Starting anything new can be pretty darn intimidating. And yoga is no exception. We know it’s not always easy to put yourself into an unknown situation where you don’t know what to expect, or even what the heck is going on.
So, here are a few things we think you should know before coming to your first yoga class.
11 things every beginner should know before trying (hot) yoga:
1. You might need to prove yourself in other areas of your life, but not on your yoga mat. This is sort of the Grand Puma principal of yoga. The beautiful truth? No one is watching you and even if they were, no one is judging you in the least. Yoga is a practice of attunement, not attainment.
2. Take it slow to start. This is especially true with hot yoga. Heat adds another element of challenge. We see so many students just give’er in their first class (even super fit ones), only to hit a wall halfway through and end up feeling pretty crappy. Please intentionally hold yourself back the first few classes and take all kinds of breaks. Let your body adjust to the heat before you push yourself physically.
3. You do not need to do every pose. There are no prizes handed out for touching your toes, and those who can wrap their legs around their ears don’t suddenly become more enlightened than the rest of us. The value of yoga comes in the experience of a pose, not what it look like. There is no where to get to.
4. Yoga is for EVERY body. Many studios we have worked at or frequented are filled with allllll kiiiiiinds of beautiful people. Men, women, young, old, in every shape and size. Let’s make a community like that in Petawawa. Peak Hot Yoga is not exclusive in the least and you don’t need to look any kind of way, be any measure of fit, or be any kind of demographic to be absolutely and wholeheartedly welcome.
5. Yoga should never hurt. It might be unpleasant at times, even uncomfortable – but not ever painful. If a pose hurts, back out of it and try a different version, or wave your teacher down to help you find an alternative pose.
6. Arrive early or even come visit us to tour the studio ahead of time. No need to add more stress to a new experience! Come with plenty of time to get signed in, find the change rooms, change, and chill out for a few moments before class starts (we recommend at least 15 minutes before class). Plus our teachers will want to get to know you and set you up with what to expect for your class. We’d love to meet you and our doors will be wide open!
7. Find the right class for YOU. There are so many different styles of yoga. We will have a full suite of class types on schedule. Some are invigorating and physical, some are restful and restorative, some are in between. What are you looking for from yoga? Pick the class that delivers on that.
8. Hydrate before class. More so than during. Your body takes about 30 mins to process water, so you need to drink BEFORE class to stay hydrated DURING class.
9. Set up your mat at the back of the room. Couple reasons for this. First, no one can see you, if you have any angst about that. Second, you have a clear view of all the students around and in front of you. Take cues from what they are doing in combination with what the teacher is instructing.
10. You’re not going to get immediate results. But you already knew that didn’t you? I mean, have you EVER done anything of consequence in your life that was achieved immediately? Training your body and your mind takes time and perseverance. You may well get an endorphin rush after your first yoga class, but you need to keep coming back for your results to compound.
11. Don’t forget Rule #62. One of our favs, from the rule book of AA, #62 states – “don’t take yourself so damn seriously”. Have fun, feel good, enjoy. It’s only yoga.