There is a yoga class for every beginner. Fact.
No matter your age, or lifestyle, or weekly schedule, there is sure to be a yoga class to suit you and benefit your life.
If you are a complete newbie, then a little research before your class can go a long way and help you to enjoy the experience even more. Therefore, if you are starting out and wondering what it’s all about then here are a few handy tips to ensure you are prepared to get the best out of your very first session….
Choose the right class
Nowadays in the UK, there is a plenitude of choice when it comes to yoga classes. Gyms, yoga studios, private teachers and church halls all offer variations of yoga to ease beginners into the practice.
Do a little bit of research before you choose your first class. Ask friends for recommendations, search for local beginners’ classes and even contact a few of the studios to see if their classes would be suitable for you.
We encourage beginners to start in a gentle class that has been designed specifically for those who want to learn the basics and get to grips of learning a new discipline. Don’t agree to go along to a fast-paced class with a friend if you are completely new to yoga as rushing in might make you feel overwhelmed and put you off from returning.
Once you have chosen your first yoga class, it’s a good idea to arrive at least 15 minutes early before it starts. Being late and rushing in to any yoga class can bring anxious energy onto your mat and is especially not good on your first time!
Arriving early will give you enough time to find the studio, find a space for your mat, introduce yourself to the teacher and fill in the necessary health assessment forms to let the studio know of any health implications that might affect your practice.
Don’t be shy to make yourself known as a beginner as your teacher will keep an eye on you and offer helpful modifications for certain postures that you might not be used to.
Pick your space wisely
Many people in yoga classes, not just beginners, tend to always head towards the back of the studio as soon as they arrive into the room. Obviously, this is total personal preference and is your decision, however, this might not be the best location for you as a complete beginner. You want to ensure that you can see the teacher clearly and hear their voice to follow their instructions without having to strain your eyes or ears.
Listen to your body
During one of your first few yoga lessons, you are sure to hear the phrase “listen to your body”. But what does this mean? Well, it means that only you knows how your body is feeling and only you are in total control of your own body.
Yoga is often challenging, but it certainly should not be painful. If anything doesn’t feel good or you experience any pain the carefully get yourself out of the current posture and take a relaxing pose such as Child’s pose or Corpse pose.
Breathing is an extremely important part of yoga, so use this as a guide to how you are feeling. If you are short of breath or you find yourself holding your breath a lot, then stop, take a short break and get your breath flowing smoothly again before you restart.
Remember this - yoga is not a sport. It is not a competition, and no one wins or loses. Keep your eyes on your own mat and your mind on your own practice and you will enjoy the experience it so much better.
Don’t give up…
If you want to enjoy yoga as part of your lifestyle and reap all the amazing benefits, then it is going to be an enjoyable journey of experimentation and learning.
You might love your very first class, but equally you may not. You may click with a certain teacher, but not with another. Everyone is unique, and every yoga class is unique, so try different classes and styles until you feel the right fit for you.
Keep coming back and most importantly enjoy every minute. Yoga is a practice to benefit you so use it to your advantage and you are sure to fall in love with it as much as we are within no time.