Deciding that you want to start doing yoga is the first step. It is often a stopping block here. Don’t be intimidated! Below outlines some of the steps you will need to take to kickstart and start enjoying the pleasures and benefits of yoga.
1. Pick a Yoga Type
A little reading and research will be needed on your part. There are many different types of yoga classes available, and if you pick one that does not suit your personality and state of physical fitness, you may be turned off.
Take a few minutes to review the various yoga styles. Most beginners, a Hatha or Vinyasa class will be most suitable. These are basic styles and you can always try something challenging and fancy later.
2. Find a Class
These resources will help you find a yoga class in your precinct. You can also read through local alternative newspapers or wellness magazines for listings or do a search online for “yoga” and “your town.”
Select a studio that is close to your home, work or vicinity. This is highly encouraged as you will need to take a shorter time getting to class and is easier. It is highly recommended to start with a basic level class. Many gyms also have yoga classes with excellent teachers. This is normally a good place to start if you already belong to a gym.
3. Find a retreat
Yoga retreat is another alternative place which provides relaxation for you in a community where you can practice focused learning and also practice it in a social setting. All that you really need is to have many people with a passion for yoga and thus a yoga retreat may last for short or long durations depending on how much commitment people have to its practice.
There are plenty of chances to mix around with other similarly inclined people and thus meet and interact with other people of diverse backgrounds. You never know when you can develop a lifelong friendship or relationship by going to a yoga retreat.
The yoga retreat is led by a guru or experienced yoga instructor who will offer special guidance to those who are just starting out in yoga, and who need to be properly introduced to its nuances. Additionally, a yoga retreat will normally provide food and accommodation in which the whole experience is very comprehensive. It pays special and close attention to each attendee and their diet as that will be one that encourages a better and healthier lifestyle, and the staff will definitely dedicate them to providing proper service in an idyllic locale.
The main objective of a yoga retreat is to promote relaxation as well as get the mind and body in perfect balance; so, be prepared to do leave out the radio and television and even phones in your room. It will afford you a welcome opportunity to relax and get away from the crazy city life and embrace instead the serenity of peaceful locations.
4. What to Bring
You will not need to bring much except yourself and some comfortable, breathable clothing on your first day. Know the basic yoga equipment you will encounter. Most studios have basic yoga equipments and these can be usually rented.
5. What to Expect
In a yoga class, the students put their mats facing the front of the room (often identifiable by a small altar or by the teacher’s mat) in a loose grid. It is recommended not to line up your mat exactly with the one next to it as you and your neighbor will need some space in certain poses. The students often sit in a cross-legged position waiting for class to begin or do some gentle stretching.
The teacher may begin the class by leading the class in chanting om three times. Depending on the teacher, there may be a breathing exercise or short meditation when the class commences.
It is followed by warm-up poses, then more vigorous poses, then stretches and final relaxation. At any time, return to Child’s Pose if you need some rest.
Sometimes, the instructor will go around to each student during final relaxation and give them a little massage. Most teachers conclude class with another round of oms.
Give yourself a pat on your back as you just took your first yoga class! Note that you may experience soreness after your first yoga class.
6. Don’t Have Any Access to Yoga Classes?
While there are many great yoga books and videos available, there is no replacement from learning directly from a good teacher in a yoga class. That is if you still unable to find a yoga class, I recommend starting with any beginner’s video, as this will provide you with more visuals to follow than a book.
7. Dos and Don’ts
DON’T eat a heavy meal right before class. Try to eat light a few hours before class commences.
DON’T drink water during class, but have it before and after.
DON’T wear shoes or socks during class.
DO let the teacher know that it’s your first class (you might not be the only one).
DO not hesitate to seek for instructor’s help if you need it.
DO look around and follow what other students are doing, particularly if the teacher does not demonstrate every pose. However, take note that you may be looking at more advanced students so do not compare yourself to them.
DO familiarize yourself with some beginners’ yoga poses before you begin your first class.
DO read through Yoga Etiquette so you feel very comfortable entering an unfamiliar situation.
DO return in a few days for your next class!