Congratulations, you have made a big decision to take your very first Yoga class! Now you may be a bit nervous because you don’t know what to expect. And the best advice here is to let go of any expectations. It will take some time to navigate the world of Yoga styles and get familiar with the sound of Sanscrit language, the language Yoga has been taught in India for thousands of years and is used in classes up to today.
You may think that you need to be flexible and calm to start, because all the pictures you have seen online present Yogis that way. The truth is that flexibility, health and inner peace come with practice, and signing in for the class is your first step in this direction. There are many Yoga postures (called Asanas) that are very simple yet bring great benefits for body and mind; and they are often more effective than “advanced” ones.
Here are some practical tips to get you ready to step on the Yoga mat:
- Yoga Asanas (postures) and Pranayamas (breathing techniques) are to be performed on an empty stomach. So try not to eat 2 hours before the class. However, if you have a low blood sugar level you can have a light snack 30 minutes before the start.
- If you smoke, try to have the last cigarette 30 minutes before the class.
- Wear light comfortable clothes of natural materials but not too loose, so the teacher can see the position of your knees, elbows and other joints and to help you out if necessary. And besides, being tangled in your own T-shirt in not the best of experiences!
- Some styles of Yoga are quite dynamic, so you can be sweating a lot. Bring a small towel or a pack of tissues with you.
- As I have already mentioned, you will be sweating. With sweat our bodies release toxins, but lose water as well. Be sure to bring water with you and drink a lot AFTER the class. Drinking during the practice is not recommended as the body is heated up and a drink of cool water (no matter how welcome it may seem) will lead to a sudden drop of the temperature and you kidneys won’t benefit at all. If you really need to hydrate during the class, take small sips of room temperature water.
First Yoga class is so very important because after it you will decide if it were your last or there are many more to follow. It is a good idea to do a little research before you choose a studio and teacher. Read through the reviews of the local studios and choose the one which resonates with you.
Today there are many classes for beginners, they are a good place to start, look them up in the weekly schedule. If this option is not available, Hatha is a good style to get introduced to Yoga. Long holdings of the postures and learning to connect with the breath is a great foundation for exploring more dynamic styles later, if you are so inclined.
In Yoga in Vang Vieng we welcome everybody and there are many people who took their first class with us. Our caring and experienced teachers do their best to offer modifications of the postures to suit all the students present.
Even the most experienced teacher needs your help to provide the instructions that will work for you. Come 10 minutes before the class and let the teacher know that you are just starting your Yoga journey. If you have any health conditions or lately had an injury or surgery, please, share this information, too, as it is essential to keep you safe during the practice.
The most important lessons you can learn in a class are to listen to your own body, trust it and enjoy the journey as there is no destination but your beautiful self.