Life. Yoga. Joy.
Inspiring a life with smiles...™
I've been talking up the FREE community yoga class I'm teaching this month to anybody and everybody. The reactions are phenomenal and varied ranging from "Yes, I'll be there!" to "But I've never done yoga, won't your class be too difficult?"
I firmly believe that yoga is for EVERYBODY! So today I want to focus on my beautiful newbies...this post is for you. Here are my top 5 tips for new yoga students:
1. Find a welcoming studio
A quick search on Google will most likely give you a ton of yoga studio options or places that offer yoga classes. Spend a couple of minutes narrowing down your search to ones that are local to you (making it more likely you will attend) or conveniently near where you work/hang out. Check if they offer any classes for beginners. A quick phone call to the studio will also help you determine if their more advanced classes welcome beginners by offering modifications.
And don't forget to ask if they offer any new student specials or free classes. Plus Groupon is a great place to search for deals as well.
2. Wear comfortable clothing
Search Instagram for pictures of yogis and you will see a plethora of adorable outfits leading one to imagine that doing yoga requires some snazzy new threads. However the most important thing is that you are able to easily move around in your clothes.
For women, I do recommend a decent sports bra. (Trust me on this.) For men, let's not have the shorts be too short, okay? Or your downward facing dog might leave you feeling a bit exposed!
Otherwise either yoga pants or sweats for the bottoms and a fitted top (remember you are bending over quite a bit so a loose top will flop over your face) are all you need to get started.
3. Say "I'm new"
If possible, get to the class a few minutes early and let the person checking you in, and the teacher, know you are new to yoga as well as the studio. This allows them the opportunity to welcome you, show you around, and give you any suggestions about where you can best view the teacher. (Also, if you do not have a mat, many studios will either loan you one for your first class, or offer to rent one to you for a couple of dollars.)
Do be aware that the teacher is not necessarily going to be able to come around and work with you one on one. However by letting him or her know, it allows them to possibly give a few extra cues or think about modifications as they are leading the class.
4. Go with the flow
Perhaps you really didn't want to take a yoga class, but someone (friend, doctor, spouse, colleague) talked you into it. Or maybe you have been dying to try a yoga class, but never quite made it in. Either way, you might have a bit of nervous energy going into your first class. So take a couple of minutes to just breathe and notice your surroundings.
Then pause and allow yourself to set an intention that is all about you. What would you like to get out of the class? And give yourself a little smile and a pat on the back for making it into your first class.
5. If at first you don't succeed
Remember those adorably dressed yogis you looked up on Instagram? The men and women bending into pretzels, and walking on their hands? Well aside from a few naturally flexible people, most of them didn't start out doing those incredible challenging postures.
In truth, many yogis today (myself included) believe that yoga is far more than the asanas (poses). So if your first class wasn't everything you hoped for, or you didn't quite understand everything the teacher said, don't give up on yoga!
Try another class either at the same studio, a different studio, with a friend, using a DVD or internet class. Or look for a different style of yoga to try. With so many fun options like hot yoga, slack-line yoga, acro yoga, yoga for runners, yogalates, cardio yoga, yin yang yoga, yoga for relaxation, etc...there is truly a flavor for everyone!
Wherever you are in your practice, feel free to comment and share. I love encouraging new students, and seasoned practitioners alike!
See you on the mat...with smiles...
Samantha Eve, a