Over two billion people worldwide practice yoga today, are you one of them? The benefits of a physical practice are well known and accepted as truth yet many people have not tried this ancient activity. Why not?
I believe it is because of fear: fear of the unknown and possibly fear of embarrassment. The benefits are clear including improved health, increased feeling of bliss and even weight loss So let me alleviate any fears by explaining away the unknown and helping you prepare for your first class.
What will you need? Yoga is not equipment intense. Put on loose fitting (but not flowing) comfortable clothes, grab a yoga mat, and open your mind. Some studios (including our Raw Renewal) will provide mats and other props. Just remember to use the cleaning sprays provided to wipe down your mat after class. Some students like to bring water bottles and towels to take care of sweat and dehydration during the session but that is a preference that you can decide after you take your first class. No need to worry about footwear, as yoga is best practiced barefoot.
What happens once you enter the studio? You will be asked to sign in and possibly sign a waiver. Let the instructor know this is your first class so she/he can offer additional guidance. Grab the mat and set up in the chosen studio by laying out your mat in the direction facing the instructor. This is the time for you to bring your attention to yourself – to slow down and focus on you. Simply sit on the map comfortably as you wait for class to begin. Not that it is considered rude to enter a class late or leave early as it disrupts the energy flow in the session. Prepare accordingly to be punctual.
What can I expect during the session? Although different styles practice differently, you can expect verbal cues on where and how to move your body, and physical adjustments or alignments in which a teacher will help you get into the appropriate pose. If you are uncomfortable with being in touched, simply let the instructor know…it is not uncommon for some students to refrain from physical contact. As for your body, you will experience benefits ranging from a clearer mind and true muscle relaxation to challenges such as light-headedness and flatulence. Simply listen to your body and do not hesitate to stop and rest if the practice is a bit too challenging for you at this time.
That is it! You are now prepared. Yoga meets you where you are. There is no judgment, no competition and no expectation. ..which means no change of embarrassment.
Every human being can and should have a pleasant experience in life. You are in control of creating that experience within yourself and you do not need anyone else to provide that to you. Yoga will help you feel peace, joy and even bliss. Now is your time!