Tips for Your First Yoga Class

If you’re going to step into your first Yoga Class and wondering what’s to come, here are some tips and a summary of what goes on inside. This is assuming you know how to choose your yoga instructor.

First of all, bring no expectations of yourself of how far you can reach into a pose. Bring no competitive spirit to how you can be better than others. Just bring an open mind, open heart and will to learn and receive to the class.

It is important to voice out any health ailments or history of injury during the introduction of the class. Do not be embarrassed, very often we all have health issues as well. This allows the instructor to modify any yoga poses that are not suitable for your practice.

During a first class, Yogic Breathing might seem complex and intimidating. It may be difficult to control deep breathing with the movement of ribs and abdomen. Do not feel nervous if you cannot get it right, this will only make your breathing even more erratic and shallow. Calm yourself by slowing the breath, bringing your conscious awareness to the air entering your respiratory organs while you breathe through your nose. Some imagination usually helps. It is crucial to practice yogic breathing as it sets the foundation of the practice right.

The 5 minutes of warming up may seem boring, do not be distracted or dismay if the stretches are relatively easy. It is important to gently awaken and prepare the muscles for deeper movements later in the practice. Challenge yourself by coordinating the breath with each movement while the pace is still relatively slow.

Moving into the practice of asanas, listening is probably one of the most needed sensory during this segment. Yoga instructors usually give out a lot of verbal instructions for beginners’ class. Take note that for any asanas that require leg work, always start off with the right leg. If you’re lost in the midst of a pose, try not to look at the other learners, first look at the teacher and if the teacher is in the pose, recall the instructions given and get in to it at your own pace. Never be embarrassed about not being able to reach into a pose, being lost or generally, not being able to catch up. Work in to the practice within your abilities. Staying calm and deep breathing increases stability and ease.

Every class ends with Shavasana. It is perhaps the most important part of yoga practice. Lying on your back, entire body relaxed with the eyes closed. Take slow deep breaths to regulate your heartbeat rate. Take this time to still the mind and release any body tension by relaxing the muscles, try not to be overly eager to open the eyes or to fall asleep. Staying awake and letting the body goes to rest rejuvenate and refreshes you after a good cardio work out.

With these tips, I hope you’ll feel at ease going for your first Yoga class.


Celestine Lau

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