7 tips for beginners (Jan 16)

Starting a yoga class can be daunting.

I have listed 7 tips for beginners that I think are helpful to know.

  1. Try before you buy.
    Yoga styles, classes and teachers are a very personal thing.
    I would recommend trying the class as a one off before committing yourself to memberships, offers, block bookings or deals.
    You will know pretty quick if this is the ‘perfect’ class for you. Then get every deal going!
    Many teachers and studios do ‘GET YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE’ for exactly this reason, so take advantage.
    This also means you can move around classes/studios/teachers without too much expense until you find the one for you. Then be loyal for at least a few weeks to really feel the class!
  2. Wear comfortable clothing.
    Most people can guess that comfortable clothing is a must, but a huge mistake many make is to wear loose clothing (especially if trying to hide yourself: you know what I mean) Tighter clothing may feel exposing before starting but will in fact mean less exposing during class. Upside down and around about poses make baggy t-shirts move and you end up revealing the bits you were trying to hide.
    Also think see through! Even black trousers can be stretched so thin undies can shine through. (guys cycling shorts for you if wear looser over shorts please!)
    Wear darker undies and a longer top to pull down and cover up a bit. However, the longer you do yoga the less you care, but it’s really for the benefit of others!
  3. Borrow and mat to start (so this new adventure does not cost you a fortune before you have even decided if you like it!).
    Most studios and teachers should have mats to borrow and if you are ‘squeamish’ about sharing, remember mats will be cleaned regularly, often with ‘environmentally friendly’ cleaner, so you should be fine.
    If you really can’t bare the thought then buy your own. Even Primark are selling now for only £6 (not sure how thick they are, but you can always put the studio one underneath for extra thickness and comfort)
  4. Only eat something light before class.
    We have all done it. Evening yoga class to go to, but you are starving after a long day at work. A quick ping meal of spag bol or the like and you are feeling much better!
    Then add to that an upside down downward dog and a fold in the middle forward bend and hey presto it doesn’t feel too good now, as your dinner is squashed inside!
    Something light to take away the immediate pangs is enough believe me. Before you know it thoughts of food will have melted away as you focus on balancing on one leg!.
  5. Remember to breath.
    This might seem obviously and yoga is very much about the breath BUT beginners do tend to hold their breath.
    Nervousness, concentration and not being aware makes it happen. Every so often think ‘ when did I last take a breath?’. Things will flow so much better.
  6. Look and learn but don’t compare.
    It is natural to look around when first in class. You want to see how it’s done – right! But please don’t use this as opportunity to compare yourself with others.
    You have no idea what stage they are at or their yoga journe. You will only make yourself feel bad. Learn a bit from others to settle yourself in, then leave it there. This is an internal experience not a show!
  7. If you are not sure… ask!
    I wish new people would ask more. Not necessarily during the actual class, but certainly before and after. I am sure many brand new students of mine would have returned if they had just asked about what was concerning them on their first class, rather than leaving with thoughts that yoga is not for them.