We totally get it - trying a yoga class can feel overwhelming. The pose names sound unfamiliar and are sometimes presented in a different language, and it can feel like everyone in the class seems to know what they are doing - except you! Although it might feel uncomfortable at first, the health benefits of yoga (which has been around for thousands of years), are plentiful and worth it! We promise. :)
To help you feel more comfortable coming to try out a class, we asked a brand new yoga participant what their top burning questions are about starting a yoga practice. Read below for our answers!
What are the benefits?
Although many people roll out their mat the first time thinking about the physical benefits, traditionally yoga is about so much more. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system. In addition, yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other physical benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, muscle strength and tone.
Do I have to be flexible to do it?
No! Yoga is a practice of building flexibility, among other things. So come as you are, flexible or not, and you will soon start to see improvements in your range of motion!
Our instructors are always willing to provide modifications to those who are just starting out, and you can also use props like a yoga block to help you feel supported in certain poses.
Where do I start?
It can be intimidating to try something new. That’s why all our yoga classes can be adapted to the participant. The best way to start is to try a class! The instructor can give you lots of options and demonstrates the movements so you will be able to follow along.
Let go of the idea that you have to do it all “right” on the first try! Just show up with a curious mind and enjoy the freedom of movement that can happen when you let go of being perfect and getting it right. If you want to prepare in advance, you can read about different types of yoga or look up poses online before your first class, but it really isn’t necessary.
What are the poses I need to know to get started?
Some of the most common poses found in most yoga classes include child’s pose, downward facing dog, warrior poses, and sun salutations.
If you want to learn these basics poses before attending your first class, we will be hosting a Beginner Yoga Workshop in the Spring. This will be a great opportunity for you to ask questions and get your feet wet before diving all the way in!
What should I expect in my first class?
In your first class, focus as much as you can on your breathing. The instructor will explain and demonstrate different poses, but don’t worry if you can’t do them all on the first try. Yoga is an ongoing practice, and the intention as you start should be around getting into and feeling your body and learning the breathing techniques.
We hope this answers some of your questions about yoga and eases your mind on what to expect in your first class. If you have any questions that we didn’t answer here, feel free to leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you on your mat soon!
- Jen Oke
Group Fitness & Yoga Instructor at Loyobo FIT