10 Yogi Tips to get the most out of your first yoga class

By October 31, 2017Yoga

When it comes to trying out your first yoga class, not knowing what to expect, what to wear, or what to do can be a bit nerve-wracking. But never fear! We’re here to guide you through our top 10 tips that will help you get the most out of your class, and go in feeling confident and excited. And leave feeling better than ever!

 

First things first.

Say hello!

On your first class, it’s important that the teacher knows that it’s your first time in a studio class. Often they’ll ask before class, but it’s never a bad idea to quietly introduce yourself before class and let them know that this is a new experience for you. They don’t bite, I promise!

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Get a good mat spot

It’s so worth arriving a few minutes early to make sure you get a space in the room that you’re comfortable in. I know that for our first class it can be so tempting to hide in the back, but if the teacher is demonstrating poses that you need to see in the middle of the room, that’s not the best place to be. The middle row can be a nice spot, and it’s always handy to be beside a wall so that you can use it for balance if you need to.

 

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Be comfy

Wear something non-constrictive and comfortable. The label doesn’t matter, trust me. Gals, you can’t go wrong with leggings, a sports bra, and a t-shirt. Usually t-shirts that are a bit tighter are an easier way to go, as anything too loose can fall and cover your head during certain poses and that can be a bit annoying. Guys, shorts or leggings and a t-shirt are always good. Practice without socks. Trust me. It’s easier to balance and you can connect to the earth through your feet much more easily if they’re not restricted. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable.

 

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Find the right class and teacher for you

Yoga studios usually offer bios on their teachers so that you can read about their background and the style of class they offer. All of YogaHub’s Flow classes are suitable for complete beginners upward, so just find a teacher who resonates with you and off you go! Be careful not to jump into a level 2 class right away – give yourself some time to get used to the practice and the classes and see how you go. The beautiful thing about yoga is that there’s no rush – enjoy the process and watch yourself and your practice grow over time. Check out the timetable here.

The essentials

Make sure you have a yoga mat – these can often be provided by the studio, so no need to run out and buy one just yet! A towel can be useful if you tend to sweat a lot, and is essential if you’re trying a Hot Yoga class. A bottle of water is important too – don’t gulp it down during class but have it there to sip on if you need to. Most studios also provide props – use them! For a general class, I would recommend grabbing two blocks, a strap, and a blanket to put under your knees. It’s not a sign of weakness to use props – it’s actually a sign that you’re being patient, listening to your body, and telling your ego where to go. Now that’s a yogi!

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Etiquette

When we come together to share a space, manners matter. Make sure you leave your shoes outside the room. If you HAVE to bring your phone in with you, keep it on silent and leave it out of sight so you’re not tempted to look at it – even for the time – and so that it doesn’t distract others in the class. Try to be at least 5 minutes early for class to make sure you don’t disturb anyone. Skip the super strong smelling fragrances. Don’t skip Savasana – the part where you lay down on your mat at the end of class. Honestly, it’s the best part 😉 When class is over, return your props, wipe down and return your mat if you’ve borrowed one, thank the teacher, ask any questions you might have, and make your way off.

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Food and water

Stay hydrated in the day leading up to your class, and afterwards. Try not to eat anything too heavy within two hours or so of starting a class so it’s not still sitting in your tum – but if you’re hungry do eat! Just go for some fruit or something else light and easily digestible. Don’t come to class hungry – there’s nothing worse than lying in Savasana at the end of class only able to think of what you’re going to have for dinner.

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Listen to your body – and your breath.

Once the teacher knows it’s your first time, they will likely offer props and adjustments for you. This is not a criticism in the slightest – it’s just the teacher trying to help you get the most out of the pose. Never push through pain. Discomfort is one thing (holding plank for 5 breaths might not exactly feel good, but it’s generally not going to hurt us) but if something causes you to feel a sharp pain, don’t do it. Let the teacher know and they’ll give you an alternative. A lot of yoga poses are built up through various stages over time. The teacher will offer different versions of different poses, and it can be very tempting to just go for the more advanced options even when our body is asking us not to. Listen to your body, quieten your ego, and stay in the first variation if that’s where your breath is steady. When you find yourself holding your breath or the breath becoming rough and ragged, it’s time to take a step back.

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Child’s pose is your friend.

If you’re not feeling a pose, or your breath is compromised, or you just need a dang break – take a child’s pose. That is always okay! Knees down and out the width of your mat, big toes together, and just fold forward over your knees, bringing your hips towards your toes, arms stretching out in front of you. Breathe and relax 🙂

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Have fun!

I know, it’s cheesy, but this is by far the most important tip. It’s normal to be nervous before your first class, but try not to let those nerves get in the way of enjoying yourself. It’s easy to worry in our first class that we’re being watched and judged by the others in the room – but I promise that’s not the case. Everyone is too focused on their own practice to be thinking about what you’re doing. And yogis tend to be an overwhelmingly kind bunch, so nothing to worry about on the judgement front anyway.

Hopefully I’ll see you in class soon! Any questions – just ask us 😊

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah

Author Sarah

Sarah is a vinyasa yoga teacher and wellness writer based in Dublin, Ireland. Yoga is her true love, the thing that she is called to share with the world. She has also always had a passion for writing, and loves nothing more than combining the two things that set her soul on fire and writing about yoga! You can follow her on Instagram at @thesmilingyogi_ for lots more posts about yoga, wellness, and happiness :)

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