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You’re thinking about heading to a yoga class and maybe you are a bit hesitant for one reason or another, but don’t let that stop you from trying it out. To ease your mind I’ve put together a few ideas of what to expect in a yoga class.
First off, NO, you don’t have to be flexible or in shape to go to a yoga class. Unless the class specifies it is an advanced class, chances are beginners are welcome. Most of the time, at least in my experience, the instructor will give the class different options to try from beginners to more advanced.
Before you head to class you may want to consider reading this post. It has some suggestions on how to prepare for class you may not have thought of.
When you get to class you will find a spot and get your mat rolled out in preparation for the class to begin. (this should be rather obvious though, right?) If the class is pretty full, you may find yourself in odd positions super close to your yoga neighbor, but it’s all good. Everyone is there to get in a good workout and likely more focused on themselves and the poses.
Side note: Yoga is done without shoes on, in case you didn’t know.
Classes are usually about an hour or so long, depending on the class and type of yoga. There are various types of yoga, the more popular being vinyasa, hatha, ashtanga (advanced), and hot yoga (may be a vinyasa or hatha in a heated or with no a/c) Here is a great article that describes several types of yoga.
Basically, you will have a continuous flow of poses, stretches,and exercises that are great for toning and flexibility. So expect stretching and holding poses longer than you probably want to (chair pose is the devil if you have to hold it long) .
You may not be able to do all the poses, but you aren’t expected to. Just try your best and don’t be afraid to ask questions! Yoga teachers want you to understand why and what you are doing. They want you to have the correct form and may come over to you to correct your form. It’s a common practice in yoga for them to make hands on adjustments, just make them aware if it’s unwanted.
Savasana, everyone’s favorite! Savasana is at the end of class when you basically lay still and relax for a few minutes after you put in all the work. It’s a great way to relax and wind down. Don’t skip it!! It’s seriously the best for your body and mind.
What to Bring:
Yoga Mat- This would be the only thing I’d worry about having if you are just starting out. I have been to studios that provide a mat if you need one, but sometimes don’t have enough so it is a good idea to get a mat. You can find some pretty cheap ones at Walmart or on Amazon.
Yoga Blocks– Blocks will help support you in various types of ways. You can find blocks that are also pretty inexpensive, these are only $8.99 for a pair of two.
Strap– Straps are also helpful in a variety of ways. Usually used for and great for flexibility when you can’t quite reach where you need to, like grabbing your foot.
Don’t be intimidated! Just go and try it out, you never know it may turn into a passion of yours as well. Now head to class and tell me how much you loved (or hated) it.