As a marketing intern in a Yoga studio it is very important to have a wide depth of knowledge on the service you are providing, with this in mind I was tasked with my first yoga class. I packed my bag the night before with the essentials and thought about the silly worst-case scenarios. The morning of the class I was looking forward to it and before I knew it was time for class so I got changed my clothing and headed for the studio and to be honest I did become nervous.
Just before the class begun I approached Sylvia the teacher and informed her I was new to yoga, she reassured me and welcomed me. Waiting to go into the studio with sweaty palms I looked at people around me sizing up my competition and guessing their ability. The door opened and I entered the arena. Sylvia approached me once more and assured me I would be okay and that she would keep an eye on me in case I got stuck in any unflattering positions. She also said to me if I was struggling to just stop and sit it out. To be honest I wasn’t worried as I considered myself a relatively fit person and thought to myself how hard could yoga be? When I think of yoga I instantly think of a really relaxed form of mild exercise containing old people doing minuscule stretches something like the picture below
The class began with a warm up posture and it felt comfortable but with time the posture started to create a deep stretch in my hip among other areas. Poses kept going by and in a matter of time I was feeling the effects. Throughout the class the teacher was showing the class beginner poses with an option of an intermediate pose for more advanced students. Being the headstrong person I am I continually attempted the intermediate poses until one embarrassing slip, which demoted me back to beginner postures. Sylvia was very nice and continuously complimented the class but I am pretty sure none of the compliments were directed at me and if they were it must have been pity. To add insult the Sylvia came up to me midway through the class asking me to take off my socks, which I had left on. With a quick scan around the room I quickly realized no one wears socks in yoga and I spent the next 15 minutes cursing my stupidity.
Half way through the class I began to struggle badly and began to look around the room for another person who was new to yoga. Luckily I spotted another newbie at the back of the class, she was my benchmark for the rest of the class. We were continuously in and out of the downward dog posture and towards the end my arms were shaking uncontrollably. In a desperate attempt to look for shared pain I looked to the left and this yoga master woman beside me was in an otherworldly pose something like the picture below.
I was about to forfeit but I looked at my competition and she was struggling too so I prevailed with clenched jaw. Towards the end of the class I began to find my range and grow in confidence. We were tasked with a lunge posture were u extend your back foot and during this posture I accidentally nudged the women behind me in the face with my big toe. I swung around quickly and gave her a wave and smile of apology and she laughed it off.
We had a rest period and during these moments I gathered my thoughts and started to question my level of fitness. After the rest I started finding my range again, I gave up looking at the yoga master beside me because she was as flexible as a newborn baby and it just threw me off my game. In the last couple of minutes of the class we were instructed to attempt freestyle inversions which are basically an express yourself moment. The teacher demonstrated a range of inversions so I just copied the thing that looked easiest. When attempting this pose I lost balance and slipped to the side and caught a glance of the yoga master girl beside me who was casually in a handstand bending back touching her toes of her head like it was nothing.
This is when I got up and reassessed myself and my first experience. Yoga definitely is at everyone’s own pace. You cannot go in to your first class expecting to be an expert you have to find your range and constantly push your own limits. When the class finally finished I had a great sense of achievement but also a weird positivity high. The teacher congratulated me on my first class which was then followed by a small round of applause from the class which I was chuffed with. I would encourage anyone interested in starting Yoga to get down to YogaHub as soon as possible. A few pointers from my own personal experience if you do start Yoga; mention to the teacher before class that it is your first time, do not push your body past its limits, look for guidance around you and finally make sure to enjoy it.
PS. It turns out the yoga master girl beside me was an extremely experienced American yoga teacher and Sylvia the teacher of the class said she was the best she had ever seen. So basically just my luck.
My first experience was 8 weeks ago today, I now go to yoga twice a week at YogaHub which I thoroughly enjoy. One of classes I attend weekly is Sylvia’s class is all level yoga core which is a great starting point for any yoga newbies. I still consider myself a yoga novice but I am learning quickly and I am now attending level 2 yoga classes. I have found yoga to be a great help with focusing, flexibility and fitness. I can’t urge people enough to give it a shot.