So you want to take your first yoga class? That's great. Here are five things to know before you walk into the studio.
1) Socks off. Yoga is done barefoot, so take your shoes and socks off before you walk into the yoga room. Most studios have spaces to place your shoes/socks and belongings. Leave your personal items in a safe place, and find a spot for your mat.
2) Before class, feel free to relax. I've seen first-timers anxiously standing around on their mat before class starts. Use this time to lay down, sit quietly, or do a few of your own stretches before class starts.
3) Child's Pose is always an option. Reminder: you do not need to do every pose in class. You might find that you want/need to take a break during class. You ALWAYS have that option. Feel free to take child's pose and rest for as long as you want.
4) It's ok to breathe. Loud enough for your teacher to hear. Your yoga teacher might be using your breath to help keep the class on pace. In yoga, an audible breath is encouraged. Remember that a slow, smooth breathing pattern will help to regulate your nervous system.
5) Say 'Namaste' at the end of class. Namaste is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates into "The light in me honors the light in you." At the end of a yoga class, your teacher will have you sit quietly, bringing your hands to heart. Your instructor will say 'namaste' and bow her head. At that point, the class will say 'namaste' back and bow their heads. This is simply a way to close a yoga class and say 'thank you' to your instructor.
Do you have a yoga question? Shoot me an email and I will be happy to answer for you.