Recently, I’ve had a several students come to my classes where it is their first time to yoga. Having practiced yoga for so long, it’s kind of difficult for me to put myself in their place and see the class through their eyes for the first time. Usually they tend to look a little wary and out of their comfort zone.
So here are my top 5 tips for getting the most out of your first yoga class.
1. Don’t compare yourself to others in the class.
We all have different bodies; size, length of limbs, spine flexibility and areas of tightness, so please don’t feel self conscious for not being able to touch your toes or balance on one leg for a minute. Plus, you don’t know how long everyone else has been practicing yoga.
2. When I tell you to close your eyes – it’s OK to close your eyes.
There’s nothing going on. It’s not to trick you whilst everyone else is secretly staring at you smirking in silence.
3. Remove your socks.
Nobody is looking at your feet judging whether you need a coat of polish or some dead skin sloughing off. If anything, they’re probably looking at my feet as I’m showing them to everyone – and I’m not worried!
4. Relax your face.
It’s fine to openly yawn in front of me or give me a weird look but please refrain from screwing up your forehead and looking worried in a pose. There’s no need to strain or over do it so much so that you look like you’re in pain. Back off and let your face muscles smooth out and relax.
5. Have fun and let go.
Asana (yoga class) is a wonderful open-eyed moving meditation where your inhalation and exhalation guides you to move your body with awareness, steadiness and ease. It’s a time for you to let go of your thoughts and distractions and nourish yourself from the inside out.