Winning at Beginning Yoga
Going to your very first yoga class might be scary. We yoga people know that, because most of us were a little spooked walking into our first class. So, from someone who’s been there, done that, and ended up opening a yoga studio, how about a little primer for a successful start?
8 Steps to a Successful Yoga Start
1.) Call ahead. Call the studio and if the call goes to voicemail (businesses get zillions of robo calls these days), leave a message. When the studio returns your call (the good ones will!), ask whatever questions their website might not have addressed. See if the overall tone of the conversation seems like a good match for you. Know that many yoga studios are not open during the day like “normal” businesses, so a drop-by visit might not be fruitful.
2.) Schedule your class, and put it on your calendar. Keep that class schedule as you would any other appointment – don’t let a little trepidation, traffic, or tension keep you from honoring your decision to try something new.
3.) Arrive a few minutes early. You can get the lay of the studio, choose your spot, and be comfortably set as others enter the room.
4.) Talk to your yoga neighbor. When he or she rolls out a mat near you, nod, smile, and quietly say hello and/or introduce yourself. Let your fellow yogi know it’s your first class. They’re likely to be encouraging! If your neighbor isn’t chatty, he or she may need some quiet, meditative time before class; no need to take it personally.
5.) Breathe. Make sure your breath is flowing in and out with relative ease throughout the class. If you’re having a hard time keeping your breath, back off a little. Yoga and the breath are inseparable.
6.) Enjoy! Enjoy the class, the instructor, the music (or lack thereof), the environment, the students. The practice of yoga should grow your ability to let go of requiring all the details (and even the big stuff of life) to line up in the way you think it should. So if it’s not what you expected, see what you can find to embrace.
7.) Do what’s comfortable for you. Don’t allow yourself to be drawn into a pose that doesn’t feel right for you. Our bodies are different from one person to the next. Our bodies are different from one day to another. What works for me may not work for you. And what worked for you on Monday might not work for you on Thursday. Adapting is key, and good instructors should be able to offer modifications for poses that don’t seem to be a good fit for you.
8.) If at first it’s not a win, try again. Just like the students they teach, instructors come with their own personalities, and the first one you try might not feel right for you. Try a different teacher or a different style of class or a different studio.
If you’ve been thinking about trying yoga, we at You Power Yoga say, “Do it!” We offer Beginner classes on Mondays at 6:30 PM, Wednesdays at 5:15 PM, and Saturdays at 10:30 AM. We would love to introduce you to the wonders of this life-changing practice. If we can answer any questions, please give us a call and leave a message. We promise to call you back!
Denise Springer, owner/instructor You Power Yoga (1904 E Second St., Edmond, OK), loves teaching beginners and experienced yogis. Learn more about the studio at www.youpoweryoga.com.