By the middle of February, your resolutions of getting fit in the New Year may be wearing thin – packed, sweaty gyms and treadmill runs aren’t everyone’s idea of a good time. It may be time to switch up your routine and try something new. Yoga is an excellent way to rejuvenate your mind and restore the enthusiasm for healthy living you had on January 1st. Learning a new skill can be difficult and scary, but we’re here to give you the rundown on exactly what to expect from your first yoga session.
A few key things to remember before you even step foot onto your mat:
- Eat at least two hours before class so your body is able to twist and bend into poses without having to digest a meal at the same time.
- Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water to stay hydrated during your practice.
- Wear comfortable and fitted clothing (but not too tight that you can’t move around easily) and made out of cotton or sweat-absorbing fabrics.
- Leave your socks and gym shoes behind.
- Bringing the basics: mat, water bottle and towel. If you don’t have a mat, don’t worry, we have extras just for this purpose. Once you’ve attended a few classes with us, we recommend purchasing your own – yoga mats can be found in a variety of sizes, colors and thicknesses at any price range.
Once you’ve got these elements, you’re ready for your first yoga session! Try to quiet your mind as much as possible before class begins. The class will usually start with a few more moments of meditation to prepare your mind and body, so take full advantage of it, really focusing on your breathing. Be prepared for the teacher to physically touch you during poses. Yoga instructors are trained to adjust your body to maintain proper, safe alignment and to help you hold poses you may not be ready for on your own just yet. We can usually gauge a student’s willingness to be touched, but if you feel uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to let us know.
During the session, trust yourself. Yes, this may be new to you, but focus on the moment. It’s so natural for us to worry all the time, but that’s one the great things about yoga. It gently forces us to only think about what we are doing in the moment. Also, by trusting yourself it’s easier to gauge your limitations. You don’t have to create a perfect human bridge with your body on the first day.
As class comes to an end, there will a few final moments of rest and meditation. While you may feel your workout is over, this is an important moment, as it allows for reflection and rejuvenation, so don’t rush out just yet! This may be the most important part of the class. While you feel like you may a sweaty mess lying on the floor, the final savasana is where you gain all the benefits of the workout. We suggest staying here for at least 2-5 minutes. After finishing, be sure to drink lots of water to keep hydrated, especially if you are feeling light-headed.
Our yoga classes are tailored to your specific fitness level. Allow yourself to be a beginner and learn slowly – there is a reason it’s called “practice” so don’t expect to be able to hold every pose right away! The ultimate goal is to revitalize your mind and body, so if at the end of class you feel energized, then it was a success!
You may also be a little sore the day after your practice. This is a good thing! Your body is already becoming more flexible, and adjusting to your new routine. So, even though you may be walking a little funny, it’ll all be worth it!
We’d love to hear from you! Connect with us on Facebook, and let us know what you expected from your first yoga session, and what you received out of it.