What You Need to Know for Your First Yoga Class

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You’re ready. It’s time for your first yoga class.

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First of all, congratulations! It can be scary to step beyond your comfort zone. But putting aside your fears often leads to life’s most fruitful and rewarding experiences—and today, you’re taking that step with yoga.

Still, as a beginner, it helps to know what to expect. With that in mind, here are a few things you need to know for your very first yoga class.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge or compare yourself to others. Yoga, like any new activity, is going to feel a little awkward at first. Stick with it! Everyone was a beginner once, and you’ll get more familiar, comfortable, and confident with every class.

Get your gear. For your first class, bring a mat, a towel, and a water bottle. If you’re not quite ready to invest, some studios provide mats or allow you to rent them. Call ahead to check out their policy. If you are ready to purchase a mat, but aren't sure which option is best, check out our post about choosing the perfect yoga mat.

Ask about introductory offers. Many studios have great deals for new patrons. You can often find studios that offer your first class free or fantastic discounts to sign on for two weeks or a month. Give the studio a ring to find out about their offers.

Wear comfortable clothes. In yoga, you want to feel confident and unrestricted. Wear something that allows you to move freely, like stretch pants with a tank top or t-shirt. Test your outfit by doing a few stretches at home. Try to touch your toes. Get into push-up position. Make sure you feel comfortable.

Talk to the teacher. If you’re feeling a little nervous, let the teacher know it’s your first yoga class. You can do this when you check in or right before class starts. By sharing this information, the teacher will know to demonstrate poses clearly and help you with adjustments and modifications.

Listen to your body. You might instinctively want to push yourself and your body. However, if a pose hurts or doesn’t feel right, stop. There are deep stretches and poses that—at first—will feel uncomfortable. If you’re not careful, you could hurt yourself. Don’t worry, it gets easier!

It’s not a competition. There will be people who have practiced for years. There might even be people who can balance on one hand while wrapping themselves into a pretzel shape. Don’t compare yourself. You’re in class for you.

Breathe. If there’s one thing to take away from your first yoga class, breathe. Sometimes, as you’re going from unfamiliar pose to unfamiliar pose, it can be easy to forget to inhale and exhale fully, which makes these transitions—and your anxiety levels—more difficult. Don’t expect your breathing and your movements to be in perfect sync. That takes years of practice and you’ll get there eventually.

Okay, future yogi! You’re ready to hit the mat. Good luck, have fun, and don’t forget: you’re succeeding just by showing up.

Yoga

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