Getting ready to join a yoga class? Be mindful of these tips to keep you from making the typically rookie moves.
There’s a yoga out there for everyone!
It’s important to choose the right kind of yoga for you. So don’t just stop after one class if it’s got you in a tilt-a-whirl. Shop around and find one that suits you and gets you excited for the next session. Can you stand the heat? Maybe bikram (hot yoga) will give you the sweat you crave. If you like smooth, choreographed motions, then vinyasa might give you the best bang for your buck. Point is, go for what works best for you.
Don’t push your limits
You might end up looking at the yogi next to you wondering why your pose doesn’t look like theirs. Well it may just be that they’ve had their feet in the water for a while. So don’t feel like you need to catch up with them right away. Yoga is most definitely not a race. It is a road to self-discovery and healing. Build your technique up one step at a time and your confidence will follow.
It takes time to secure your footing with many yoga positions. Staying committed to the program and attending at least one class a week will get you to a comfortable skill level.
Ask for help
Instructors are there to instruct. Don’t be afraid to ask them if your position looks okay or if there are any exercises that could help with your flexibility or posture. Linger after class to get some personal feedback if possible.
Close your mouth. Open your mind
Remember that one student that talked over the teacher during class? That gets magnified 10x in a yoga session. Leave your conversation pieces at the door and let your mind join everyone else in some healing meditation and relaxation.
Have a snack an hour beforehand
Imagine that in all the silence you hear a very audible grumble… from your stomach. Have a bite to eat an hour or so before your class. It’ll give your stomach enough time to digest and leave you energized and focused for your session. Too much food right before a class will divert blood flow from your muscles that would otherwise keep you stable.
Have water ready
Even though you may not be bursting with sweat or short of breath, your body will have gone through an intensive workout. After a complete session, all your major muscle groups should have gotten some attention. This calls for hydration to keep your mind and body intact and to promote proper healing.
Do you think the ancient yogis had cell phones or e-mails to check on? NOPE and neither should you. Keep yourself void from any distractions even when you’re practicing at home. Yoga is you time, so don’t let your phone accept any invitations for you.
Don’t forget to breathe
If you think you know how to breathe, you’ll stand corrected after your first yoga class. Yoga really focuses on full and rich breathing. It gives you something to concentrate on and allows oxygen to flow throughout your body, which is essential during challenging positions. So really let the air flow with steady and controlled breathing.
Bring it to a close
Every yoga instructor will end a session with a brief final relaxation known as Savasana. It’s yoga’s way to let your mind debrief the rest of the body on what it just learned. Plus, how often do you get a chance to give your mind a break? Take advantage of this 10-15min round-up session before you head out. You’ll feel like a whole new person.
You’ll find that everyone in your class has started exactly where you are now as a beginner. It’s a judgment free zone so if you forget some of these tips, don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Just make up for it next time with a stellar Downward-Dog!
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