If you are reading this, you already did the first step, i.e. you are interested in practicing yoga. You could theoretically watch some YouTube videos and read some manuals on how to do it. However, we advise you to attend a yoga class at first. The yoga teacher will give you personal consulting and lessons of yoga customized to your needs. Before you do that, we reveal five key things that you need to know and question yourself before going to yoga class of your choice.
1. Choose your yoga type
When searching for your optimum yoga class it is first necessary to question yourself: “What do I want to achieve by doing yoga?” The reason for taking up this exercise can be anything you would like to cultivate, ex. gain strength, lose weight, manage stress, relieve pain, etc. There are many yoga styles that you can match with your objective. Below you can find some example guidelines.
|Gain stability and increase mobility||Inyengar yoga|
|Lose weight||Bikram yoga|
|Become more centered||Integral yoga|
|Creativity boost||Kundalini yoga|
|Improve self-acceptance and compassion||Kripalu yoga|
|Develop spirituality||Jivamukti yoga|
Keep in mind that at each yoga style emphasis can be given on a specific part of the body which you would like to improve. This can be done either by mentally or physically focusing on that area.
2. What to expect
It is worth mentioning a few things that you can expect at a yoga session so that you don’t get surprised or uncomfortable:
“The three “Om’s” - Almost every yoga class begins and ends by chanting the sound “Om” three times. Its meaning is to bring and unite energy in a yoga session.
Asanas - Are body poses that are usually associated with yoga and are defined as “positions that are firm, but relaxed”.
Pranayama - These are the breathing exercises usually taking place in the second half of yoga practice. Their goal is to clear the physical and emotional obstacles in our body in order to free the breath and flow of life energy.
Savasana - Each yoga session is concluded with a resting pose. While lying on the back with closed eyes, the teacher can go to each practitioner and give him a small massage in order to cool down.
“Namasté” - As a tradition, it is usually expressed at the end of the yoga session to each other. It has a beautiful translation of “I bow to the Divine in you.”
- Breathable, light and 4-way-stretch clothing, preferably yoga tights instead of loose shorts
- Yoga mat - should be comfortable, supportive and easy to maintain
- Towel - not necessary but preferred to the ones who are used to sweat more
- Different yoga props like blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters are usually available in your yoga center, so there is no need for buying them at the beginning
- Do tell the teacher it is your first lesson
- Do tell your teacher about your injuries and conditions
- Do focus on your intention of exercise, be it weight loss, strength gain or other
- Do think about what you did during class and by remembering one thing from each class, will improve and deepen your yoga expertise
- Do practice yoga in a spacious room with open doors and windows, so air is kept fresh
- Do practice when you are well-rested and not exhausted
- Don’t wear socks or shoes while doing yoga
- Don’t eat a big meal less than two to three hours before practice
- Don’t force yourself going completely into a pose. You will progress faster if you take a step-by-step attitude towards yourself and exercise appropriately towards your level of flexibility
- Don’t shower or drink water for 30 minutes after practice, because this will wash away sweat too soon