6 Things To Know Before Your First Yoga Class

 In All, Miscellaneous, Teacher Insights, Training, Yoga

By Aaron Hilyard

You may be curious about the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga, but walking into your first yoga class can be scary. When curiosity overcomes fear, we venture out and discover whole new worlds. As you start your adventure in the world of yoga, you are connecting with a community that stretches around the world and thousands of years back in human history.

The first thing to know is that yoga means ‘union’. The power and truth of this practice exist within you, and the techniques of the yoga practice are intended to unite you with that inner power and truth.

1. Know that yoga begins a new in each and every moment.

As a new student, you naturally have a state of mind that is free of conditioning and expectations. The practice of yoga means being a beginner again and again. Come as you are and be playful and compassionate with yourself. You may be surprised by what you can do!

2. Know that your breath is the heart of your yoga practice.

Everyone needs to breathe. Even though we all have different physical abilities and limitations, everyone uses the breath. You can take a break from the physical poses at any time and just breathe. When you are breathing consciously, you are practicing yoga. As with any form of exercise, you should check with your doctor before you begin.

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3. Know that yoga class is a safe place for you to take care of yourself.

Likewise, a yoga class is a safe place for the other yogis you practice with. Your fellow students are not watching or judging you; each person in the room is on her or his own inward journey. Unlike tennis or jogging, yogis of vastly different experience can easily practice together. We are each on our own unique path, and yet, we travel together with love, compassion, and encouragement for one another.

4. Know that yoga is a balance of effort and ease.

Try your best in each posture, and rest if you feel yourself losing your breath, straining, or clenching. In fact, the union of yoga balances many opposites. Strength and flexibility; transformation and contentment; control and surrender–the practice of yoga unites these opposites in a balanced whole. Your intelligent understanding of each pose is balanced by your intuition about what feels right for your body.

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5. Know that yoga teachers love questions.

Ask questions before class, ask during class, ask after class. Yoga teachers love talking about and sharing yoga, and we love it when you have questions. We may not have all the answers, but we love the questions.

6. Know that yoga is a whole diverse world within itself.

There are many ways to practice yoga and the practices are diverse. From reiki, to restorative yoga, to yin yoga, to expressive yoga, to vinyasa and dharma yoga, to acro yoga and handstands, each class and teacher is unique. If you don’t find what you are looking for in your first class, try a different class. Trust yourself, you will find what you seek.

With some comfortable clothes, an open mind, and a compassionate heart, you are fully prepared for your first yoga class. Begin now, breathe consciously, care for yourself, find balance, ask questions, and explore the diversity of yoga. If you are curious about this practice, nothing can stop you.

We love seeing first time students at Barefoot Sanctuary, and we would love to share our passion with you. When you begin the practice of yoga, you connect with your inner wisdom. You also connect with a loving and caring community. The light in us is always united with the light in you, and that is what we mean when we say, ‘namaste’.

Namasté!

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