It is much easier and more enjoyable, to learn yoga, with all its detailed and subtle physical and mental aspects, from an experienced, qualified, real-three-dimensional-living-breathing person, rather than from a book or video. Especially at the beginning, a teacher’s presence and ability to actually see you and respond to what you are doing, is essential for building your confidence that you are doing yoga properly.
For your first class, choose a level that is suitable for you and introduce yourself to the teacher before class begins. Let them know about any health concerns you might have and let them know this is your first class.
You may wish to start in a gentle class as these classes move at a slower pace, which will allow you to comfortably learn the postures and breath work. For many students, gentle yoga will remain their primary practice, while others will eventually want more physically rigorous classes, Pace yourself at a level comfortable to yourself rather than rushing into classes you are not comfortable with. Find the practice which you feel best suits your personality and personal objectives.
Don’t push yourself to do anything that feels wrong for you. This is ‘Ahimsa’, the practice of non-harm, which is essential to skilful and beneficial practice of yoga.
If this is going to be your first yoga class, you may feel insecure thinking that you may not be able cope up. Some students have first class syndrome, not knowing what to expect, worrying that they will not measure up in flexibility. Look inwards to your own progress; there will always be more flexible, strong and beautiful people around in your yoga class, as in life. Yoga may be fashionable, but it is not a spectator sport or a competition. Appreciate the subtle progress of your own practice; the best part of it is on the inside, in the healing awareness and unity of your own body, mind and spirit. Keep your eyes on your own mat in order to focus on moving through the class in a way that serves your body and your needs.
Consistency is key. Yoga is a cumulative practice. With each class you take, its impact on your life will continue to increase. Most people enjoy their first yoga session but if yoga doesn’t click for you right away, give it some time. Try different styles of classes until you find the right fit for you. A regular practice will reap more benefits. As the body begins to feel comfortable and familiar with the process, flexibility improves and with repetition of poses, muscles memory develops and makes the body strong. Once a week will feel good, but practice three times a week for faster transformation. With diligence and consistence, you will soon begin to reap the benefits of yoga.
The perfect pose we may see in a book or see a teacher demonstrate may be a long way from what our own body can currently achieve. Your yoga teacher will show you how to ease your own body carefully towards the ideal posture, perhaps with use of yoga props like extra blocks, bolsters, a straps to bring attention to the principle of the inner stretch or direction of energy that the pose is aiming to evoke in us.
If you are a yoga beginner you don’t really have to buy a great deal at all to do yoga, but these yoga ‘props’ can be very useful. A yoga mat especially is pretty essential to avoid slipping on floors. You may consider getting these Four yoga accessories to get you started:
Provides cushioning on a hard floor and a non-slip surface for standing.
Helps stabilize standing poses when you can’t reach the floor easily.
Helps when you can’t reach to hold a leg, foot or hand, especially in backbends.
Provides extra cushioning to protect your knees in kneeling postures.
Our Centre offers Yoga Starter Kit Package at a discount to help our members kick start their yoga practice.
Tip 1: Yoga and Food
It is advisable not to take your meals one or two hours before yoga practice, and hydrate yourself well before class. If you may feel hungry, take a light healthy snack half an hour before class. Try not to drink during practice. If you must, take small sips of water. Avoid alcohol, sugar or caffeine before yoga.T
Tip 2: Wear Comfortable Clothing That Stays In Place
You will stretch your body in all directions and so you don’t want to wear anything that will dig in or restrict your movement. At some point you are likely to bend your body right over and also turn upside down, so it saves wriggling about or exposing more than you wish to.
Tip 3: Arrive Early
Arrive about 15 minutes earlier before the class starts. This will give you time to get settled, locate bathrooms, and acclimate to the energy of the space. Dashing into any yoga class can bring anxious energy onto your mat. New students often confess to being nervous before their first class, which is perfectly normal. Try not to add to beginner’s stress by running late.
Tip 4: Choose a Good Spot
Gravitating to the back row of a class seems to be a natural inclination for some especially many new students. Find a spot you are comfortable with and where you can hear and see the teacher clearly.
Tip 5: Set an Intention
After choosing your space, take some moments to set your own intention. For example, you may decide to focus on breathing deeply throughout the class or to practice not judging yourself or others. Offering gratitude for the opportunity to practice yoga to care for your body is another way to ground your practice