A Guide to Yoga for Beginners | The Essentials for Your First Yoga Class
There's no doubt about it - your first yoga class can be a daunting prospect. An ethereal receptionist, the aroma of incense floating through the air, the polite request to remove you shoes as you would in your mother's home - and that's just getting through the front door. But we want to get you all the way into the yoga studio to reap the rewards that yoga can bring to your life. That's why we've put together A Guide to Yoga for Beginners - so you can attend your first yoga class with a confident and positive mindset. Let's get started.
What Should I Wear?
For stability, balance, foot strength and connection to the earth.
What Do I Need?
Not necessary, but endlessly helpful - blocks, blankets and straps are but a few.
If you sweat a load, having a towel handy is a must to prevent slipping.
How Should I Prepare?
Yoga is best performed on an empty stomach or following a light snack - moving and folding simply don't get along with a gut full of food!
Just relax and allow your mind to calm. Lie back, sit crossed legged or do some simple stretches. Classes will often begin by loosening up the body.
What Do I Do?
The most important thing in yoga is the breath. It will allow you to relax, move freely, push yourself further and attain a harmonious state.
Listen & Look
The best way to learn the poses is to carefully listen to the instruction and observe your teacher. Feel free to take a look at the other students.
Don't compare yourself with others in the class and feel downhearted. Enjoy the process - relish falling out of balances and laugh at your inflexibility.
Forget the Ego
There's no winner in yoga and there will always be someone 'better' than you. Being competitive is more likely to get you hurt than to get you praise.
If you don't understand something, just ask. Yoga culture is incredibly benevolent - both teacher and student alike will be happy to help.
Yoga is an individual journey and exploration of the self. Over time, you will be able to discern the subtleties of how you feel, move and act on the mat.
If you'd like to know anything more about yoga for beginners, check out some of our other Journal articles: