Arrive at least 10 minutes early - People will be either meditating, stretching on their mat or lying on their backs waiting for the yoga teacher to start class. Just join in! Tell the instructor if you suffer from an injury so they can give you tips on how to modify postures.
The Room May Be Crowded - Depending on the popularity of the class time or teacher, the class may be very full. In these situations you will be asked to move your mat closer to other students to accommodate the size of the class. As a result you will be practicing yoga on your mat very close to others on their mats. While strange at first, you get used to it quickly.
Yoga Is Practiced Barefoot - Trade your soccer shorts and and running socks for comfortable clothing and bare feet.
Keep the day of your yoga class light and simple by having healthy food at least two hours prior to class.
Drink plenty of water before and after the class: It is very necessary to get hydrated before the class. During the class, it not advised to drink a lot as this may interrupt your flow and cause abdominal discomfort. Better if you start drinking water at least two hours before your class since your body needs time to absorb the water properly for hydration.
The Most Important Thing Is To Breathe Some yoga classes may incorporate a breathing practice called "pranayama". While some instructors may teach breathing techniques to build heat in the body or cool the body, always remember that the breath is the most important tool you have to sustain your energy during your practice. If things get to be too much for you, drop down to child's pose or rest on your back, joining back in when you have reconnected to your breath.
You Should NEVER Experience Pain In Yoga Class Pain is described as a ripping, searing, burning or pinching feeling in your body when practicing a yoga pose. If you experience any of these sensations stop the pose immediately and/or modify it so you are not in any pain. You will most likely feel actual pain if your body is out of alignment. You can ask your instructor after class to help you properly -- and safely -- practice the posture. If you experience sensations of intense stretching but no actual pain, then you are in no danger. Make a distinction between the two and move freely through each pose.
Use Yoga Props To Help You Modify Poses Our studio provides blocks, straps and blankets to help you modify yoga poses. Take two blocks, one strap and one or two blankets to your mat when you enter the class room. If you're stuck in a pose and need a little help use your props. To sit up taller, sit on the edge of the blanket, to raise the floor up, place your hand on a block instead of overreaching to touch the floor if your legs are tight.
Yoga Poses Are Taught In A Sequence Depending on the style of yoga you take, the postures will be taught either as a quick-paced flow with one pose linked to the other or more slowly with pauses and space between postures. Some styles of yoga have a set sequence of poses that you practice each time. Other styles leave it up to the instructor to choreograph the class. Some classes may put more of an emphasis on twists, for example, or back bends.
Adjust Your Body Proper alignment is key in yoga. As such, yoga teachers often walk around the room while they're teaching and adjust your body so that you are in a safer anatomical position. Some will adjust you so you just feel better and others will give you a little personal assist. This should feel good. If you don't want to be touched, just say so!
You May Not Be Able To Practice The Poses Perfectly You will think many people are "better than you" at yoga. Don't let this deter you. Some people are naturally more flexible. It is also a goal in yoga not to compare yourself to the person next to you. So be forgiving with your body and know that flexibility comes with repetition. You're not expected to be advanced on your first class.
You Don't Have To Practice Every Pose If you begin to feel light headed, tired or your muscles are shaking, you always have the option to move into child's pose until you are feeling ready to rejoin the class. Child's pose is practiced by pointing your toes, sitting back on your heels and stretching your arms straight in front of you with fingertips on the mat.
Sometimes People Get Teary You may experience what some refer to as an "emotional release" during certain poses, this is normal. Sometimes when we don't move our bodies for so long there is an emotional as well as a physical reaction to the new movement. It may manifest as tears.
Don't Skip The Final Resting Pose Yoga classes end with a final pose called "savasana". It's basically laying on your back in deep relaxation. During this time the teacher may come around and massage your shoulders or neck. The posture is very important to help your body find balance again after twisting and stretching in so many new ways. Also, it is disturbing to other students if you start packing up your belongings while they're still resting.
Keep an Open Mind Don't be scared off when your instructor bows their head as if in prayer, clasps their hands together in front of their heart and says, "Namaste" (pronounced nah-mas-tay). You'll notice the class says it back as well. This Sanskrit word means "I honor you" and is normally said at the end of class. Many yoga classes begin and end with a collective chant of "OM" and often a little mantra in Sanskrit that is sung in a call and response format. No one expects you to know it. Just close your eyes and listen.