How to Prepare for Your First Yoga Class
Food & Drink
Staying hydrated is important when doing any exercise so make sure you drink water on the day of your class, I’m a bit of a coffee junkie so I have to remind myself to stay hydrated before my body reminds me with a headache (not something you want during a yoga class). I recommend bringing a water bottle to class with you to keep you hydrated whilst you practice.
It is recommended that yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach so its not a good idea to eat just before your class as this can leave you feeling uncomfortable and bloated. As a general rule of thumb try to eat a couple of hours before your class and keep it light and simple. As soon as the class is over normal service can resume and you can eat as much as you like. Yoga can help with your digestive system with poses that focus on the digestive area, helping to regulate bowels and decrease stomach bloat.
Try to keep clothing loose and comfortable so that your attention is directed on your yoga practice rather than on pinching or ill fitting clothing. If you like wearing, them leggings and t shirts are great and men might want to wear shorts or tracksuit bottoms. Your body will move into lots of different positions during your yoga class so its wise to think about whether your top is likely to rise up as you practice.
Yoga is practiced in bare feet. From a health and safety perspective this stops you slipping and causing yourself an injury. You can buy yoga socks if you would like to and I’ve heard good things about Yoga Toes though I’ve never tried them myself.
Consider bringing a jumper, blanket or extra layer with you for Savasana (relaxation), your body temperature can drop during this phase of the class and its hard to relax if you’re feeling the chill. I do provide blankets in my classes but depending on class numbers its not a bad idea to come prepared.
During the class you may need to rest different areas of your head on the ground, depending on the nature of the pose, so I would avoid using any hard clips in your hair style as these might hurt if any pressure is applied to them.
If this is your first yoga class I would suggest arriving a little early so that you can have a quick chat with your teacher. I like to get to know my students and I think this really helps their practice develop. You can let your teacher know of any health issues you might have but also ask any questions.
Remember You’re In Charge
I really mean that. You set your own limits in a Yoga class so its important that you listen to your body. Whilst a little discomfort isn’t uncommon when embarking on a new exercise regime pain is not. If you’re in pain, gently come out of the posture and let your teacher know. They can then work with you to find either a more comfortable modification of the pose or an alternate pose that might offer the same benefits.
If you have any questions about your first yoga class with me please get in touch. You may also find my article on Yoga Props to be of interest.