1. Start where you are
It is a good idea to get in touch with the yoga studio and ask them to recommend a type of class that is right for you. Tell them your physical activity history; inform them if you have injuries or limitations of any kind. Even with gentle yoga classes, there are always differences among teachers. The person in charge of the study can help you find the best starting point for you wofs haircut.
The best thing is that you start in a specific class for beginners, where you will learn the basic postures, the alignment and the basics of breathing. If there are no classes for beginners, start in a gentle yoga class. Soft classes move at a slower pace, allowing you to comfortably learn postures and breathing. After this, many choose soft yoga as their main practice, while others will choose physically more rigorous classes. It makes more sense to go calmly when learning a new discipline, than to be pushing yourself into a class for which you are not prepared.
2. Arrive early
Try to arrive about 15 minutes before the class begins. This will give you time to get settled, know where the dressing room is and acclimatize to the energy of the place. If you run into a yoga class you will bring all your anxious energy to the mat. My new students sometimes confess to being nervous when they take their first class, something that is perfectly normal. Try not to increase this beginner’s stress by arriving late.
3. Introduce yourself
Be sure to introduce yourself and let your teacher know that you are new to this discipline. I always try to approach the new students and ask them if they come with any physical or emotional concern. Do not be shy: it’s the best you can do for yourself, talk about what you face. Your teacher can, for example, offer you some postures with useful modifications designed for you.
4. Choose a good place
After working for many years in the field of education, I realized there are many people who feel a natural attraction towards the last row of a class. Those of yoga are not an exception; many first-timers opt for the last row when they just start. But, depending on the disposition of the place and the number of people in the class, that may not be the best option. Better make sure to place your mat where you can listen and see the teacher.
5. Look for an intention
Most yoga classes start with a moment to breathe and focus before moving into postures. Perhaps the teacher presents a topic or an intention or objective for the class. Consider using this time to establish your own intention. For example, you may decide to concentrate on breathing deeply throughout the class or practice not judging yourself or others. Thankfulness for the opportunity to do yoga to take care of your body is another way to give foundation to your practice. Whatever your focus, bring it to your mind whenever you need some inspiration or use it simply to motivate you to come to class.
6. Listen to your body
One of the most common indications in a yoga class is: “Listen to your body.” When I was new to yoga, I was not sure what that meant. But, as you grow in your practice, the connection with your body becomes deeper and it is easier to understand this. Meanwhile, just remember that yoga should not hurt. If you feel a sharp pain, immediately withdraw from the posture or return to what I call a “base of operations” posture: the child’s posture, the mountain posture or the easy posture.
You will find new sensations, challenges or openings in your body; this is completely normal and beneficial. If you ever have doubts about whether what you are feeling is safe for you, sin by caution and get out of the posture. Something else: use your breath as an indicator. If it becomes irregular, unstable or you find yourself holding the air, it may be a sign that you have exceeded your limits. Take a break and take a few deep breaths before returning to practice.
7. The eyes on your mat
When I was in high school, my English teacher asked me to stay a few minutes after class to talk to me. He told me that every time he gave me a job or a test, I looked at my qualification and then stretched my neck to see the qualification of others. “If you’re always comparing yourself to others, you’ll go crazy,” he told me. Twenty years later, I still remember that wise advice.
Yoga is not a competition No grades are given. Nobody wins or loses. We practice progress, not perfection. So, what does it matter if your neighbor can go deeper into the chair position more than you? Maybe it takes more time to practice it or your body is built differently. Keep your eyes on your own mat and focus on moving in a way that is useful to your body and your needs.
8. Enjoy your savasana
For a large part of the students, both those who have just started and those who have been doing yoga for some time, savasana may be the most difficult position in the class. As we are used to being in constant movement, the mere fact of remaining still with ourselves and our thoughts and without movements that distract us, can be a new experience. Once again, start where you are and avoid judging your experience.
It also happens that some new students tell me that they get stressed in savasana because they cannot stop their thoughts. But the idea that one “should stop thoughts” in savasana is wrong. Instead of trying to stop them, just observe them, release them and then return your focus to the breath. You can get stuck in many thoughts during savasana, you just have to go back to your breathing again and again and let your body loosen on the mat.
9. Go back to class
Yoga is a practice of accumulation. With each class you take, its impact on your life will continue to increase. I often see that the faces light up after the first class. But if yoga does not immediately “click” you, then give it more time. Try different styles of classes and different teachers until you find the one that’s right for you. With application and regularity, you will soon begin to reap the many benefits that yoga brings!
My mother no longer sends me messages with questions. On the contrary, he sends me messages of thanks and excitement for the lessons he is learning and the gifts he receives. If you are a beginner, enjoy the lessons that the new always brings. Take into account your needs during the process, look for the support you need and think that everything happens in your own time.