If you’ve ever been curious about yoga but were hesitant to try it, now is a perfect time to start a new yoga practice. Familiarize yourself with these beginner yoga tips before attending your first class:
• Find out what type of classes the yoga studio offers. It is not necessary to attend a “Beginner” yoga class if you are new to yoga, although many studios offer introductory classes for beginners. Classes labeled “Hatha Yoga” are generally suitable for all levels. Hatha Yoga is simply the practice of physical postures. In a Hatha Yoga class, the teacher may refer to poses by both their Sanskrit names and English translations. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with any yoga poses; your instructor will tell you exactly how to execute them.
• Wear comfortable clothing. You may be tempted to wear loose clothing, but baggy pants and t-shirts may get in the way during certain poses. You don’t want your shirt falling in your face during a mild inversion such as Downward Facing Dog. Wear form-fitting clothing that will allow your skin to breathe.
• Bring a yoga mat if you have one. If not, you can rent one from the studio. You may also want to bring a small towel and a bottle of water.
• Be prepared to spend some time in stillness. Many yoga classes incorporate brief periods of meditation or breathing exercises, known as pranayama.
• Be mindful of the rules of the yoga studio. Most will ask that you remove your shoes before entering the yoga room and that you refrain from conducting conversations in the yoga room as other students may be meditating.
• Avoid comparisons, everyone’s yoga practice is unique. Don’t expect to be able to enter into the poses as fully as someone who has been practicing yoga for a long time. As long as you are executing the posture correctly, you will receive the intended benefits. Never sacrifice the integrity of the posture to gain more depth as this could lead to injury.
• Don’t be surprised if you experience some ill effects, such as a headache, after your first yoga class. This is your body’s way of responding to the release of toxins that yoga facilitates.
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