Before you can really feel like you're going to have to survive that first yoga class. And that can be a bit exciting if you're not versed in yoga etiquette. That's why we asked a yoga teacher to make a list of 10 tips that you as a yoga novice want to know before you step on the mat.
10 tips to survive your first yoga class
Of course everything starts with choosing a lesson that suits you. Some studios work with different levels. As a beginner, go for a level 1 or a basic lesson. Or, for 'all level' classes, opt for a calm style to master the poses, such as Hatha, Restorative or Yin yoga. In principle, these are suitable for anyone without experience. Once made a choice? Then the list below will come in handy.
1. Yoga outfit
Wear comfortable clothes that move with you and that you feel comfortable in. It doesn't have to be a tight, fashionable suit. 'Elastic clothing that fits improves your practice. This way you don't get stuck in your baggy pants when you try to place your foot between your hands. Or what about a shirt that is too roomy – which you occasionally sleep in – that suddenly falls over your head in downward dog† In addition, the advantage of close-fitting clothing is that the teacher can see how you perform the posture and can therefore give you more specific instructions'.
2. Be on time
'Please show up about 10-15 minutes before class starts. Then they can show you around in the studio and you have plenty of time to settle down on your mat. Depending on the type of class, you take a block, pillow and/or a fleece blanket that the yoga school should provide. Rushing in is not a good start for either you or the other participants and makes the transition to a relaxed yoga class rather abrupt'.
3. Shoes off
At some yoga studios you leave your shoes immediately on the doormat or something milder, in the locker room. Call it an unwritten law. 'You never walk into the yoga room with shoes or slippers. It may take some getting used to, but when you roll out your mat it's a nice idea that no one has walked on the same floor with their dirty shoes.'
4. Noble Silence
As soon as you step into the average yoga school you feel it: laughing out loud and catching up is not the intention here. Before the lesson starts, everyone quietly finds a place in silence. This is in contrast to the chatter with the dumbells in the gym. Before the lesson starts, students turn more inwards. You see one meditating around you, the other doing a few stretches or lying down for a while. It helps with the transition from a busy working day, where all attention is focused outward, to a yoga class in which you receive and let go of all thoughts of the day. So not super social. But trust us: the route in is a challenging and bumpy road which will have your hands full.
5. Report injuries
This is important even after your first lesson! The teacher usually cannot see you when you have an injury. And a possible pregnancy only becomes apparent after the necessary months. The teacher will appreciate it if you indicate such matters in advance. The teacher can then give you specific adapted exercises where necessary, and knows what is going on if you may not do certain exercises.
6. Take a peaceful break
Even if it is a group class, remember that in the end it comes down to your yoga practice. The teacher will give a lesson that matches the average of the group as much as possible. Would it be too spicy? Then be free to take a short break in 'child pose' (see photo). Ultimately, you only feel how your breathing is. The goal is not to push yourself beyond your limits, but to stay present in your body and follow your breath. Just pick up the thread again when you're ready.
7. Not eating before class
Lots of yoga poses are upside down, or cause twists in your stomach. And believe me, they don't feel nearly as good when you've just eaten. In addition, the class can be dynamic so that your body sends all the blood to your muscles and decreases the blood flow to your digestive system. The food is therefore not properly digested during the lesson and does not provide energy. It makes you tired and puts a strain on the body. Don't eat 2 hours before class starts. See it as a sample 'intermittent fasting'. If you still feel like you want to eat something before class, try to stick to a piece of fruit, a healthy bar or a juice.
8. Stop comparing
Just like in everyday life, the temptation on the yoga mat is also great to compare yourself with your neighbor. Do not! This is exactly the reason why your yoga practice only starts as soon as you step off the mat. We all have a different body. One is simply born flexible and the other has more strength. Some of your fellow students have years of yoga practice (or a background in gymnastics) while you are just getting on the mat for the first time. Being flexible isn't always better. Respect the limits that your body indicates, so you get the most out of the lesson. Flexibility follows naturally.
9. Meaning Namaste
There are several translations for Namaste. In general they come down to the following: 'The light in me, salute the light in you.' Think of it as an exchange of respect after class. But also as an acknowledgment that we all come from the same, are made of the same, and all carry a light within us. This ties in nicely with the non-dual philosophy of yoga. That is why Namasté (hands together at your heart) is often used as a greeting at the beginning or end of the lesson'.
10. Clean your mat
Did you think chores after primary school were a thing of the past? I do not think so. After a yoga class, every student is expected to take care of cleaning the mat that has been worked on for about an hour and a half. How? Locate the spray with water and essential oils. Take a wad of paper and spray it liberally and then remove your mat.
- Source: Holistic (https://holistik.nl/eerste-yogales-10-tips/)