September is National Yoga Month, which means there’s no better time to give this incredible practice a try! You’ve probably heard all about how yoga can help increase your flexibility, decrease your stress, and improve your self confidence, but you may be nervous about attending your first class. In this blog, we’ll look at five tips to help you feel at ease during your first yoga class.
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Tip #1: Don’t Worry About Bringing Fancy Gym Shoes
Unlike most group fitness classes, yoga does not require the use of gym or fitness shoes. Instead, yoga is practiced barefoot, however there’s no need to get a pedicure for the occasion. Before you enter the yoga studio, make sure to remove your shoes so you don’t drag in any dirt or debris from outside. Most studios have shelves for shoes either just inside the door or right outside the lobby where you can store them until the class is done. During your first yoga class, you will spend a great deal of your time focusing on gripping your feet, spreading your toes, and evenly distributing your weight over your feet.
Tip #2: Wear Comfortable and Loose Clothing
Yoga is all about clearing your mind, and the last thing you want to worry about is ill-fitting clothes while you’re transitioning from pose to pose. During your yoga class, you’ll be spending a great deal of time bending, stretching, and twisting your body. This means that you’ll want to wear something that is comfortable but will still stay put as you move. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight, as they can impede breathing and make it difficult for you to move during class.
Many yoga teachers are specially trained to adjust students during class to ensure they are maintaining proper bodily alignment. This helps students go deeper into a pose that they otherwise couldn’t do on their own. If you feel uncomfortable with hands-on adjustments during your first yoga class, be sure to let your teacher know.
Tip #3: Remember That Yoga Is A Quiet Practice
Unlike other group workout classes, it’s important to remember that yoga is conducted in a quiet space and talking is discouraged. When you enter the yoga studio (with your shoes off), quietly find a space on the floor to set up your yoga mat. As a brand new student, it may be wise to choose an area of space in the back of the class so you have space to observe others practicing in front of you. Once you’ve found your space in the classroom, feel free to lie down or stretch on your mat until the class officially begins.
Tip #4: Get Familiar With Your Breath
As with any physical exercise or activity, breath is very important. In yoga, your breath is one of the most important aspects of your practice, as it lets you settle into difficult poses and calms your mind at the same time. The first time you hear other yogis breathing in class, you might think that a snake is loose in the room. The traditional yoga breath, also called “ujjayi” breath, is a slow and even breath that is released through the nose, often creating an “s” sound.
During this type of breathing, the back of the throat is constricted slightly to create a filter for the breath while also generating heat in the body. Throughout your yoga practice, the audible breath is used as a “moving meditation” throughout your practice. As you focus on the sound and cadence of the breath, it will help to calm your mind during the more difficult poses. When you encounter a challenging pose in your practice, try to focus on your breath and imagine that you are breathing into the part of your body that feels discomfort. This will help you sink deeper into the pose, and will help you build endurance.
Tip #5: Bring Water To Your Yoga Class
When most people think of a yoga class, they imagine people stretching casually on a mat for an hour. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Depending on the type of yoga class you sign up for, you’ll likely start breathing heavy and sweating in no time as you flow through various poses and postures. While there are no designated water breaks during a yoga class, it’s always wise to bring a water bottle when you feel that your body needs a break.
As you can see, there are many things to keep in mind before signing up for your first yoga class. If you need to purchase a yoga mat, be sure to check out YoYo Fitness Mats online today. We offer yoga mats in a variety of styles and colors, and each of our mats features our patented roll-up technology so you never have to worry about hand-rolling your mat after class. If you’re interested in learning more about our amazing yoga mats or you have questions regarding our products, contact us today!