Your First Yoga Class

April 11, 2013 2 min read

  If you are intrigued by yoga and are thinking about taking a class, it can be a bit intimidating wondering what to expect. What supplies do you need? How long are the classes? Will you be able to keep up? Here is a brief look at what you will find when you take that first step into a yoga studio.   If you are taking a class at a health center or gym, mats are usually available for you. Otherwise, you must bring a mat, as you might not be allowed to participate without one. The mat will provide you with some cushioning and stability and will prevent slippage, so it's a necessity for yoga. There are several poses that will have you with your face to the ground or laying on the ground, so something between you and a potentially dirty floor is a good thing.   What type of yoga will you be doing? And how long will the session last? There are many styles of yoga, and some might be a better fit than others. Hatha yoga is a slower, more deliberate, flowing, and meditative type of yoga; Vinyasa is a faster paced yoga that will get you sweating in no time. There are other styles that are beyond the scope of this article, but you'll soon know which style you will be doing once the class gets going. Class times can vary from 20 minutes to over an hour. The most common will be a 55 to 60 minute class, which includes a 15 minute relaxation period at the end. A guided meditation is usually given by the instructor during this time.   An hour long class can be intimidating, but understand that your instructor wants to keep you safe, as well as giving you a superb workout. Most classes in health centers and gyms tend to cater to the beginner, therefore quite often instructors will give you a modification for a pose. For example, if you find it difficult to do a push-up (called a Chaturanga) while on your toes, they will allow you to drop to your knees. And if you find yourself hurting, just give yourself a break for a moment before resuming the poses. You want to get a great workout, but not at the risk of injuring yourself. Most classes in health centers and gyms tend to cater to the beginner.   Don't avoid taking a class just because you're not sure what to expect. Yoga will stretch your mind as well as your body. The workouts are a fantastic way to increase your strength and stability. So find a class, jump in feet first, and discover a whole new you!
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