A lot of people want to try yoga but feel intimidated.
We have the idea that it's going to be a bunch of fit and flexible people watching me fumble around on the mat. . . . Not exactly something to look forward to.
But it's not like that. The people in your class are going to be more focused on themselves, and if they're doing it right — than if you're doing it right.
Everyone will warmly welcome you into the class. We all remember exactly what it felt like to be new to yoga — learning all the asanas (yoga poses), the terminology, and the culture.
But don't worry, it's pretty easy to go unnoticed your first few classes. So if you want, you can get started discreetly. And if you're practicing online, you can even leave your camera off until you feel comfortable connecting with your teacher and classmates!
Now, for those who want to know what it's going to be like, here are some tips and tricks to make you look like an experienced yogi and fit in right away.
Whether online or in-person, every class is slightly different. Every class has it's own culture.
During the class, it's typically appropriate to be silent or quiet. You can ask the teacher for assistance if you need to, but usually they're keeping an eye on you and the other students. They'll give you guidance when they think you need it.
While class is in session, you should avoid talking in a normal voice. It's more of a library-voice setting.
In some classes, it's normal to be social before and after the class. Everyone is friendly and chatty. Then, the class starts and it becomes quiet and meditative.
In other classes, it's all about "me" time. People will be more quiet, even silent, and be in a more meditative mood before and after the class. So it's a sacred space of contemplation the entire time.
The culture of your class will be obvious right when you enter the room. Just notice, and respect the mood. You'll be everyone's favorite new classmate if you do this!
We all have different bodies, different ranges of flexibility, and different fitness levels.
With practice, you'll definitely get more fit, more flexible, and more accustomed to the asanas.
But you may never look like "flexible Judy" on the next mat over. Don't worry about that!
Yoga is not about comparison. It's totally OK to look around the room and see how to do the asana. Though, I'd always recommend looking to the teacher for correct alignment, not "flexible Judy".
As you spend more time in class (or after a 1on1 session), you'll learn the correct alignment for your body.
Yes, even after years of practicing, no two people should do the asana exactly the same. Even at maximum flexibility, we all have different bone structures, not to mention past injuries and things like that. So expect correct alignment for you and your other yogi friends to be slightly different.
It's great to improve and push beyond your current limits. But only 5-10% beyond your current limits.
Nothing is more awkward for the rest of the class than that person who comes in and tries to be "the best at yoga". They stand out like a sore thumb. Because they don't get that it's not a competition.
Your yoga class is a sanctuary of acceptance, self-reflection, and self-improvement. Not a competition to look good, athletic, or flexible.
So relax, take it easy, and let yourself improve over time. You'll see the results stack up fast — physically and mentally!
There's always an excuse to "start tomorrow", or "wait until I'm a little less busy." And we all have "a lot going on right now."
These are great excuses to avoid trying something new, something we think is going to be more awkward or uncomfortable than it actually is.
I've literally talked to thousands of yoga students now. Most of them wanted to try yoga for years before they finally did. And they all wish they just did it and started sooner.
Because yoga makes you feel happier, more relaxed. Most yogis watch themselves become better people, better parents, as they get into great shape and feel more confident.
Why wait until tomorrow to start feeling better? Tomorrow never comes.
If you actually want to get started and begin taking steps towards a healthier happier you, today is the day to take your first class!
Good to have but not necessary
And now that you know exactly what to bring, you can click here to book a Live Online Yoga Class with expert teachers. (If you haven't already, you can sign up for your 2-week free trail — Unlimited Yoga Classes with Live teachers, 35+ daily classes, and over 85,000 happy students!)
You might have an idea that you should wear $150 yoga pants and a lulu lemon sports bra to yoga class. This totally works, but it's not the only good option.
You can wear anything that doesn't restrict your movement. So any workout clothes will do.
Authentic yoga is not about appearance, fashion or fads. It's about inner growth, health, happiness, and meaning.
With that in mind, it's good to know that you can wear your PJ's to class if you want. I sometimes wear sweats and a t-shirt (although I always regret wearing sweats, because they get too hot!)
So you'll want to wear comfy clothes, that give you full range of motion, and you don't mind sweating in.
And of course, in online yoga classes, many of us do wear our PJ's. There's no social pressure to look a certain way. Most of us roll out of bed and into our morning class anyways!
If you haven't already, you can sign up for a free 2-week trial with myYogaTeacher. You'll get Unlimited Group Classes with expert teachers — Live and online! If you're in your trial or already a member, you can click here to book your next live class.
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