If you are new to yoga, learning class etiquette and knowing what to expect from your first class may be overwhelming. Fortunately, most yoga communities are quite welcoming and are glad to incorporate you into the fold. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about yoga.
Why should I do yoga?
Yoga will improve your overall fitness level. Yoga also helps reduce stress. Consider that time in the yoga studio as "me time" where you get to shut out everything and take a break.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Yoga benefits your body, mind, and spirit. You can expect improved strength, stamina, balance, and flexibility. Regular yoga practice reduces cholesterol, and your body's aches and pain, often better than pain medication. Yoga can reduce stress and improve sleep. The spiritual aspects of yoga affect each person differently, but can be quite profound.
Do I need to be flexible to do yoga?
Not at all. Your flexibility will increase as you practice yoga.
What is yoga like?
There are many styles of yoga and many different teachers making it hard to generalize. There are gentle yoga classes and rigorous yoga classes. Yoga is like meditation in motion.
Will I have to bend in uncomfortable ways?
You should not be uncomfortable, or need to twist yourself into a pretzel.
I'm a beginner, what kind of class should I take?
The answer depends on your fitness goals and current physical condition. Usually a Hatha or a faster paced Vinyasa class works well for a beginner.
What should I wear to class?
Comfortable clothing that allows you to move and bend freely is best. Many yogis wear long, fitted, strechy pants and shirts that allow free movement of the arms and shoulders.
What should I bring to class?
For beginners, all you need to bring is a water bottle and a workout towel. You should be able to use the studio's mats and props.
What do I need to know for my first class?
Wear comfortable clothing and arrive about ten minutes early to let the instructor know it is your first class. You should be able to use the studio's mats and props. You can do some yoga research beforehand, but it's not required.
I'm pregnant, can I still do yoga?
Yes, but always check with your doctor first to be safe. The breathing while holding a difficult pose will teach you to be comfortable when uncomfortable, which is a nice skill to have when you go into labor.