How to Get Up a Nerve to Go to Your First Yoga Class

Photo by Eli Christman.

If you’ve never finished yoga, it looks intimidating. People are flexible, fit, trendily dressed—wait, we competence be meditative of Lululemon ads rather than tangible yoga classes. It turns out we can have a good believe during a yoga category even when you’re formula new, and we asked yoga instructors how.

Get out those Trapper Keepers and whet your No. 2 pencils—it’s Back-to-School Week! Going distant over a classroom, we’re bringing we talent tricks and ideas on how to start routines, brush adult on aged skills or learn something new this fall.


You don’t need to be good during yoga to start perplexing to do yoga. Makes clarity when we contend it like that, right? There will be a training curve, and that’s okay.

I always inspire a beginners to set a idea of ‘have some fun and don’t take yourself too seriously’ during a commencement of class. Bringing a crony along always helps, all is improved when shared, right! Everyone is in a same boat, so there is no need to be embarrassed. There is a observant that goes something like this – observant you’re not stretchable adequate for yoga is like observant you’re too unwashed to take a bath. —Megan, YogaLife

Try It Out during Home

An easy approach to know what you’re removing into is to check out yoga videos online. There are some good yoga sessions on a list of a best YouTube examination channels, for example.

By watching, and by reading adult as indispensable (the Yoga 101 territory on Yoga Journal is great) we can spin some-more informed with a terms instructors use, and common poses and how to do them. For example:

  • Namaste is a nod that instructors will mostly use during a commencement and finish of class. It means “I crawl to you” though we can also interpret it poetically as something like “the boundless light in me recognizes a boundless light in you.” My child watches yoga videos that usually report Namaste as a “secret yoga formula word.” Close enough.
  • Downward dog and child’s pose are good poses (sorry, asanas) to know. They’re super common—you competence do dozens of both in a singular class—but they’re also meant to be resting poses. If everybody is doing some severe poise and we can’t hang, usually do one of these instead. Your instructor will understand.
  • Sun salutation is a method of poses that upsurge into one another. Here’s one chronicle that we can use during home. It’s excellent to usually do this method a few times, pausing in any poise while we take a few low breaths, and call that your yoga examination for a day. In a class, there’s a good possibility you’ll see object salutations, or something unequivocally many like them, as a warmup or in between other poses.

Several of a yoga instructors we talked to suggested perplexing videos during home first, though one, Chris Lucas, points out that we can harm yourself if we don’t know what you’re doing. He runs a video coaching service, so he would contend that, though it’s a good point: if anything hurts or feels wrong, stop. You can ask an instructor about it when we see one in person.

Find a Beginner-Friendly Class

Yoga classes are everywhere: yoga studios, of course, though gyms also reason yoga classes and it’s not tough to find village events like a “yoga in a park” day. But if we wish a many welcoming experience, take a time to do your task rather than tagging along with whatever your yoga consultant crony wants to do.

That’s given even if classes contend they’re for all levels, or no believe necessary, that doesn’t meant they’re amateur friendly. (Some are, though it depends.) we went to an “all levels” yoga category during a brewery once, meditative we’d do some half-assed yoga and afterwards all go get a beer, though a instructor fast talked us by a 75-minute upsurge of moves that she usually described with their Sanskrit names. By a finish we unequivocally felt like we deserved that beer. But if we hadn’t been practicing yoga for years, we would have been lost.

Take an tangible amateur or simple class- not open level. Beginner classes go over a fundamentals of yoga and a simple poses that eventually lead into some-more formidable movements. – Rebecca Weible, YoYoga

Call adult a yoga studio (or email a instructor) and ask either they’d suggest their category for a sum beginner. If you’re still feeling nervous, and have a few bucks to spare, ask about a private session. With one-on-one coaching, we can ask all a annoying questions we want, and you’ll leave with a improved bargain of what we should indeed be doing when we come to class.


Jodi Gonzales of ArtYogaWellness suggests looking for a Hatha yoga class; these tend to be peaceful and beginner-friendly. She also points out that hospitals and clinics infrequently offer “adaptive” yoga that is good for people with disabilities or health concerns.

If we do have yoga-practicing friends, ask where they go and what they like about their studio or instructor. This isn’t unequivocally to suss out a level, though some-more to get a vibe of a place. Some instructors are unequivocally serious, and others are some-more laid-back. Some like to travel around a room and reposition your physique if you’re not utterly removing a right posture; others will stay on their pad and leave we alone. If we don’t have a crony to give insider info, it’s excellent to ask a instructor these questions, too.

“Go to your initial category with a friend, call a studio forward of time, and ask a questions that have kept we from perplexing a category in a past. Fear of a opposite is a initial burst to burst over so a some-more we know forward of time, a reduction intimidated you’ll feel in a moment.” —Dr. Jodi Ashbrook

Prepare and Go

A yoga studio will have all a mats and accessories you’ll need; usually move a H2O bottle. If it’s an eventuality outdoor or in an radical space, we competence need to move your possess mat. (Even if you’re going to a studio, it’s always excusable to move your possess pad if we want. They won’t be offended.)

