Flexibility, increased strength, and peace of mind are among the numerous key yoga benefits. Yoga is considered one of the best exercises and stress relievers for everyone. Therefore, understanding all key yoga benefits is crucial.
If you’re nervous and intimidated by the thought of entering a yoga studio for the first time, here’s a guide to help you ease your mind and get through your first yoga class.
TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST-TIME YOGA CLASS
WHAT TO WEAR
It is advised to wear stretchy and comfortable clothes to avoid restriction of movements. You wouldn’t want to wear loose and baggy clothes as it may get in your way. Also, it would be difficult for your teacher to see if your form is correct. Leggings and a tank top for ladies, and elastic shorts and t-shirt for men would be perfect. Avoid wearing strong-scented perfume as it may distract others. Lastly, you won’t be needing shoes since you’ll be performing in barefoot.
WHAT TO BRING
Knowing how to prepare for your first yoga class is essential. Make sure to bring a towel, water, and an extra t-shirt with you. Most studios offer yoga mat rentals. However, if you’re planning to do yoga for a long time, it is better to own one. Don’t forget to turn off your phones into silent mode if you brought it with you, and only use it after practice as it may distract the whole class.
KEY YOGA BENEFITS AND REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Be early and don’t be noisy
It’s a great idea to be 15 minutes early on your first class since they would require you to fill in a registration form. By arriving early, you could also find and secure a better spot to place your yoga mat. As soon as the class starts, avoid talking and giggling with your friends. Stay quiet and be respectful to others. Don’t be startled when you hear music. Sometimes, yoga teachers would play some tunes to help you meditate and calm down.
Teachers/Instructors may touch you
If your yoga teacher notices that you’re having a hard time doing a certain pose, she would come over to guide you. She might put her hands on you to correct your movements. If you’re uncomfortable with being touched, tell the teacher beforehand.
Common yoga terms
Usually, every class starts and ends with a chanting sound “Om”. It’s a Sanskrit word that adds sacredness and helps unite the energy of the whole class. You might often hear the word “Namaste” which means “I bow to the Divine in you”. It’s a practice for the students and teachers to say that word to each other at the end of every yoga session.
Basic yoga positions
“Child’s pose” and “Savasana” are the two most basic yoga poses for beginners that you’ll encounter in your class. Child’s pose is also known as the “resting pose”. It is done when you’re taking a break from doing a difficult position. Simply, sit on your heels and place your head on the floor while your arms stretched forward or backward. On the other hand, Savasana is known as the “corpse pose”, and is done by lying on your back. It’s always a great idea to have a bit of knowledge beforehand when trying out something new.
Don’t feel bad when you can’t nail a certain pose. Practice makes perfect. The key to yoga is approaching it with patience and an open mind. Just because someone is more flexible than you doesn’t mean she’s better.
Consult Your Teacher
Inform your teacher that it’s your first time so that they can teach you the basic yoga positions for beginners. If you’re having some health issues such as current injuries or past surgeries, let your teacher know so that he/she could safely modify the poses for you. Also, if you have questions in mind, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher.
Warm Up Before Practice
Like any other sports or physical activities, doing a warm-up is a must. Before the class starts, you should do some stretching to prepare your muscles and body. It makes you feel better and ready before commencing the yoga positions. Moreover, this helps reduce and prevent potential injuries from happening.
Slow & Steady
Keep in mind that yoga is not a competitive exercise. Don’t compare your progress with others. Don’t force your body too hard to achieve a certain position as it can hurt your joints and muscles. If you sense pain, ease out from the position. If you feel tired, take some time to relax. Be patient and learn at your own pace for better outcomes.
A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: KEY YOGA BENEFITS
Once you arrive at the yoga studio, place your shoes in the rack and take off your socks. If you’re not sure where to find it, ask the people around. Don’t wear socks while executing poses as it can be quite slippery. Yoga is done barefoot. Also, when you found your spot, unroll the mat facing the teacher. Don’t face it towards the students to avoid awkwardness.
As the yoga pose gets challenging, some students would hold their breath. This is a common misconception towards yoga. By breathing deeply, it helps relax your body. Try not to hold your breath as it tenses your muscles and makes it hard to achieve the position. Inhale and exhale while you’re doing a pose.
Practice at home
Once you’ve learned a new pose, it’s always nice to try and practice it at home to master it. You can’t nail a certain pose if you’re not exerting any effort. Coming to class well-prepared makes you feel confident and comfortable.
Don’t leave without doing Savasana
This is the last pose you’ll do in every class. It represents that there’s always an end to everything. It allows your body and mind to meditate and absorb the key yoga benefits. It’s a crucial part in a class that enables you to enjoy peace before leaving the studio.
Note: If you’re in a rush, leave before the Savasana.
Trying out something you’ve never done before can be quite intimidating at first. Being nervous is fine, especially, when others seem like an expert. However, keep in mind that everyone was once a beginner, and yoga isn’t about competition.
Once you make yoga as part of your daily routine, you’ll notice remarkable changes in your mind and body. Better sleep, calmness, and increased flexibility are among the key yoga benefits. Just remember these helpful tips for yoga class, and you’ll feel ready on your first day.
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