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March 21, 2016 by
Jay Medley
Yoga is a very popular activity, but it can feel daunting to walk into a yoga studio with experienced students for the first time. Here are the things you need to know before you go to a yoga class for the first time.

What You’ll Need

-Yoga Mat: Your yoga studio may rent out mats, but you’ll likely want to bring your own. You can use the mat at home if you want to try a few poses on your own, plus you won’t get distracted thinking about who else has sweat on the mat while you’re supposed to be clearing your mind.

-Water Bottle: You need to stay hydrated, so bring a water bottle along.

-Hand Towel: You can use a small towel to wipe off sweat if you’re in a hot yoga or just a particularly intense class. You can also use it as extra padding below your head if you need it.

What to Wear

It’s finally time to wear those yoga pants to yoga! Wear something comfortable that allows you to move and stretch. Stretchy yoga pants or capris, or athletic shorts work well with a comfortable t-shirt or tank top. You’ll practice yoga in bare feet, so prepare to take off shoes and socks. Bare feet can grip the floor better for the poses.

How to Prepare

-Don’t eat immediately before a class. A full stomach can prevent you from really getting into each pose, so don’t eat any big meals two hours before the class and plan to finish snacks an hour before class. If you’re starving and absolutely must eat something, have a small snack (like a piece of fruit) no less than 20 minutes before the class.

-Arrive early so you have time to set up and relax. You may need to check in before you go into the class, so it’s best to give yourself at least 10 minutes before the class. You may even have enough time to talk to the instructor and let him or her know that this is your first time (unless you want to play it cool.)

-Turn your phone off! There’s nothing that can kill the vibe of a class like a ringing cell phone. Avoid embarrassment and the dirty looks and turn your phone off in advance.
What to Do in the Class

-Relax. Your instructor will talk about breathing, so focus on your breathing to keep calm. If you feel yourself tensing up if you’re struggling to complete a pose, just take a moment to slow your breathing and release the tension you’re holding.

-Just follow along and take breaks when you need them. There may be students of different levels in the class with you, so some of the poses might not be beginner-friendly. If there is a pose that you feel you can’t do yet, just take a break or do Child’s Pose on your mat. It’s common to do Child’s Pose when you can’t complete a pose, need a moment to catch your breath, or if you don’t feel your best in a hot yoga class.

-Stay comfortable. Some instructors will give you tips verbally, others will physically move you to get you into the pose. If there’s anything you don’t feel comfortable with, just say so.
Now you’re ready! Go find a yoga class near you!

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