How to prepare yourself for your first yoga class.
1. Is it for me? I’m not flexible.
There is an image portrayed by the media of lithe, slender, flexible gals who bend and fold with the greatest of ease. If you don’t fit this image in your mind’s eye, the hesitancy to jump into a group yoga practice increases.
The beauty now is that there are many women and men who have flocked to social media and share an authentic and genuine self as they practice yoga. You see many more people doing yoga as self-expression. No longer do people try and change themselves to fit an old stereotype.
2. Will I be welcomed?
Yoga studios can be intimidating. It takes a lot of courage to show up for a class, put your mat down, and sit amongst strangers. They may be quietly preparing themselves or there might be chatty groups that leave you feeling adrift and alone.
Here’s the thing, it’s up to you to create connection. Take a deep breath and say hello. That’s all it takes. Yoga is about the realization that we are connected to one another. If you’re in the right place, the teacher and students will be welcoming and friendly. If this doesn’t happen, hightail it out of there, something’s missing.
3. I don’t know what to do.
It’s ok. Being a yogi means that you are a life long student. There will always be things that you don’t know how to do. The more you practice yoga, the more you realize this.
So if you’re a first timer, smile to yourself and know that we’re all learning as we go. There just might be a few people ahead of you - they’re the teachers, and a few people behind you - they’re the new students who have yet to come.
4. What if I fall?
Yogis develop a resilience. They know that it’s better to learn how to fall safely then to worry about never falling at all. Because really, in life you’re just going to fall every now and then. Why try to avoid it? You’ll hold yourself back from really amazing adventures.
5. Do I need special equipment or outfits?
There will always be a product to help you out in yoga. Do you need them all? No. Are many of them fun and helpful? Yes. Don’t let logistics hold you back from jumping into the adventure of a lifetime.
Show up. Do your practice. And all is coming.
6. Will I understand what they’re saying?
This fear ties back into whether or not you have been welcomed and greeted in a sweet and generous manner. If you were, then the teacher will go out of their way to make sure that you feel safe and understand the basics of what is going on.
That said, there will always be questions in the beginning. Like why do they do that strange OM singing at the beginning and end? What does Namaste mean?
The great news is that yoga teachers love to share these answers with you. And if you’re too shy to ask, Google will always fill you in.
7. What will the other people be like?
Preconceived ideas of what should be, could be, or maybe is, will hold you back in all areas of your life. Check out the yoga studio’s website and get a general vibe about them.
The people who attend the studio will be a reflection of the teacher. Attend a class, get a feel for the people who practice there. If you don’t “vibe with that tribe” move on. There are tons of options these days to practice different styles of yoga in person and online.
8. I’ve never done anything like this before.
A benefit of yoga is that you will always be presented with something you have never done before. Whether it’s a yoga pose, a way of thinking, or simply a way of being.
Again you’re not going to be alone in this fear. It takes a leap of faith and a willingness to do something out of our comfort zone in order to gain much reward.
9. Do I have to make a commitment?
Many yoga studios have a trial class. Drop in, see if the studio, teacher, and people are a good fit for you.
Ultimately, you will have to make a commitment. Mostly to yourself. That you will make the time to show up and do your yoga. Consistency is key to seeing a positive shift.
10. Will I anger or frustrate those around me?
In order to keep yourself young, you will need to learn new things. Whenever you learn something new, you must go slow. If you can go fast, it means that you already know it and it’s not new to you.
If there is a person who gets frustrated that you’re moving slowly or asking questions, they are the ones that have a lot of work to do. When you go to a yoga class it’s important to honor your boundaries. What you can and can’t do. Ask for help where you need it. It’s a good opportunity for other people to take a deep breath and bring their understanding to a deeper level. There is always something to be learned.
love and light,