5 Ways to Get Comfortable in a Yoga Class

Monday, January 29, 2018

FroBunni | Yoga | Jaida A. Photography
Photo taken by Jaida A. Photography
One of the biggest things I struggle with as a yoga teacher is getting new comers and beginners to fall in love with the practice of yoga and what that means to them. It’s easy to see someone else do yoga, assume you can’t do that, and decide not to even try. But the reality is yoga looks different for everyone. We have different bodies and abilities. It’s okay if your warrior 1 looks different than the person next to you. It’s okay if you haven’t mastered a headstand. It’s okay if your audible breath isn’t audible (I know mine isn’t).

If you’re nervous about trying yoga, take a deep breath, and read these five tips to get comfortable on your mat.

Check the Schedule: Before you just show up at a yoga studio, check the schedule and make sure the class is appropriate for you. Most studios will include a description and level. Level 1 or all levels means the class will be designed for or with beginners in mind. If you’re still unsure, just call the studio and ask.

Introduce Yourself to the Teacher: A yoga teacher should do this already (I’m side eyeing myself because I need to work on this), but when you get to the studio, introduce yourself to the teacher, and let him or her know you’re new to the practice. This way they can give you extra cues and adjustments to help you move through and get into poses.

Place Your Mat in the Middle of the Room: With your mat in the middle of the room, you will have different bodies to see how poses look. You’ll notice that not everyone can bind in side angle or reach the floor in triangle. It will, not only help you understand how poses look, but also show you that not everyone who practices yoga is super strong and flexible.

Focus on How Poses Feel: Each yoga pose has a general look, but that’s about it. You’ll find that people have varying degrees of strength and flexibility, which will create various different poses. Instead of worrying how the pose looks, pay attention to how it feels. For example, when in down dog, move the feet closer or farther away from the hands. Notice how that feels, does it feel better or worse? What if you have a slight bend in the knees? Does your upper back feel more open? Play around a bit while in the pose and notice how it feels in your body (and know that it won’t feel the same in someone else’s body).

No One is Watching You: A lot of newcomers and beginners think that everyone will look at them when they go to yoga, but trust me, people are only focused on themselves. Everyone comes to yoga for their own reasons: physical health, mental well-being, better focus or concentration. If you still think people are watching you, remember why you came to yoga and just focus on that (in yoga, this is called an “intention”).

If you’re still worried about unrolling your mat and going through a round of sun salutations, you may be scared of, not just a yoga studio, but fitness centers and gyms, in general. While these places can make you nervous, there are other things you can do to calm your nerves, like bringing a friend or using a workout DVD or app. If you need a few more ideas, Aaptiv, an audio fitness app, has some more ways to overcoming gymtimidation.


Got a question or just want to say hi? You can connect with me on my social networks!

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