An insider’s guide to your first yoga class!

It's not as scary as you think

by Lisa Shea
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What to Expect from your First Yoga Class


You’re taking the plunge. Maybe you were talked into it by a friend, or maybe all the research on the benefits of yoga have gotten you interested. You’re preparing to attend your first yoga class. How should you prepare and what should you expect?

Getting Ready for the Class

It’s always a good idea to talk with the instructor about the class. Some studios provide yoga mats and blocks for their students. Others expect students to bring their own mat. Some like students to bring blocks and straps as well. By communicating with the instructor you can be sure to have what you need.

This would also be a good time to ask how hot or cold the studio is. Some studios keep the room warm enough that students wear shorts and tank tops. Others are cooler so students wear long leggings and mid-arm sleeves. Ask how the students tend to dress in the studio. If possible, ask to stop by to watch a session for a few minutes or to see a few photos. That will give you the best sense of what is comfortable.

At the Studio

photo by Rima Kruciene

Strive to arrive early for your session. That will give you time to be more comfortable in the space and to find a spot that suits you. Many new students like to be in the back of the room so they can watch not only the instructor but also the other students, to get an idea of how to get into a pose. On the other hand, it can be nice to be up front so you can see clearly what the instructor is doing and ask questions when needed.

Expect to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. Be compassionate with yourself. People who learn to ski fall down at the beginning. People who learn to do yoga routinely twist left rather than right, bend down rather than up, and so on. Simply smile and try again. If you can’t quite do something the instructor is doing, do your best. Our bodies are all at different stages of health and flexibility. That is natural and normal. If you can’t reach your toes, reach to where you can. Don’t strain or hurt yourself. Just do your best. The next time you try, you’ll do a little better, and life will improve.

We learn from our mistakes and improve with each new attempt. Keep coming back. Keep looking for ways to improve. In no time at all you will be the experienced one in class, helping to comfort a nervous newbie who wants to join your community.

If you’ve taken the plunge and have gone to your first studio yoga class or if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, share your thoughts and feelings or your story in the comments.

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Author and Artist
Lisa Shea is a published author with over 300 books to her name. She has published both fiction and non-fiction books. Including "Make the World Better" and "Reduce Stress Instantly," as well as books on yoga.

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