Seven things to consider for your first yoga class

Wooden bridge in rainforest jungle

So you’ve finally decided to take your first yoga class!  Congratulations on investing in you! It is quite a courageous move.  You may have been thinking about it for a long time.  Now to follow through and let the magic begin!  Very often students do not turn up for their first class even if they have paid in advance.  I wonder why?  I have a theory about that!

When the student is ready – the teacher will appear

Yoga and hot yoga in particular can be life transforming – it certainly was for me.  It is easy to talk your way out of not following through and staying within your comfort zone.  I know I have done that in some areas of my life but the comfort zone is not where the real you lies!  So if you get as far as booking your first class – commit to go as maybe now is your time. There is a famous saying “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” so when you finally make it that is the right time for you.  Trust that!  

Don’t worry be happy!

If you have never been to a yoga class before, your first time may feel a little daunting and in addition to that you know you are going to have to deal with the heat as an added bonus if you choose hot yoga!  Don’t worry about any of that.  Most yoga teachers are very much aware that first timers can feel a bit overwhelmed especially when it is hot!  

You may find you cannot keep up if you are not familiar with the postures and if it is a flow type of yoga this can be a bit off putting.  Not a bother at all – just do whatever you can and do not judge yourself.  I can assure you no one will be looking at you or judging you.  In yoga the work is within – that is actually the whole point and everyone is concentrating on themselves – they will not notice anything going on for you or anyone else in the class.

Get your ego out of the way 

If you need to rest or lie down at anytime – go ahead.  Don’t force anything as that is coming from the ego.  You will get far greater results by “allowing” your body to move rather than fighting with it.  Bank what you can do and forget the rest.  Next time you may find it a whole new experience. 

Slip into something more comfortable

Make sure you wear something comfortable and stretchable – not too tight but definitely not baggy or billowing!  That would generate even more heat and you will not need more of that!  Take into consideration that you will be bending over in some postures and we don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions as they say!  As a teacher I have seen a few!  

Hydrate yourself before you go

It is necessary to make sure you are hydrated before you go to class.  It is a good idea to increase your water intake all day if you are going to an evening class.  This is especially important for hot yoga.  Speaking personally I have noticed a definite difference in my strength when I have drunk sufficient water.  It is like night and day.  You will probably end up with a headache if you have not drunk enough.  

Go it alone – it’s an inside job

I know for your first time you may only decide to go if accompanied by a friend for example.  I would say that is not the best thing to do.  I know it may be comforting but you will miss so much from the experience.  Yoga is an inside job so it is always best to go it alone in my opinion.  Other people can distract you and you will not get the benefit of just being with you.  I have seen the situation so many times, if there are two friends standing next to each other, nervousness causes giggling and talking which not only disturbs other students but it completely annihilates the whole point of doing yoga.  I have noticed that when two friends come together they very often do not come again which is a real shame.  Getting two people to agree on something can be hard and if one decides not to go again the other person often does the same.  If you go it alone you can make the right decision for you whether to go back a second time.  At least if you go with someone else make sure you each choose different parts of the room for your spot!

Don’t give up!

You may find the first time you go you will be functioning more from your head trying to fathom out how to contort yourself into the postures!  Once you have a few classes under your belt you will find it a whole different ball game – you will feel a kind of a flow and it will be much more enjoyable.  

Yoga such a personal experience.  Alone time is extremely important for everyone –  I think it is heavenly just to focus on myself for this time.  Try it – you may love it!   

Here is a summary of how to have a better experience at your first yoga class:

  • Book a class with whatever yoga studio or teacher resonates with you and commit to going
  • Don’t get your knickers in a twist if you cannot keep up – keep on and carry on!
  • Don’t force yourself to get it “right” do what you can – bank whatever you can do
  • Wear figure hugging fitness clothes if you have them – but not too tight!
  • Drink lots of water before you go – it will give you more resilience and strength
  • Choose to go on your own if possible – you will get much more out of the class
  • Even if you do not enjoy your first class too much – give it a few goes – you may find yoga is your golden ticket!