Things You Should Know Before Your Start
- Check In.
Arrive 15 minutes prior to class to ensure you have a space. Check in at the front desk, take off your shoes, turn off your cell phone.
- Bare feet are recommended for all yoga classes.
Bring your own mat. We encourage you to have your own.Yoga mats can be borrowed before class or purchased at the boutique.
- Inform your instructor of special concerns.
If you have an injury, chronic pain in a certain part(s) of your body, a medical condition such as glaucoma, heart disease, or high blood pressure, or if you are pregnant, please tell your instructor prior to class.
- Move slowly when trying new poses.
Not every pose is for every body. The mind and body need time to get used to the new postures so please move slowly.
- Always listen to your body.
If you feel pain, stop. The pain is trying to tell you something. Move your body in a way that reduces it. If necessary, come out of the pose completely.
- If, during your yoga workout, you become breathless or fatigued, stop!
Yoga isn’t circuit training, marathon running or nonstop anything. Bodies aren’t meant to be exhausted but to be gently and lovingly improved and maintained.
- Be Realistic.
When you first begin yoga, you have high expectations. You could wallpaper your house with pictures of young, supple, beautiful bodies folded into advanced postures. These pictures are meant to be instructive and motivational not an unyielding standard you measure yourself against.
- Don’t compare yourself with anyone else.
We live in a competitive society. It’s easy to compare yourself to advanced practitioners or your teacher but your body isn’t like anyone else’s body. Fulfillment in yoga is a game of inches and the only inches that count are yours!
- Ask questions.
If you are confused or don’t understand a posture or how to move your body, please ask for help.
- Practice Yoga Etiquette.
Every minute of a yoga class is important. Please arrive a few minutes early. As you come into the room, look around – don’t just plop down in the middle of the room, where every time someone comes in you’re going to have to move your mat. If arriving late for class is unavoidable, silently wait outside until the “centering” part of class is complete. Then come in, quietly unroll your mat, and join the class.
- Dress appropriately.
What you wear while you do yoga can influence your ability to move freely and to find your balance. While it is true that there is a lot of specially designed “yoga wear” available, you probably have things in your dresser drawers like gym shorts, bicycle shorts, leggings, tank tops or fitted T-shirts, sports bras, leotards.
- Be consistent.
Yoga, like any skill, is gained through the steady, mindful accumulation of knowledge and practice. The quality of your practice is enhanced by regular attendance. Changes and benefits will come more quickly and easily if you practice yoga regularly – preferably twice a week.
- Stick with it
A yoga practice has its share of ups and downs. The initial discomfort you feel with adapting your body to the postures will eventually disappear and give way to more positive feelings. When the excuses to quit surface, remember that yoga is much more than physical flexibility and strength. In a classic sense, it’s a way to unify body, mind, and spirit. The mental work you do with each posture – centering, observing, and releasing – adds emotional equanimity and balance to your life. You are developing internal skills that cannot be measured by how far you bend.
- Use props to make the practice easier.
Most adults in our western culture have postural imbalances – tightness and weakness that come from sitting or carrying items on one shoulder or hip, playing one-sided sports such as golf or tennis, or injuries resulting from accidents or sports. Props are an extremely effective way to accommodate these imbalances and make your yoga practice easier and more enjoyable. The minimum list of props you need includes: a yoga mat (a.k.a. sticky mat), yoga belt, and yoga block.Contact a Yoga Advisor to help you get started.