A Guide to Your First Yoga Class
By Krystal Thompson
So you have read this issue of FabUplus and heard the amazing stories about how Yoga is great for the body, mind and spirit and want to give it a try? Here are some tips to get you started with your first yoga class.
Be an Earlybird
When you arrive early to the class it gives you a chance to chat with the teacher, ask questions and share any concerns you might have. It also gives you time to set yourself up and pick your favourite spot. This will help you begin your first class from a more relaxed place.
Dress for Comfort
You want to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and that will also allow you to move your body. Dressing in layers is a great idea because you may get warmer or cooler at different points in the class. Most classes end with a pose called Savasana, where you will be laying on the floor in a relaxed state for a few minutes, and you don’t want to miss out on the bliss that is Savasana by being chilly.
Practice not Perfection
Please do not worry about what the other students’ poses look like or even how the teacher appears in the pose. Every body is different and every body has different needs. Always practice in a way that is minimizing your risk for injury while maximizing the benefits of yoga. One of my favourite things to remind students about is that we always adapt the poses for our body’s needs rather than trying to adapt our body for the pose. Yoga is a practice not a state of perfection.
How do you know how to adapt a pose? Look for a teacher who will offer you modifications for any needs you might have like an injury, illness or life stage. Teachers who are trained in Curvy Yoga, Yoga for Round Bodies, or Yoga for All will know ways of adapting the pose for bigger bodies. It’s also a great idea to check online for the different styles of yoga offered where you live beforehand so that you can make an informed choice. Not all styles of yoga are the same so you want to choose the best one for your needs.
Most classes in the West focus on the physical aspect of yoga, asana, or poses. In truth, asana is just one of the eight limbs of yoga, which also include guidance for everyday life, breathwork and meditation. Asana was primarily developed to allow yogis to sit in meditation for longer periods of time. So I invite you again to let go of worrying about how “perfect” your poses are, and maybe notice more what is happening in your mind during your asana practice. How we show up for yoga is how we show up for life.
Photo Credit: Chasing Light Studio
And remember: “I really regret going to yoga”… said no one EVER!
Yoga is an incredible practice offering so many benefits for our bodies, minds and spirits when it is practiced safely and with awareness. I hope this guide helps you to feel ready to start your own yoga journey and I hope to see you on a yoga mat soon.