Instructors are always happy to see beginners in their classes! Introduce yourself beforehand and let your teacher know if you have any concerns or questions, and then just go with the flow and enjoy the class.
A big part of feeling comfortable in class, of course, is blending in and being able to follow along with your instructor and fellow students. Luckily, the following few tips will help you do just that. Namaste! (That literally means “I bow to you” and is a gesture acknowledging the soul in one by the soul in another; your teacher may say it at the end of class.) See? You’re an expert already!
1. Bring water, comfortable clothing and a good attitude
These are all important items you need to make sure you feel comfortable in class. You don’t have to walk in wearing the latest yoga gear, but you will want to wear clothing that isn’t going to weigh you down, get in the way or make you feel constricted. Water is essential because you are likely to be sweating a lot. Make sure you bring enough to keep you hydrated throughout the class and don’t wait for water break cues from your teacher. Drink when you need to.
2. Not everyone in the class is a yoga or fitness expert
You may walk in feeling intimated wondering if you’re going to be the only one in the class who feels like you have no idea what you are doing. The truth is, there are yogis in the room who practice everyday but might have an off-day. Their poses might not be as good as they usually are, they may topple in their tree pose and they may need to take more breaks than usual. There are people of all different levels in our classes so don’t let your skill level bring you down. A good attitude is most important. You are trying something new, so don’t be hard on yourself your first few classes. Yoga takes a lot of practice to master and even the most trained yogis are learning each time they practice.
3. Focus on what you are doing
When you are in the practice room focus on yourself. The moment you start to watch the other yogis is the moment you lose focus – and that’s when your balance goes off, you start getting frustrated and you feel out of place. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you can’t do something that someone else is doing, don’t compare yourself to them. Just modify the pose so that it works for you, and focus on your own practice.
4. Don’t be afraid to to take a rest
It takes a few practices before you are able to whiz through a practice with minimal breaks. After even as a pro sometimes your body just needs to rest. Listen to it – if your legs are shaking and your heart is pouding, take a moment to enjoy child’s pose and a sip of water before you start again. It’s okay – no one is judging you.
5. Don’t make your first class your last class
Maybe your first class didn’t go so well. Maybe during your practice you were wondering why you volunteered yourself to go in the first place. Maybe you lost your balance and felt shy about it. Or maybe you thought yoga just wasn’t for you. Before you throw in the towel and decide to never return, stay with it for at least 10 classes. It can help lay down a really strong foundation, so try not to get frustrated or form too many opinions about your practice before you reach that mark. The first few classes are always a little awkward and intimidating. Your body and mind needs time to adjust to it. If you give it a chance you might realize how much it does for you.
If you have any questions about starting yoga,come to the studio! Carol Brozetti will be happy to meet with you to answer any question you might have, and help advise you to some classes that are perfect for beginners and your skill level.