1. If you go to your first yoga class, rest assured, other students aren’t watching you!
2. Despite the tempting yoga fashions out there, it doesn’t matter what yoga clothes you wear. In fact, the only thing that matters is that you can move naturally and feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.
3. All yoga studios have extra mats that you can rent so you don’t even need to buy your own mat to begin. Once you get your yoga practice going, it’s nice to buy your own mat, kind of like claiming your own personal yoga space!
4. Many people dive into an open level yoga class for their first time. I recommend taking a beginner or level 1 class. You owe it to yourself to learn the basics so you don’t injure yourself or get discouraged if the class seems too difficult at first.
5. You may hear yoga poses referred to in another language called Sanskrit–it’s an ancient language from India. Try not to be confused or discouraged when you’re not sure what the words mean- over time you will become familiar with the words. In the beginning, it’s perfectly fine to look around and see what people are doing when the teacher uses Sanskrit.
6. Try different styles of yoga. For every personality, there is a style of yoga to match. You may be surprised what you actually like so give yourself permission to try different studios and styles and see what makes you feel great.
7. In the same vein, give yourself permission to try different teachers. You won’t love every yoga teacher. One may remind you of an annoying relative or perhaps one reminds you of your childhood best friend. Some teachers are mellow and others are more energetic. When you finally find a teacher that works for you, you should feel grounded and secure in their presence as well as fueled by the practice they share with you. Feel the freedom to try different teachers until you find that right fit.
8. Whatever the style, whoever the teacher, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself to the instructor. Tell him or her that you are new and of any injuries or concerns you have. This allows the instructor to take better care of you during class.
9. People come to yoga for all kinds of reasons- some for a tighter body, some for personal quiet time, some to find meaning in their lives. All are good reasons to show up.
10. Give yourself credit for trying something new! Yoga is a practice that can take a lifetime (or several lifetimes) to master and fully embrace. Give yourself a pat on the back for stepping onto the path!