I’m sharing some tips for yoga for beginners. Taking your first class can be intimidating, so I’m hoping that this post will help.
When I first started doing yoga it was really intimidating to walk into a studio. There were so many things I was unsure about. Where/which direction should I set up my yoga mat? Where’s the change room? Will this class be too hard for me? I felt like I didn’t “look” like I belonged in a yoga class. I wasn’t really thin, dressed head to to in Lululemon with a Half Moon yoga mat. Thankfully I’m much more comfortable walking into a new to me studio. It’s taken years to get to this point though. The tips in this post will help you to avoid some of the stress and anxiety that I went through as someone new to yoga.
Try different kinds of classes.
Yoga isn’t a one size fits all thing. A class that your friend loves might bot be something that you enjoy. The best way to find out what you like is simply to try it out. A flow class will be different than a restorative class. An Ashtanga one will be different than a yin class. Check out the class descriptions on the studio website. That way you’ll have an idea of what to expect from the class.
Ask the studio.
One thing that I’ve done in the past is to ask the person who’s answering the phone what class they would recommend for someone new to yoga. They’ve probably been to a lot of the classes at the studio and has a feel for the different teaching styles that the instructors have. If you’ve taken a class at that studio that you really liked, ask their advice for similar one. It’s always interesting to ask what their favorite classes are too.
You can also be more specific and ask about classes that are more of a workout or are particularly relaxing. I had an evening yin class recommended to me by someone who was working the front desk, and it ended up becoming one of my favorite classes. It was a great way to end my evening and transition into getting ready for bed.
Take advantage of variations.
I’m not someone who’s naturally flexible. My first few yoga classes I ended up getting really sore because I was stubborn and didn’t want to take any modifications. I didn’t want to look different and stick out from what everyone else was doing. Thankfully I know better now and use modifications when they’re offered during classes.
Variations can include everything from using props to support your body or doing the pose slightly differently. I have tight hamstrings so doing a seating forward fold is challenging for me. Putting a thin block under my hips allows me to fold forward a bit more than I would be able to otherwise.
It can be easy to get stuck in the mindset that a variation or modification means that you’re not doing the pose “right”. That’s not the case though. Asking your body to do something it can’t do (and could result in injury) is actually the opposite of yoga. Giving yourself grace and meeting your body where it is on that particular day is much more yoga like.
Tell them that you’re new to the studio.
They’ll give you all the details on everything from how to sign up for classes online to where you can leave your stuff (coat, phone, etc.) while you’re in class. Letting them know that it’s your first visit to the studio will give them the opportunity to give you any information that you’ll need. If you’re able to go to class a few minutes early, that’s even better. It can get busy 5 or 10 minutes before class, so going 15 or even 20 minute before hand will allow them and you the time you need to get settled and sign any waivers or get a tour of the studio.
What’s your favorite tops to share for yoga for beginners?