We get it. All those complicated-sounding asanas, the super-serene, bordering-on-transcendent instructors and the overall halo that seems to surround the practice of yoga can make for one intimidating package. But it’s important to remember that Yoga came from extremely humble beginnings and remains a non-indulgent discipline, no matter how much glamour is now associated with it.
There are just a few basic things to remember before your first yoga class - just keep these in mind and soon you’ll be saying ‘Om’ in your sleep!
1. Reach at least 10 minutes before the class is scheduled. Yoga is meant to be a relaxing, unhurried form of exercise even if some of the poses are strenuous. If you reach late you will not be in the right mental state to make the most of your class - it needs to be as unhurried as possible for best results. For the same reason, don’t run out of the door the minute the last asana is done - stick around for breathing and relaxation stances and allow a few minutes after to let the calming yet exhilarating effect of the session wash over you.
2. A basic tenet when it comes to Yoga - the more comfortable the clothing, the more you will get out of the session. This does not mean you wear baggy pants and tee shirts, however; clothes that are loose and comfy without falling away from your body while you do the downward dog are keepers. Try yoga or harem pants with tee shirts or even well fitted cotton kurtas.
3. Yoga is generally done barefoot, so you need not carry any specialized footwear for the class. Make sure your feet are clean and dry (air them out before the session if you have been wearing closed shoes for a while) and avoid putting on any lotion - sweaty and sticky feet are likely to slip on the yoga mat.
4. Don’t eat a meal right before a Yoga session and avoid grabbing a bite right after. Sip on water afterwards to keep yourself hydrated, but water during sessions should be kept to a bare minimum.
5. Lastly, relax. That’s the whole point of Yoga! Don’t stress about what you’re supposed to and not supposed to do - listen to your Yoga instructor as they guide you around various asanas and breathing techniques, and don’t worry about getting it wrong, they will correct you if you are. Make sure to inform the Yoga teacher about any chronic pain or problem areas so they can work around the same.
You are now ready for your first (of many, hopefully) Yoga session. Good luck!
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