If you have decided you want to start doing Yoga, it is helpful to know some insider info and what to expect so it is not as intimidating of a beginning as we all imagine.
Pick a Yoga Studio convenient to your home, so it is easy to get to Yoga consistently. Google is the best way, thanks to Google maps to see what the closest option is. Also Yelp is great as it gives honest reviews, and gives a good perspective on what to expect at that studio.
Get to your first Yoga class at least 10 minutes early. This allows you to fill out necessary paperwork, get acquainted with the space, find a good spot, talk to the teacher/front desk person to let them know you are a newbie to Yoga so they can make you feel at ease. If you are ever late, be respectful of your fellow classmates, lay your mat down quietly and settle in as gracefully as possible.
Make sure you don’t eat a full meal at least 2 hours before class. Practicing on a full tummy makes the class less enjoyable and makes you at greater risk of everyone’s biggest fear: farting in a Yoga class:) And your meal prior to your class should be on the lighter and low acidic side.
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. You want to feel comfortable and have nothing in your way. It is important to be able to feel relaxed and confident. Also avoid clothes that are too loose as baggier shirts can get annoying, and looser fitting clothes can also also unwantedly expose private areas of the body. Women usually wear tighter fitting capris or leggings with a body embracing top, While men wear sweats, boardshorts, sweat shorts and a simple tank or t-shirt.
Take your shoes off before entering the Yoga practice space. The Yoga studio is a sacred space, and walking into with shoes on is considered disrespectful. Not only is it polite in a spiritual sense, but it makes the space more hygienic. Socks are not preferable either. Being barefoot allows more grip on the mat in various poses. But if you are not comfortable being barefoot, socks are ok, Yogi socks exist and are ok as well.
Silence your cell phones and mind your manners. No one wants to be reminded of the outside world while practicing Yoga, and the ring of the cell phone is almost the opposite of Yoga. Also, while waiting for the class to start it is important to talk to friends while being mindful of others. Many people like to get into a quiet space before class. Make sure socialization is kept on lower volume so others don’t have to be included in your conversation when they don’t want to be.
Know that everyone has to start somewhere. I just read a quote that said ” saying you are not flexible enough for Yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a bath”. No matter where you are, there is a Yoga class for you. Contact the studio that you are interested in and tell them your goals, concerns, limitations and they will help you pick the best class/teacher to suit your needs. The hardest part is getting there and it will all evolve from there!