movement and gentle stretch back into your body. This being the case, a Restorative yoga class would be a great place to start. Restorative yoga classes are typically very gentle and leave you feeling similar to how you feel after an awesome massage. You take longer to set up for each pose and you hold each pose 3-5 minutes each. These postures allow the body to relax and the energy to flow more freely through your body.
After you've attended a Restorative Yoga class, you might move into Yin Yoga. Yin yoga is similar to Restorative but typically uses less props and gets a little deeper into the muscle tissue. Yin classes are great for increasing your flexibility but typically move at a slower pace so you can keep up with confidence! Once you feel comfortable with a yin class, you might move on to a Yoga Foundations or Vinyasa Class. These are typically a little more face paced and move through a structure that looks like warm up - peak poses or more intense poses that engage the whole body - cool down/ deep stretch. If you already are moderately active, you might go ahead and begin with a Yoga foundations class or Beginners flow class. Only you know your level of physical activity and your comfort level with practicing yoga but when in doubt, start slow and allow yourself to ease into the practice.
Once you have decided upon a class and a studio, don't feel afraid to sample several different teachers and classes to find one that really vibes with you. Yoga styles and Yoga teachers all have their different flavors, just because the first class you sample isn't your favorite, don't be afraid to try something different or a new teacher. With time and practice, you'll find your groove in this beautiful thing called yoga. Still have questions? Feel free to leave them in a comment on this post or contact us at the studio! We want to make sure you feel as comfortable and prepared for your first yoga class as possible.