I never thought I’d be that “Crazy Yoga Loving Chick” Seriously. I thought yoga was for hippies and health nuts. Then one Monday morning, I was at the gym and one of the chicks I was treadmill walking next to started talking about how much she loved yoga and encouraged me to try out the class that morning. I decided to give it a shot… whats the worst that could happen right?
Well… I stretched and turned and breathed and trembled… and 60 minutes later I was more relaxed than I’d ever been and I felt amazing… even if I could hardly walk out of the class! The next day I was achy all over… in the best way possible, and I was officially hooked!! That was a little over a year ago! Looking back now, there are some things I wish I’d known before my first yoga class!
- Bring your own mat. Yes, most yoga schools provide mats and blocks for people who forgot to bring their own. But they aren’t cleaned too frequently. A good yoga mat can be purchased from $30 to $60, and will last you for years with the proper care. You can spritz it down with vinegar and water once a month to keep it bright and clean.
- Choose your yoga class carefully. Don’t be afraid to call the facility to ask questions. Is the class suited to a beginner, or do you need to know the top ten yoga positions first? Some classes are focussed on mat work, while others have you standing. Keep your own comfort levels in mind.
- Expect chanting. Not all yoga classes are intense workouts. Many types of yoga such as Kundalini, focus on total relaxation at the end of the class. You can choose to listen or to participate, it’s up to you.
- Respect your neighbor’s boundaries. Don’t place your mat right beside another’s. Give a reasonable amount of distance, as some of the yoga moves may take you beyond the boundaries of your mat. If someone topples, you don’t want them to bump into you.
- Respect your neighbor’s privacy. If you are having trouble with a pose, enlist the help of your yoga instructor. Don’t ask the person beside you for help. They’re too busy concentrating on their own pose. Also, don’t stare at others in the room. You eyes should only be on the instructor, or off into the distance.
- Close your eyes. Once you’ve worked your way into a pose, you can close your eyes, and focus on your position, and movement. Listen to the instructions that your yoga instructor gives you.
- Enjoy the music. During your class your instructor will play relaxing instrumental music. Slip into your next yoga pose and listen to the music. It will keep your mind focussed on your pose, and help you to build up the endurance to maintain it. Soon, you’ll be able to bend further into your position, gaining more flexibility.
- Total relaxation. Yoga is not just to increase your endurance and flexibility, but to also learn how to de-stress your life. Yoga is perfect after a long day at work. The ultimate goal is to achieve total relaxation, so your body can effectively fight off viruses, infections, and disease.
The benefits of regular yoga are pretty fantastic! My stress levels are lower, its helping me lose weight, I’m limber and my body is so much more relaxed. If you’ve never tried a yoga class, I highly recommend that you do! Just be sure that you find a class that welcomes and caters to beginners! And don’t forget about these 8 things! They’ll make a difference when you’re prepping for your first yoga class!