Perhaps you have already heard about the numerous benefits of yoga and how it can combat weight gain, stress and even anxiety. But attending your very first session can be intimidating, especially when you have no clue as to what to expect.
There are a number of preparations you need to be aware of before participating in your very first yoga session. Here are the things that you must know.
1. Don’t skip meals but don’t attend on a full stomach either
Many people attend yoga class in the morning right after they have eaten their breakfast. However, this will hinder their practice sessions. As yoga involves twisting, bending and hopping into poses, your stomach must not be digesting any food at that time.
If you prefer to eat your meals before attending your yoga class, make sure that you eat at least an hour ahead of time. In the case that this would be impossible and you just need to satisfy your hunger, you can eat a small apple or a piece of banana at least 20 minutes before your session begins.
2. Bring your own yoga mat.
Many studios and programs offer you to purchase your own yoga mat. Some also rent them out. While choosing a good quality mat can be a bit costly, it is certainly worth it – especially when you are committing to the program for a longer period of time.
You will be sweating and rolling around the mat. Because of this, many people do not find mat rentals hygienic, even if the studios assure you that they clean their mats every after session. Other props like a strap, block, yoga blanket and other accessories can be borrowed in the studio but you can also buy your own if you want.
3. Try to arrive early on every class.
When attending a class in a studio, it is important that you arrive early due to numerous reasons. If this is your first time, you can have an ample time to work on your paperwork and talk about introductory discounts. Some studios also offer other types of money-saving options that you can possibly be entitled to.
Arriving early also gives you the chance to find a prime location where you can comfortably carry out the poses. Staying close to the instructor when it is still your first time will provide a better insight of the practice.
4. There might be some chanting in the class your enrolled in.
Yoga is not just a physical practice, it also promotes spiritual wellness by chanting. If you happen to enroll in a class that includes Sanskrit chanting at the beginning and at the end of the session, there is no pressure to take part in it. Just relax, breathe, listen and keep an open mind. If you wish to take part and try it, your may do so as well.
5. Breathing is important in yoga.
Your breathing should be in sync with your poses. Although this will be a difficult task to perform at the beginning, you will soon get the hang of it. Pay attention to the shallowness of your breaths and how it is at the end of the class.
If your mind start to wander off, think about your breathing and try to lengthen your inhalations and exhalations. The breathing techniques used in yoga is the best way to calm your mind down.
6. You can skip a pose you are uncomfortable with.
There are different levels of yogis practicing in one class. If there are poses that you do not understand or aren’t ready to try, do not be afraid to skip it out. Each person in your class has been in your shoes and your instructor will completely understand if you need a break.
You can simply take a rest in a Child’s Pose and breathe. This will help you regain your zen until you are ready for the next pose.
7. Allow yourself to be a beginner.
As a beginner, it will be difficult for you to follow your instructor’s pace. Regardless of whether it is too fast or too slow for you, trust your instructor’s sequencing. Try your best to stay on track with the rest of the class.
One more detail to expect is that some instructors are more hands on than the others. This is common especially to the new yogis in the class. If you are not comfortable with adjustments by touching, you can simply let your instructor know about it and the both of you can try something different to work it out.
Beginning yoga can be an amazing gift to yourself. This practice lends itself to numerous mental, physical and spiritual benefits. Embrace it with an open mind and before you know it, you are already encouraging your friends and family to join a class with you.