Yoga For Scaredy Cats - The Dos & Don’ts For Your First Yoga Class

Yoga offers some powerful health benefits.

According to the Mayo Clinic, including:
  • Stress reduction
  • Weight management
  • Management of chronic health conditions
  • Increased fitness & flexibility

Do's and Don'ts

DO your homework because there are many different kinds of yoga and finding the one that “fits” will help you get the most out of your practice.

DON’T give up because you didn’t like your first class or the teacher was not a good fit. There are lots of options and finding the right class may take a few tries. The health benefits you get are well worth the effort.

DO wear comfortable, stretchy but fitted clothing. A too loose t-shirt can get in the way when you are bending over and pants that don’t allow a full range of body movement might make doing some of the more challenging poses impossible.

DON’T make the mistake of thinking you need to be a yoga expert or bendy pretzel to take a class. Everyone was a beginner once, that’s why you take a class, to learn. Yoga will improve your flexibility but you don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. All of the more challenging poses are easily modified for beginners.

DO greet your teacher and let her know it is your first class. If she knows you are new to class, she is likely to offer you a little low-pressure assistance to make you feel comfortable and ramp up quickly.

DON’T wear shoes inside the practice room. Removing your shoes before you enter the practice room is almost universally practiced and is considered respectful and sanitary.

DO eat a snack about an hour before class but don’t arrive at class straight from a big, heavy meal or you might find the postures and stretches uncomfortable.

DON’T enter class late or leave early, as it is distracting and disruptive to others.

DO arrive a little early. If you arrive about 10 minutes early, you can find a spot and get settled in. While you wait, you can stretch a bit or sit quietly getting centered before the class begins.

DON'T bring your cell phones in. Yoga is supposed to be peaceful and centering, leave socializing for after class and work for another time.

DO ask your instructor questions after class if you have some. Most yoga instructors love what they do and are happy to answer your questions at an appropriate time.

Yoga is most often considered safe for people of all abilities, though you may have to adjust the difficulty or some of the poses if you have certain risk factors.

If you have any of the following conditions or situations, ask your doctor or appropriate health care professional before you begin get started:
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Balance problems
  • Eye conditions, including glaucoma
  • Pregnancy
  • Artificial joints
  • Severe osteoporosis

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