Stepping into a brand new environment can be pretty daunting sometimes. Moreover, stepping into a yoga studio for your first yoga class and seeing a bunch of yogis who seem to already know what to expect and what to do, make the experience even more nerve wrecking. Sometimes because of this sense of anxiety of the unknown, some people put off going for their first yoga class for the longest time, even if they have been wanting to do yoga since forever.
I am going to challenge some of the myths that you may have about a yoga class setting, prepare you for your first yoga class, and ensure how you make the most out of that 60 or 90 minute class after that. Hopefully by the end of it, you’ll feel less daunted about making that first baby step to becoming a yogi! <:
Before a yoga class,
1. Searching for the right yoga studio
Class size? Different people may have different preferences when it comes to picking the right yoga studio. Sometimes, popular yoga studios may not be the best option for first timers, especially if they have a large class size. With a large class, chances are the yoga instructor may not be able to spot you that easily, and hence may not be able to provide the assistance you need whenever you feel confused. You would prefer a more personable yoga class with much lesser people so the yoga instructor is able to observe you and not have his/her attention diverted most of the time.
Amenities? I always shower and wash up after a yoga class, so amenities such as ample number of shower cubicles, hair dryer, and space for many people to move about at the same time are very important to me. If your yoga studio is just a stone’s throw away from your home, or if it’s during winter time and you head home after a yoga class anyway, then this may be of lesser importance.
Price? No matter if you’re just exploring yoga as a brand new option, or if you have shoestring budget to work with, an affordable yoga class is always a good bonus. Check out for any Groupon deals nearby, or call/email and see if they have discounted rates for students/first-timers. Almost all yoga studios I’ve been to has discounted rates for first-timers or students!
2. Packing for your yoga class
Sometimes it can be pretty confusing what to pack for your yoga class, and you wouldn’t want to forget anything when you get there! Here are some of the essentials that you should bring:
- Water bottle: Always bring your own bottle and even though some yoga studios sell bottled water, it’s always nice to the environment when we bring our own reusable ones!
- Bring extra towels: Before you pack this in, check if your yoga studio provides towels for its yogis. Some studios provide towels for free, some do so at an extra charge. But if you want to save on that couple of dollars, you would still want to bring a big towel for your mat (especially if you’re doing hot yoga), and another towel to shower after that.
- Yoga clothes: Do not worry if you don’t own any yoga clothes or any lululemon/nike/adidas merchandise, because honestly a regular t-shirt, tank top, and shorts/leggings would do the job. Just make sure that the material is comfortable, breathable so sweat can evaporate easily, and is nice fitting so your top won’t slip over your head when you’re in your downward dog.
3. Pre-yoga meal
There really is no hard and fast rule on what you should/shouldn’t eat before a yoga class, but the general rule of thumb is to have a small meal 30 minutes – 1 hour before a yoga class. It will be great to plan your meal timings in advance if your class is during lunch or dinner timings, so that you ensure that you won’t be hungry during a yoga class. Greek yogurt, banana, chocolate milk, sandwich are all great options to have for pre-yoga meal.
During the yoga class,
1. Attending the class
It is important to go to class at least 15 minutes early especially if it’s your first time, because they normally would get you to fill up some forms and details before your class. You wouldn’t want to be rushing into a class without being able to settle yourself down first! Feel free to ask the receptionist any questions if you have, and he/she’ll be more than happy to help you out.
2. Studio etiquette
Even though I’ve always emphasized that yoga studios are not like exclusive clubs that only certain people can go to, it is still important to be aware of some of the studio etiquettes before going for your first yoga class. Here are some of the things that you should be aware of:
- No mobile phones. Please do not bring your mobile phones or any gadgets into the yoga class because that can be really disruptive to someone’s practice. If they do not have any lockers in the changing room, check with receptionist if there is anywhere that you can leave your phone safely at. <:
- Silence is golden in the yoga studio indeed. When you enter a yoga studio, there may be some yogis getting ready for their practice or meditating, talking in class can be disruptive to someone else’s practice, and we want to respect and honour each other’s practices during a yoga class.
- Roll out your mat gently. This is honestly a pet peeve of mine when someone else throws out their yoga mat when they enter the yoga studio because in my opinion, I think it’s pretty rude and the loud noises made when you throw out your yoga mat can be disruptive to others as well. Just roll out your mat gently – I’m sure it does the same job of spreading out your mat as throwing it out! <:
3. After the class has started
It is normal to feel really lost in your first yoga class. You may not know what is a sun salutation, and you may be trailing behind most of your yogi mates and yoga instructor as they go about their routine. Some yoga teachers may also have a much faster pace than the others. But remember, don’t be discouraged and try to follow as much as you can!
Also, if the yoga instructor starts off the class by asking who’s a first-timer, don’t be shy to raise your hand. In fact, this will help you tremendously because the yoga teacher wants to know who she/he should look out for in class. That way, only will the yoga instructor be able to help you! Don’t be shy and have an open mind.
Remember to listen to your body. There may be other yogis there who are more flexible or stronger than you, but what’s important is *your* practice! Subsequent yoga classes will get better and better <:
4. Have fun!
I always enjoy yoga classes a lot because of the class setting, I like practicing with many other fellow yogis. So don’t be too worried, and let go and have fun!
After the yoga class,
Feel free to talk to the yoga instructor about your experiences, as well as to ask for tips and advice to improve. Most of the yoga instructors are all really friendly and approachable, and that makes it easier for students to approach them and talk about their yoga practice. If there were any difficulties that you had during class, voice them out to the yoga teacher and she/he will know how to help you.
If your first yoga class has gotten you hooked, feel free to check out all the online resources on yoga that can help you further your practice without having to go to a yoga studio. These can help you get started on home practice! Check out my previous Yoga Hacks post here on Getting Started With Home Practice – it’s all that you need!
I hope that this has cleared up all the worries and doubts, and has prepared you mentally about going for your first yoga class. Feel free to comment below if you have any other doubts, questions, and worries about going for your first yoga class, and I will be happy to answer them!