If you’ve never taken a yoga class, you may have some questions. Here are some of the most common questions with the best answers I can offer.
What do I need to bring/buy?
Most studio have mats that you may borrow/rent. However, if you are planning to commit to a practice, you’ll likely want to practice at home, which will require a mat. There’s a lot of great information on the internet about types of mats. Some mats are thinner, or longer, than others. They are also made with different materials, some eco-friendly, some with long-term guarantees. To get started, $20 will get you a mat from KMart/Target/Walmart/Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can keep your mat clean with a simple water/vinegar solution, as needed.
What do I need to wear?
Yoga clothes can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. While there are plenty of yoga-specific clothing to be purchased, you’ll find plenty of students choosing other options. What you need are clothes that you can move in, comfortably. In a yoga class, you’ll be standing, sitting, laying, reaching up to the sky, down to your toes, and may even find yourself partially upside down. Wear whatever you like that will allow you to do that.
Do I need to be flexibile?
No! This is one of the biggest misconceptions about yoga. There are no special skills required. Yoga can help you increase your flexibility if done regularly over time.
Can I even do yoga?
YES! (Probably.) As with any exercise programs or regular physical activity, it’s always advisable to talk to your doctor before beginning. If you’re in a class and not sure you should be following the teacher’s instruction….DON’T! If the teacher advises students with a particular condition (unmedicated blood pressure, neck injuries, sciatica, etc) NOT to do a certain pose, LISTEN. Many times, teachers will provide alternate poses or you may enjoy a moment’s rest.
What do I do when I arrive?
In a best case scenario, the teacher will welcome you, ask if you have any concerns about beginning yoga, and show you where you may set your jacket/purse/shoes. If for some reason, the teacher is with another student, and not able to immediately make contact, you can usually follow the other students’ lead. Yogis are commonly a friendly bunch, so if you can’t find something or aren’t sure where to set up your mat, ask someone. We were all new once!
These are just a few things that I’ve heard from potential students (and myself). If you have any questions, leave a comment!