I’ve been to different yoga classes offered at gyms, but they all paled in comparison to taking a class at an actual established yoga studio. This weekend, I took my first yoga class at a studio near my home and it was a really awesome experience. However, going by myself for the first time was a little intimidating, so I put together some tips for other beginners looking to jump into their first yoga session at a studio.
1. Do your research. The first step is finding a studio near you. Many will offer first time classes for free or other discounts for your first time at the studio. Other times, studios will have “blossoming teachers” come in and instruct a session for non-studio members. I took a community class for only $5 with a new yoga teacher at the studio. The money was donated to the Shanthi Project, to bring spiritual healing to incarcerated youth through yoga.
2. Layer up. Even this beginner classes make you work up a sweat. I went to class in yoga pants and a long sleeve t-shirt, and was thoroughly sweating by the halfway point of the hour long session. At the end, during your final shavasana pose, which is referred to as the most important pose of the practice, you can get a little chilly. Make sure to layer up so you can take off a layer as you work up a sweat, but put back on for your final shavasana.
3. Get a mat. Most yoga studios aren’t going to let you practice without a yoga mat, so do your research. Many studios will rent you a mat for a fee or offer free mats. Make sure you know where you’ll be getting your mat from prior to the class.
4. Be on time. Always aim to be about 15 minutes early. When your rushing to get to class, it’s hard to get into the right mindset after having severe road rage on your way to the studio. Allow yourself plenty of time to get set up and relax before you practice.
5. Turn OFF your cell phone. Seriously, or everyone will hate you. There’s nothing worse than getting into a balancing pose you’ve been working on and being startled by someone’s phone going off. My advice? Don’t even take it into the studio with you. Leave it in your car. This is your time for you; no one else. You aren’t going to get the full effect of your practice if your sneaking peaks at your phone between each vinyasa and your classmates will definitely not appreciate it going off and disturbing their practice.
Have you tried out a class at a studio? If so what was it like? If you haven’t- get out there and give it a shot!