Here you are, you’ve found a studio that you would like to try, signed up for their special of the month or intro month and now you’re home getting ready to venture out for your very first yoga class.
You find yourself staring in the mirror in your brand new yoga pants and shirt that you’ve purchased especially for this day, you’re dissecting every part of your body and attempting to convince yourself not go to this class.
You tell yourself that you’re not flexible enough to do yoga or you start to imagine that all the other students in the class will be 6 Foot tall models, with 0% body fat, who live a gluten free, vegan lifestyle, who never get mad, never swear and can levitate without even trying. You tell yourself you’re too busy, or picture yourself falling over in class.
NONE OF THIS IS TRUE….
If you’re not flexible, that’s OK, yoga will actually help improve your flexibility and strength in a safe and gentle way.
I’ve been practicing yoga for a very long time and I’m 5 feet tall, have body fat (and that’s ok), I do try to eat gluten free but I eat meat and I love salt and vinegar chips. I’m a human just like you. All Yogis are human just like you. I get mad sometimes, I cry sometimes and I certainly cannot levitate (although that would be pretty cool).
The busier you are the more you need yoga in your life and if you fall over no one will even notice and if they do, they don’t care. There is no ego in the yoga room. Everyone is there for different reasons and no one is there to judge or compare themselves to you or anyone else in the room.
Let’s talk about what to actually expect and extra tips you may want to know to make you feel more prepared about your first class.
Items to bring:
- Yoga mat- although no big deal if you don’t have one, most studios have them for rent- usually around $2.
- Water bottle
- For hot yoga bring a yoga mat towel and if you’re thinking WTF is that, then just bring a beach towel or rent a yoga mat towel at the studio.
- Towel if you want to shower after, some people shower at the studio and some go home to shower.
- Change for parking ( so you can’t do two loops on the street and decide you can’t find parking but you tried so you’re going to reward yourself by going for ice cream instead).
Here are some more realistic things to expect during your first yoga class:
- When you arrive, go to the main desk and say your name if you’ve already purchased a class pass, an intro month or one of the monthly specials. If you haven’t ask the kind person behind the desk to help you pick which option is best for you and your schedule. Don’t be afraid, you’ll be surprised at how super friendly everyone is. Mention any injuries you might have.
- They will show you or tell you where the change rooms are.
- Leave all your stuff in the change room (including socks in case you were wondering). Take your mat, water and towel if necessary, items like keys and phones only distract you and the others in the room. Your items will be safe.
- Fill your water and make your way to the yoga studio.
- Most studios observe silence meaning once you walk through the doors no more talking.
- Some people will be laying on there backs on the mat looking like their dead, don’t worry they are not. This is called Savassana or Corpse pose. A lot of people will just relax in this pose until the teacher comes in. You may see some people doing a workout quietly on their mat, or sitting with their eyes closed just chilling out. DO WHAT YOU WANT. Doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, as long as you’re not being loud then do what you want.
- One thing to avoid is whipping your mat open and letting it fall to the floor, this is super loud. Gently roll your mat out and place your towel on it. You’ll understand better when it happens.
You’ve maybe decided to do the looking like your dead pose and lay down. Now you wait……………HOLD ON! ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HEAR SOMETHING…… WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT NOISE…..
That noise is Ujjayi or yoga breathe. This breathe is found by inhaling in through the nose and exhaling out through the nose. There is a slight restriction at the back of your throat that allows your breathe to become audible.
Try this little exercise to find this breathing style.
Take the palm of your hand in front of your mouth. Picture the palm of your hand as being a mirror, Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Fog up the mirror. Do this a couple times and notice how it feels in your throat and how it sounds. Now, try it with your mouth closed and exhales coming out of your nose but keep that same feeling or sound in your throat. Keep practising and eventually it will become second nature when you start your yoga practice.
Why Ujjayi breathe?
Ujjayi breathe is the ancient yogic breathing and has been used for thousands of years to enhance yoga practices.
Ujjayi has a balancing influence on the entire cardiorespiratory system, releases feelings of irritation and frustration, and helps calm the mind and body. With Ujjayi, there are so many benefits, providing good value for a simple practice. Here are a few benefits you may enjoy as a result of practicing the Ujjayi breath:
- Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood
- Builds internal body heat
- Relieves tension
- Encourages free flow of prana
- Regulates blood pressure
- Helps yoga practitioner to maintain a rhythm while they practice
- Builds energy
- Detoxifies mind and body
- Increases feelings of presence, self-awareness, and meditative qualities
Ujjayi breathe is something to practice towards and not expect to master the breathing technique on your first try or first yoga class.
Once the teacher comes in, they will guide you through a series of poses and depending on which type of yoga you’ve chosen it may be very gentle (like a yin) or vigourous like a flow class. I suggest starting with a gentle version of yoga (yin or moksha) and working your way up to a flow class.
There it is. You know what to expect. You’re ready!!!
Yoga is my favorite thing to do. It’s my passion and I’d like to share it with anyone who would like to try. I wrote this article to encourage people to get out and try it. I promise and know forsure that you will get something out of it. However, if after reading this, you’re still not convinced then try a couple private one on one sessions to get some understanding and knowledge of the poses to expect. When booking quote “first yoga class” to receive $25 off your first private class.