Yoga has become huge! Last year nearly ten percent of the United States population did yoga making it a multiBILLION dollar industry. Chances are, you’ve thought about yoga too. Whether you’ve already selected the studio for your first time on the mat or you’re still deciding whether yoga is for you, the following considerations will bring you comfort when you arrive at your first practice.
1. Yoga is for ALL bodies
For some people there is a specific body type that comes to mind when considering who can practice yoga. The truth is, yoga is for everybody—female, male, people with disabilities, athletes, and for those new to exercise in general. No matter your body type or ability level there are modifications for nearly every pose offered in yoga classes. The fact is, if you happen to be injured or unable to work through the physical yoga movements, breath work known as pranayama also offers health benefits.
2. Wear what feels right
Yoga does not have a uniform. Though common representations of yoga practitioners in tight fitting yoga pants and tank tops might have you thinking otherwise, the reality is that you can wear whatever is easy to move in. A good rule of thumb is to wear comfortable fitting clothing that allow you to easily move your body and also stays in place so you don’t spend your practice adjusting your clothing.
3. Yoga is diverse
There are many yoga practices ranging from heart pumping, heated classes, to slow moving restorative styles. As a beginner it’s best to start with a slower moving class so as not to overwhelm yourself on the first day. A Hatha practice is all about the basics and will introduce slow, gentle movements to a new yogi. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to get your heart rate into the fat burning zone you can try your hand at Vinyasa yoga where the practice focuses on linking breath to movement in a fluid way. It’s a good idea to call your studio ahead and ask which class they recommend for beginners. No matter where you begin, make sure you let your instructor know you’re new to the practice so they can potentially offer you modifications.
4. Bring a mat and towel (just in case)
Much to the surprise of new yogis, yoga practice will make you sweat. It’s always good to have a towel to wipe away the perspiration from your brow but also your hands to keep you from slipping on your mat. If you’re not ready to buy your own mat just yet, make sure to find out if your studio offers yoga mats to borrow or rent.
5. Trust the process
It’s okay to look around during class at other yogis when you’re unsure of a particular pose. Learning the movements takes a few classes but before you know it, you’ll have them memorized and won’t feel the need to glance to the person next you for guidance.
Taking a yoga class for the first time in a studio can be intimidating but now that you have some basic guidance, you can relax and enjoy your new movement routine. Beyond the considerations listed above remember also to have fun!