How to Prepare for Your First Yoga Class
So, you’ve decided to take your first yoga class– how exciting! Yoga is an incredible practice that has so many physical and mental benefits. If you’re new to yoga, though, we know that heading to a yoga studio for the first time can feel a bit intimidating. You may feel unsure about what you should wear or what you need to bring to class. Or, you may wonder if there’s any yoga class etiquette you need to be aware of. But if you’re unsure what you should do to prepare for your first yoga class, we’re here to help! Below, we’re sharing all our tips on what you can do to prepare for your first yoga class.
What to Wear to a Yoga Class
If you’ve never been to a yoga class before, you may not know what to wear. First, know that yoga is generally done barefoot, so you don’t need to wear any special yoga socks or shoes. Then, for the rest of your clothing, form-fitting and flexible clothing is best. When you do yoga, you’ll be holding and/or moving through various poses. Inflexible clothing (like jeans) can make it hard or impossible to do these poses. Then, baggy clothing (like large t-shirts) can move around too much when you practice yoga, which can be annoying or distracting. So, fitted, flexible clothing is ideal for yoga.
There’s a lot of clothing that’s specifically made for yoga. But know that you definitely don’t need to go out and buy clothes that are specifically for yogis. You certainly can go buy yoga clothes if you want to. But, really, you can wear any comfortable exercise clothes you already have as long as it’s flexible and not too baggy. If you already have exercise leggings and a fitted t-shirt, they’ll work just fine for your first class.
What to Eat Before a Yoga Class
When you do yoga, you don’t want to have an empty stomach, since your body will need energy for your practice. But then, you also don’t want to be too full. It’s unpleasant to do yoga on a full stomach since you’ll be twisting your body and hopping into poses. So, to get ready for a yoga class, make sure you eat before class, but not too close to class. If you find you’re hungry as you’re getting near your class time, try eating a light snack (like fruit or a smoothie) instead of a full meal.
What to Bring to a Yoga Class
Yoga doesn’t require a bunch of equipment. All you need to do yoga for the first time is an open mind and a yoga mat. If you have a yoga mat already, bring it to your class. If you don’t have a yoga mat, you may not necessarily need to buy one to take your first class. Many yoga studios will rent yoga mats for a low fee (usually just a dollar or two) to those taking classes at the studio. If you don’t have your own yoga mat, give the yoga studio a call and ask them if they have mats available for rent.
While you don’t need to have anything other than a yoga mat to do yoga, you may want to bring a couple of other things. Consider bringing a water bottle so you can keep yourself hydrated during class (and definitely bring a water bottle if you’ll be doing any kind of hot yoga). Then, if you tend to sweat a lot when you exercise, you may also want to consider bringing a small hand towel to dry yourself off with.
In addition to bringing physical items to a yoga class, you may want to bring some knowledge. If you’ve never done yoga before, you may feel more comfortable in class if you familiarize yourself with some common yoga terms (which are often in Sanskrit) before you head to the studio. For example, you may feel more prepared if you look up some information about common yoga terms, like “namaste,” or yoga poses, like child’s pose, downward dog, and savasana (corpse pose). Or, you may want to look up the type of yoga class you’ll be taking (such as Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram, Yin, Ashtanga, hot yoga, etc.) to see if there are any terms specific to that yoga style. Researching yoga before your first class is optional, since your yoga instructor will always lead you through class. However, if you’re a bit nervous about trying yoga, doing some research may help you feel more confident and comfortable as you take your first class.
When to Arrive at a Yoga Class
It’s always a good idea to arrive to a yoga class around 10 minutes before class starts since that will give you time to relax, lay out your mat, and start getting into the yoga mindset. But then, it’s especially important to arrive early if it’s your first time doing yoga. For one thing, if you’ve never been to a studio before, it’s a good idea to allow a little extra time for finding the studio. Then, if you’re new to a studio, they may also ask you to fill out some new student paperwork. Arriving early also gives you time to potentially connect with your yoga teacher and let them know you’re new to the practice. If you’ve never done yoga at all or have never taken a class, it’s a great idea to let your teacher know that so they can help guide you through the class when needed.
Yoga Etiquette Tips
First-time yoga students often wonder if there’s any yoga etiquette they need to follow when they’re in class. And we do have some tips on yoga etiquette for newcomers:
- Remember to silence or turn off your cell phone before class.
- Remove your shoes before class (most studios have a designated space for shoes).
- Arrive 5 to 10 minutes early to settle in.
- When you’re laying out your mat and settling into class, remember to be respectful of your fellow students. Give other students space and prepare for your practice in calm silence.
- Respect your teacher and listen to their guidance.
- Don’t wear strong fragrances to class.
- If you borrow any props from the studio, be sure to put them back where you found them. If you borrow a studio mat, always wipe it down before returning it.
- Don’t skip Savasana, the final relaxation pose in yoga. Savasana is vital to your yoga practice, since it allows the rest of the practice to sink in. Additionally, other students or your teacher may find it rude if you leave during Savasana, before the end of class.
We hope these tips have been helpful as you prepare for your first yoga class! If your first class will be at Mosaic Wellness, let us know it’s your first time trying yoga when you arrive. We’ll let your teacher know it’s your first class so they can help guide you through the process. Haven’t you scheduled your first class with us yet? Visit our Event Calendar page to see our current class schedule.