You’ve made the leap and signed up for your first yoga class. So how do you prepare for it? If you’re new to yoga, you’re probably wondering what you need to get sorted before your first session. Do you just need yourself and some comfortable yoga pants or is there more to it? If you’re worried about how to prepare, you’re in the right place. In this article, we explore exactly how to prepare for your first yoga class.
Before your first session, you’ll need to get your hands on the right clothing. You don’t need to splash out on a whole wardrobe straight away, but you will need at least one suitable outfit. When it comes to yoga, form-fitting clothing is usually the way to go. While a baggy t-shirt may be comfy, it’s likely to get in the way during certain asanas. Form-fitting clothing, on the other hand, will support your body and remain in place. It’s important to note that your clothing should not be uncomfortable. Your movement should not be restricted, and you should be able to breathe normally. Another thing to think about is your confidence. If tight-fitting clothing is going to make you feel self-conscious, choose something different. Providing that you can move without restriction and your clothing doesn’t get in the way, you should be totally fine.
As a general rule, eat your last meal at least 2 hours before your class. It’s not recommended to practice on a full stomach due to the extensive twisting and bending involved. Not only will this be uncomfortable if you’ve just eaten, but you’re unlikely to get the full benefits. However, it’s not recommended to practice on an empty stomach either. For best results, have a healthy snack around 1 hour before you practice. If you’re on the go, choose something easy like a banana or a cereal bar.
It’s important to stay hydrated before your class – particularly if you’re using Bikram or hot yoga. Practiced in a heated studio, hot yoga induces a sweat to further the benefits of the practice. While there are many benefits to this, it’s easy to become dehydrated if you haven’t had enough water beforehand. For best results, top up on water throughout the day and take a fresh bottle with you to class. This way, you can take a sip if you start to feel light-headed.
Before your first class, limit your use of perfumed products. For most people, yoga induces a sweat. If you use heavily perfumed products, their scents will then be released into the air and can be problematic for other students. Not only can strong aromas be distracting, but some people may even be allergic to them. To avoid upsetting your classmates, keep perfumed products to a minimum on the day of your session.
On the day of your first class, try to arrive 15 minutes early. This will give you time to speak with your instructor before the class begins. During this time, you can introduce yourself and make your teacher aware of any injuries or limitations that you may have. They will then be able to keep a close eye on you and help you to make any necessary modifications during the class. Arriving early will also give you time to find a space and set up your mat.
Before your first yoga class, do some research into the different styles. This way, you’ll be able to find something suitable for you. When choosing a class, think about what you want to achieve. If your goal is to lose weight, a fast-paced style would be perfect for you. However, if you’re more interested in rest and relaxation, a restorative class may suit you better. While doing your research is worthwhile, don’t panic if you’re still unsure. There’s no harm in trying out a few different styles before deciding which one suits you best.
Depending on your chosen style, you may need to pick up some props before your first class. Unless your teacher has given you an extensive list, it’s best to stick to the basics. A good yoga strap, a block, and a bolster will be more than enough to get started. It’s also essential to have a comfortable yoga mat – but that normally goes without saying!
If you want to take things one step further, why not create a home studio? If you want to practice in-between your weekly classes, a home studio is perfect. This way, you’ll have a dedicated space to roll out your mat and connect your body and mind. If space permits, turn your spare room into a mini studio. Leave your mat unrolled so that you’re encouraged to use it and set the scene with some cozy blankets and incense sticks. If this isn’t feasible, a home studio can be created in the corner of a room. If you don’t have space to leave your mat unrolled, don’t panic! As long as your mat is easy to get to, you’ll still have the motivation to practice at home.
If you’re new to yoga, follow the tips above on how to prepare for your first yoga class. Not only will you be prepared, but you’ll also be able to reap the full benefit of your first session. To stay comfortable through the class, we recommend wearing layers. Wearing a yoga hoodie will keep you warm on the way to class and can then be removed when you warm up.