Wednesday 16 August 2017

Going to your first yoga class - the answers to the 5 most frequently asked questions

I regularly meet people who are interested in trying out yoga but feel daunted at the prospect of going to their first class.  If you are intrigued by yoga, then try it. 

Yoga can make you feel better, it can: stretch and strengthen your body, release tension and stress, improve your sleep, help you feel more grounded and balanced, increase your awareness and ultimately, transform the way that you experience life.  All you need to do is go to a yoga class and see if it works for you. 

To help you, here are my answers to the five most frequently asked questions about finding and going to a yoga class.

1.       How do I choose a class?

There are many different types and styles of yoga on offer and it can be difficult to decide which class to choose.  Different styles will suit different people and you will want different types of classes at different times in your life.  So don’t be daunted by all the options, just do a little research.  You can look for classes on the internet, search for a local yoga Meetup group, look on notice boards in shops and ask friends and family for their recommendation.  Then follow your instincts, choose a class that appeals to you and that feels as if it will be easy for you to get to regularly.  If your first choice of class doesn’t work out, don’t be put off, learn from the experience and look for another class.

2.      Am I flexible enough? 

You may have seen pictures of very flexible people doing quite extraordinary things with their bodies and wonder if that is what will be expected of you.  Don’t worry!  You may find some of the positions stretching or unusual to begin with but you will become more flexible with time and you only need to do what you feel comfortable doing.  There will usually be a mixture of people with different levels of flexibility in the class and the other students are usually so busy focusing on what they are doing themselves that they won’t be looking at you. 

3.       What should I wear? 

Wear comfortable loose clothing of natural fibres that will allow you to stretch and move freely.  Yoga leggings, jogging bottoms, t-shirts and sweatshirts/jumpers are the standard clothes.  It is good to dress in layers so you can take clothes off as you warm up in class and add layers and socks for relaxation or Yoga Nidra at the end of class.

4.      Do I need a yoga mat? 

It is good to have your own yoga mat as you can choose one that suits your needs and body size.  You can buy them in many high street stores or on-line.  Make sure that the mat is non-slip and that it is long enough for you to lie down on.  Most yoga studios will have yoga mats that you can borrow until you decide that you are ready to buy your own.

5.      What do I need to do before going to my first yoga class?  

Contact the teacher before the class to let them know that you are going and that you are new to yoga.  Leave 3 hours between your last meal and the class.  If you get very hungry, have a light snack such as a piece of fruit.  Arrive 10 minutes before the start of the class so that you have time to get changed and meet the teacher.  If you have a medical conditions and you are not sure about whether to do yoga, ask your doctor for advice.  Make sure that you tell the teacher before the class if you have any medical conditions, aches or pains or if you are pregnant.  Take responsibility for your own health and only do those parts of the class that feel right to you. 

 Take a leap of faith and enjoy the experience.

 If you are interested in regular yoga classes in Dublin, Yoga Nidra, one to one yoga sessions, walking meditation or yoga holidays with me

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