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So you’ve decided to take the spiritual plunge and try your first yoga class. The most common questions asked here at Kula are about trying yoga for the first time. We rounded up some expert tips for beginners looking to try yoga.
Which one? There are so many different types of yoga. Here at Kula we offer Hot (slow flow in a room heated to 35 degrees), Flow (dynamic, strong practice heated to 28 degrees), Barre (sculpting mix of yoga, ballet and Pilates), and Yin (a restorative practice with long, slow holds). Do you research and know which type of class interests you. Check out the studio website or Facebook page for more information and don’t be shy about emailing or calling for more clarification. The more you know, the more you can prepare and the less anxious you’ll feel stepping into the studio for the first time.
What to wear? Depending on the style of yoga you choose, this may vary. Always go with something you’re comfortable moving, bending and sweating in. We suggest layering up: Try a singlet top and leggings and bring a light layer to get cosy in Savasana, your resting pose. PS- Leave your shoes and socks at the door, we do yoga with bare feet.
What to bring? Let’s start with a yoga mat. Most studios have mats for hire, or you can bring your own along. If you’re headed to a heated class, it’s wise to bring a large towel to cover your mat (to avoid slipping) or to wipe and stray sweat. Don’t forget water! Typically studios offer lockers or cubbies to house your belongings while you practice.
What to say? When you walk into the studio, let the instructor know it’s your first time. Also, mention any injuries or recent surgeries, so the teacher can help you modify poses during the class. But once you enter the yoga room, silence is a must. A yoga studio is an inviting place for students to disconnect from distraction and turn the gaze inward- it makes it really difficult if someone is chatting away to their neighbour!
What’s the etiquette? If you’re new, we recommend setting up your mat in the back or middle of the room. That way if you get a bit lost, you can always take a look around. If you bring a cell phone to the studio, it should be switched off or on silent. Once you set your mat down, settle into a resting pose, maybe laying flat on your back, and simply relax until the teacher begins class.
What to do after? Give yourself a high five! Take as much rest as you’d like after your practice and then quietly gather your belongings. Check if you’ve left anything behind (including sweat puddles!) and make your way out of the room. The instructors always hang around after class so feel free to ask any questions- that’s why they’re there! Once you get home drink plenty of water (especially after a heated class) and eat something yummy.
In the end, remember that we learn the most from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid to look silly. And really that’s what yoga is all about- accepting ourselves for exactly how we are, in this moment.