So you've booked in for your first yoga class... Yeyyy!!!! Firstly; well done for signing up :)!
Going to your first ever yoga class is a mixture of scary, intimidating, fun, and rewarding. But fear not, you don't need to worry! It is so not anything to be worried about.
I remember my first ever yoga class. It was a heated class at Sweat Studios in Milton Keynes. I was a total couch potato with an awful back... I didn't have a clue what I was in for! It was super hot, I didn't understand what on earth a Downward Dog was supposed to look like (invisible heels... what the?) but I was totally hooked.... and I hope you will be too!
Here's my Beginners Guide to what to expect in your first ever yoga class...
1) Arrive early
Please try to arrive 15 mins before the class start time. As it is your first class, your teacher will definitely want to have a chat with you prior to teaching you to understand any injuries or limitations and to provide you a little bit of reassurance before you get started.
Couple of etiquette points, these vary studio by studio and teacher by teacher, but these are the common ones I've come across on my travels....
Silence in studio is very common. If that is part of the studio's ethos please do be quiet as it is something the studio's regulars really appreciate.
All yoga is done in bare feet so please leave your trainers/socks/sandals/whatever by the door or by teacher's mat on the way in.
Leave water bottles, sweat towels etc at the top of your mat out of the way so your teacher can adjust you easily without knocking things over.
If you don't want to be adjusted for any reason make sure you arrive early and let your teacher know :)
Attire that is appropriate is super important. Guys, please do wear shorts with a net and a t-shirt or vest and ladies, you can never go wrong with leggings and a vest.
3) Picking a spot
Again this varies. As a teacher; I like my new students to be on the second row. Personally, I like this because there is generally a row of students in front who have some practice experience under their belts; and give a nice visual aid and a bit of reassurance to new students.
Also as a new student once myself; I felt quite self conscious at the start of my journey and worried people were looking at me, so I felt more comfortable further back. In reality no one is looking at you at all, believe me! Every one is focusing on their own practice, which leads me to point 4....
Yoga is a huge battle between mind and your body, especially at the start of your practice. I remember being like "oh my god I'm so wobbly and she's got her head on the floor..." and comparing myself to everyone else.
Actually, every one is different and has different strengths and weaknesses. You might be able to do one pose really easily that someone else hates, and vice versa. And that is totally okay. And part of the fun.
Learn to embrace this, leave your ego at the door and focus on the "I can".
I got there in time... so can you! (only took me 5 years, but yanno its not the point. Yoga is a practice that is ever evolving, with somewhere else to go. And that's what makes it so special.)
This is the most important piece of advice.... give it a go, come with a willing to try attitude and be prepared to want to come back... and not be able to put your finger on why!