Prepare for Yoga as a Beginner – Top 5 Tips to Enter the Unknown
Yoga is a wonderful practice helping activate the parasympathetic nervous center (calming part of the brain) offering both physical and mental health benefits. Often times, beginners are nervous to enter a class because they don’t know how to prepare or what to expect. Read our recent article on What Yoga Style is Right for You to get a better understanding. Use these helpful tips in preparing for your first class and you will feel and “look” like an expert in no time!
1. Prepare ahead
Ask if you need to bring your own mat/props or if they are provided. Most studios offer mat rentals for a small charge or have for free.
2. Talk to you studio
Talk with your studio before hand to know what style of yoga they teach. Learn about the many styles of yoga and what to expect here.
3. Greet the instructor
Before class, let the teacher know any past physical history or muscle/bone/joint issues you have and if any part of the body may need further attention for class. Let them know if you are comfortable to receive adjustments. (Instructors will help align you into the right posture to promote building healthy habits in your yoga practice)
3. Use Props
Props help you get in correct alignment and achieve a deeper posture. I have seen participants in my past classes become frustrated they couldn’t achieve a posture but didn’t want to use a prop. Props are a sign that you are listening to your body’s needs will help you deepen a stretch or attain a pose.
4. Bring water
Depending on the style of yoga, some classes may be more rigorous than others. Make sure you have enough water and electrolytes to stay hydrated before and after class.
5. Eat a light snack 30-60 minutes before class
You should not enter class directly after a large meal as it can inhibit your ability for clear deep breathing (called Praanyama). However, nor should you enter a hot studio, without having food energy in the past 4 hours. Aim for 10-20 raw almonds or coconut water 30 minutes before class.
The underlying theme you will seek over time is SVADHYAYA, or “self-study”, a guiding principle for all yogis. Like you would study a book, we look to yoga to help study ourselves. From cover to cover, head to toe, we look inward to study how each movement feels physically and mentally. By turning our awareness to the present moment we can attain this greater sense of self-transformation and universal peace.
Yoga classes often ends with the word “Namaste” which means to honor and respect the divine light we see within ourselves and that we see in others.
I offer my respect to you as a reader and listener.
Namaste and enjoy your new practice!