Getting the most out of your first yoga class

Yoga_Apr27_AWhen you hear about yoga, the first things that spring to mind are probably physical exercise and people stretching into bizarre poses. Yet yoga is much more than just an exercise – it connects your body, mind, and spirit so that while you’re performing yoga, you can relieve stress and experience peace of mind. Perhaps this is why you’ve decided to take yoga classes in the first place. But as a beginner, how much do you know about yoga? Here’s what you need to know before taking your first ever yoga class.

Come to class free of expectations

After seeing amazing pictures of yogis in magazines, you’re convinced that you’ll be able to mold your body into graceful poses in no time. But you’re making a big mistake if you set unrealistic expectations when you first step into yoga. Flexibility takes months, or even years, of hard work to build up, so don’t expect everything to go as planned. Instead, enter the class with an open mind and experience the moments of hardship and fun – it’s all part of the yoga practice!

Don’t come with a full stomach

An important preparation for yoga is avoiding meals for two or three hours prior to the practice. Yoga requires a lot of stretching and twisting of your body. When you have food in your digestive system, not only are most yoga poses uncomfortable, but it can also interfere with your overall performance, and the last thing you want in your first yoga class is to feel uncomfortable all the time and to have to keep going to the bathroom.

Talk to the instructor before class

Greeting the instructor before you start yoga is good in many ways. Firstly, you can get to know the person who’s going to teach you, and can ask any questions about the class. Secondly, you can inform your instructor about any present or past injuries you may have, and make sure that you learn some modification moves when other yogis are engaging in particularly difficult poses. It is part of your instructor’s job to ensure compliance to safety and health standards, so he or she will always be willing to help.

Free yourself of distractions

Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what you’re doing, especially when you can understand only half of what the instructor’s saying. When doing yoga for the first time, anything out of place can distract your attention, like uncomfortable clothes, people around you, and even your bangs getting in your eyes. So make sure you wear appropriate clothing for yoga – not too tight nor too loose, and come to class in a determined manner.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Every class has that one super-flexible yogi who seems to master just about any move with ease. But things can get ugly when you start comparing yourself to others in a yoga class – either you’re putting yourself down when comparing yourself to someone with better body shape and flexibility, or you’re putting them down to make you feel better. This only makes you feel bad, and you might even end up convincing yourself that yoga isn’t for you. What you need to understand is that peoples’ bodies are built differently, and that you should be focusing on developing your own rather than envying others.

Yoga classes can be intimidating for first-timers, so it always helps to do a bit of research first. If you’re planning to take yoga classes, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.

4 reasons why beginners quit yoga

Yoga_Mar30_AWe all know that yoga is a fantastic workout for our body and mind. People practice yoga for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to increase physical fitness, to escape from mental chaos, or to improve posture. Although widely perceived as a rewarding exercise, sometimes yoga can be overwhelming and demanding, especially for beginners. Instead of trying to adapt and work on their postures, some people simply choose to quit after their first few yoga classes. Here are the most common reasons beginners turn their backs on yoga, and how to overcome them.


When it comes to practicing yoga in studios, new yogis are often intimidated by the impressive yoga moves performed with ease by old-timers. Beginners are keen to make the most out of their first yoga classes. They expect too much of themselves, and will feel disappointed when they are unable to perform certain yoga postures.

A simple fact most beginners overlook is that yoga is designed to help them improve their flexibility. Things will definitely get better over time, if you show patience and discipline during practices. If you’re new to yoga, know that flexibility takes time to build, even for the most experienced yogi.

Level of difficulty

Imagine how uncomfortable it is to join an advanced class where students are able to perform the most complex yoga moves with ease. Instead of taking things slowly as they should, newcomers feel pressured into trying postures that are too difficult for them, and this often lead to the loss of confidence or even injury. As a result they may leave the studio and never come back.

The key to practicing yoga for beginners is acceptance. Focus on your postures rather than others’ – it may have taken them years to reach this point. Selecting the right yoga class for your level is equally important. You’ll want to start slow and enjoy the progress as you become more familiar with different poses.

Teaching style

When choosing a yoga instructor, teaching experience and yoga skills aren’t the only criteria you should consider. It’s also about the personality, professionalism and care that the instructor brings to a yoga class. Compassionate yoga teachers plays an important part in a student’s success. Their methods of teaching will encourage you to attend yoga classes. Bad instructors, on the other hand, will not only make your yoga classes less enjoyable, but they can also put you off yoga completely.

When you feel that your instructor is a bad match, always know that there are many instructors out there with different backgrounds, one of which might be more suitable for you. Don’t give up on yoga just because of one bad experience.


Beginners always have a hard time trying to learn the name of yoga postures which are derived from Sanskrit, whether it’s ‘sukhasana’ (easy pose), ‘salamba sarvangasana’ (shoulder stand), or ‘utktasana’ (chair pose). Pronouncing the names alone can be intimidating for new students and, with over a hundred yoga poses out there, sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

The good news it you will get used to it. Don’t let the words scare you off. There are ways to remember the ‘language of yoga’, and they will sound more familiar to you as time goes by.

Yoga is not as difficult as it seems, as long as you take the time to learn more about it. Contact us today for more information about our yoga classes.

Published with permission from FitnessAdvisory. Source.