You don’t have to dress in all spandex, though you’ll wish to be comfortable. Regular examination garments are fine. If we wear a loose-fitting t-shirt, it competence tumble down around your shoulders when we do downward dog. Just be wakeful of that. Don’t worry about shoes; you’ll take them off as shortly as we get to a studio.

Get there early. Yoga classes tend to have a structured beginning, and it’s not cold to strut in partway through. (I was late to a category once and a instructor had sealed a front pathway of a studio. we had to spin around and go home.)


Since you’re there early, you’ll have time to deliver yourself to a instructor. Explain that you’re totally new to this, and let them know if we have any questions or concerns or if we have a whinging damage that we need to work around. Yoga teachers’ smarts tend to be encyclopedias of poise modifications (“sure, if your wrist hurts in downward dog we could do this or this or this…”) and they’re happy to share. we also usually like explaining any issues to a clergyman so that if they see me holding additional breaks, they know why.

“As a teacher, we positively adore when students ask questions about their use – it’s a approach for us to get to know any other, and a approach for we to raise your progress. Whether it’s about mind-body tie or damage modifications or respirating or simply category “etiquette”, trust that there are no stupid questions.”- Erika Lee Sperl

Once you’ve finished that, set adult your pad in a good spot. If you’re in a back, we can demeanour during other students any time we feel lost. But given we competence finish adult branch to face a behind of a room during times, a center competence be a improved bet.

Ask if we need any accessories for a day’s class, like a tag or a block. Gather them by your mat. Then, usually lay there until category starts. Or use a bathroom. For additional credit, lay adult high and use low breathing.

“Breathe. Even if we were to usually lay on your pad and breathe for a whole class, thats yoga. in fact, thats an overwhelming yoga practice! Most of us are drawn to yoga vs. other forms of aptness given it is a relocating meditation, so no matter what is severe or treacherous in that moment, if we concentration on your breathe and respirating by it, you’re doing it right.”- Kelly Carnes

Enjoy a Class

Every category is different, though this is one common structure:

  1. You’ll start in a seated poise (there are imagination ways to sit, though plain aged criss cranky applesauce is fine). The clergyman competence contend “Namaste” and crawl to you; contend it and crawl right back.
  2. The clergyman competence ask we to “set an intention”. That usually means take a second to consider about what we wish to get out of a class. Nobody will ask what your idea is, though here’s a good amateur one anyway: Silently tell yourself “I wish to have fun and maybe learn something.”
  3. You’ll do a garland of poses, and maybe respirating exercises, or whatever a clergyman has in mind. Most classes don’t have a lot of lifting your palm to ask questions, so instead, watch a instructor and other students to try to figure out what’s going on. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, usually trip into a downward dog or a child’s poise to give yourself a break.
  4. The final thing is mostly a decrease finished in savasana, or remains pose. Basically, we distortion down on a building and chill out for a while. Don’t be astounded if you’re doing this for 5 mins or more, maybe with some changes in position.

The whole time, usually listen to a instructor and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. “The chairman doing some crazy stretch/twist/whatever is usually perplexing to strech a same kind of low prodigy [they] had in their early days,” says Chris Lucas. Go during your possess gait and work within your possess capabilities.

“If something a instructor is seeking we to do doesn’t feel right, don’t pull yourself out of counterpart pressure, wait until serve instruction, it’s not value an injury. we finished adult with an damage in 2003 when an instructor pushed too tough on my behind perplexing to lower my widen and have given satisfied this is common with beginners wanting to do whatever someone tells them.”—Yancy Wright, Alternavida

Once a category is done, appreciate a instructor, and demeanour for a mist bottle to sanitize your pad if we borrowed it from a studio. If we favourite a class, make skeleton to come behind again! And if not, it’s excellent to go somewhere else subsequent time, or to usually suffer doing object salutations on your possess in your vital room. If you’re severe yourself a small and carrying fun, you’re doing yoga right.

“Beginner students tend to put a lot of nonessential vigour and expectations on themselves to fast learn and “nail” poses. This leads to feelings of fear, annoyance and miss of confidence. But in reality, a poses are not and have never been a loyal idea of yoga. You don’t need balance, coherence or yoga believe to practice. These attributes are naturally cultivated over time. The physique is simply seen as a pathway into a mind. As your physique opens, so does your ability for mindfulness. So, it’s a believe itself of exploring your physique and building an recognition of it by perplexing poses that is many important. New students simply need to pattern adult a bravery and loyalty to come to their pad and practice.” —Brittany Szafran, Sass Yoga

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Posted by on Sep 15 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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