Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Yoga Class

by Melissa Hawkins
woman smiling in yoga class

Starting anything for the first time can be a pretty daunting thing. Whether it’s your first day of a new job or the first time meeting your friends for a while (thank you Covid), that “first-day” anxiety is more real than ever. And the same goes for attending your first yoga class. It’s perfectly normal to feel a whole host of emotions – nervousness, excitement. But we’re to help ease the nerves. Here’s everything you need to know before your first yoga class. Keep reading for our complete guide. 

Do your research: pick the right yoga class for you

From classic yoga and hot yoga to classes catered towards various levels of skill, there are so many different variations and styles of yoga. Therefore, before heading out the door to your very first class, make sure you pick a style and level of intensity that will be suited to you. You’ve got to do your research. 

Head online and search for beginner classes near you. Once you set your sights on a yoga studio, feel free to get in touch with the yoga teacher. They will always welcome questions and help to point you in the right direction if their class isn’t the perfect fit for you. 

Before you head to your first yoga class

You want to feel as comfortable as possible when you go to yoga class; feeling light on your feet and fluid in your movement is very important. This means that it’s best to avoid eating a large meal before you head out of the door. Even if it’s nutritious, practising yoga on a full stomach can leave you feeling a little sluggish.

Many people find a light meal a few hours before they start is a great way to fuel their bodies. Others enjoy a mood-boosting snack, like a banana, to encourage the endorphins to flow. Influence your choices by whatever suits you – you know your body better than anyone. 

Make sure you stay hydrated too. Bring a bottle of water to sip on if you think you’ll need it. Teachers tend to not recommend actions that might distract you from your practice, but they won’t have a problem with you taking a few sips now and again – especially if it’s a steamy hot yoga class.

Come prepared: what to bring to your first yoga class

If you’re heading to your first yoga class, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re probably quite new to yoga altogether. And if you fall into this boat, don’t feel pressured to have all the latest gear on your first day in the studio. However, we recommend getting a yoga mat. Your yoga mat provides you with the support your body needs for effective practice; it can be the difference between slipping or conquering downward facing dog. 

And for equipment? Technically, you could start at yoga with no specific equipment at all. However, as you’ll quickly discover, there are a few basics that could really transform your enjoyment and comfort. We recommend getting your hands on a couple of yoga blocks – use them right and they will elevate your practice. And we have a handy guide that will help you choose the right ones for you. 

However, leading on nicely from our previous point, a good place to find out exactly what you will need for your yoga class is to ask your yoga teacher directly. But the bottom line is that yoga can be practised with the basics and an upgraded kit will only be needed as you progress. Just come ready to get stuck in, wearing something that you can comfortably move in. 

Heading to class: arrive ten minutes early

There’s nothing worse than having to rush when you’re already feeling a little anxious. Therefore, arriving at your yoga class ten minutes early is good practice to start your first session off on the right foot. Not only will you be able to choose a good place to set up your mat, but your teacher will have time to introduce themselves. They’ll want to know if you’ve done any yoga before if you have any injuries they should be aware of – this is your chance to tell them. 

And begin: enjoy your first yoga class

The best piece of advice we can give you is to just have fun. Arrive at your yoga class with minimum expectations. You don’t have to master every pose; you can take regular breaks if you wish and you won’t ever be expected to do something outside of your comfort zone. Your yoga class is a place to relax, rewind and connect with your mind and body. Leave your worries at the door if you can, let go and get stuck in. 

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