New to Yoga
Yoga is a wonderful way to begin the day or end the day. It has become a really
effective way to relax and allow us to maintain our demanding lifestyles. Starting
yoga can be a little intimidating, especially at a yoga studio where it seems
everybody knows what they are doing. Well, the best way to get involved in yoga
is to be aware of what you will need to start classes. Here are some good tips:
"What should I expect at my first yoga class?"
- Wear something comfortable that you can move/stretch in. Cotton pants work well and a comfortable shirt.
- Try not to eat just before class, and drink a small amount of water.
- You will need a yoga mat (with a sticky surface & not too thick, but we will rent them to you if you need one for $1. We recommend you purchase your own mats, and we have them at the studios for sale.
Try to avoid:
Socks, uncomfortable/binding clothes and perfume or scented lotions. They tend to overpower most people and we are doing a lot of breathing so some people are sensitive to the smells.
Here are some exercises you are likely to see in a beginners class: I consider these the most commonly taught postures, so at least you can get an idea of what to expect:
Inhale through the nose and exhale through the nose. Try this 5 times. Eyes closed and face relaxed If you feel you are slouching sit on blankets so your spine is straight.
Downward Facing Dog / Cobra & Upward Facing Dog
For downward facing dog, start on the hands and knees (table pose) and be sure hands are under the shoulder and knees are a couple inches behind the hips. Then straighten the legs and left the body up. let the head hang and relax the neck. Take a few breathes then rest in childs pose (see photo).
Up Dog starts on the belly. and bring your hands back to your waist. Point your toes and then straighten the arms and left your chest up. If you have low back problems then keep the arms bent and the elbows on the floor and just lift the chest. Take a few comfortable breaths.
This is triangle pose with an adjustment. Feet start 3-4 feet apart. Turn the left foot in 45 degrees and the right foot out 90degrees. Keep the right leg straight and bring your hand to your shin or above the knee, but not on the knee. Breath here a few breathes then come up and change sides.
Child's Pose Cat/Cow
Start on hands and knees. Place a blanket under the knees for support and as you inhale arch the spine (Cow) and as you exhale round the spine (Cat).
Some teachers chant in their classes--typically an "om." It is encouraged and it represents the sound of all life, the sound of the universe. I chant it 3 times in my classes to bring together the Head (thoughts) the Heart (feelings) and the hands (actions) together as one. You can join in and experience the use of "mantra." However, it is always ok if you don't.
Class ends with a deep relaxation, so you will enjoy a nice end to a new experience.