By BaliniSports Guest- Blogger, Julie Bernier www.mahimatawellness.com
Yoga classes are not supposed to be intimidating. In fact, yoga is an entirely non-judgmental, non-competitive, and peace-promoting endeavor. But as with anything new and unfamiliar, unnecessary fears can pop up: being the worst student in class, not looking good in yoga pants, and other concerns that actually hold no place in yoga. If this is you, read on! Knowing what to expect from your first class will help ease your anxiety so that you too can learn the beautiful practice of yoga.
Call the studio ahead of time and ask which classes they recommend for beginners.
If you've never done yoga, you definitely want to take a beginner's class. There's no shame in building a solid foundation from which to grow your practice. Yoga classes are generally designated as level 1 for beginners, 2 for intermediate and 3 for advanced students, but these levels aren't set in stone. It's best to call your local studio ahead of time to get a specific class and teacher recommendation.
Don't eat 2 hours before class.
Yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach. You'll be twisting, stretching, compressing and even inverting your digestive organs, so you don't want them filled with food!
Bring a mat or don't.
If you don't have your own mat, almost all studios rent them for a dollar or two.
Show up at least 20 minutes early for paperwork and payment.
Your first stop is always the studio front desk, as you'll need to fill out a contact form and waiver. Before you pay ask about new student specials which are common and a great deal.
Put your mat where you feel comfortable and then chill.
Although it's tempting to hide in the back of the class you'll be better off somewhere in the middle. With other students in front, behind, and to your left and right you'll be able to follow along no matter which way the teacher has you facing. If you've arrived early sit quietly on your mat or lie down on your back. Despite what anyone else is doing, there's no need to warmup or stretch before class starts. That's what class is for, and your teacher will guide you through all of it.
Your teacher should walk you through every step you're supposed to take. If they don't, copy what the other students are doing. Just listen, observe, follow along and have fun. Try not to compare or compete; yoga is all about you and no one else.
Relax when it's time to relax.
At the end of class, your teacher will ask you to lie down in corpse pose for several minutes. Your only job here is to relax. Find stillness, focus on your breath, and know that your teacher will tell when it's time to get up. Namaste!