Yoga is an amazing practice of connection through your mind, body and soul. The benefits of practicing yoga are endless and the best part is that you’re never too young or too old to begin a yoga practice.

We understand that beginning a yoga practice can be intimating; so this week  learn what to do before you walk into your first yoga class.

     1. Know the right class to go to. Do your research. Choose a Beginner’s class or a     restorative class. Walking into the wrong class your first time, you might never come

    2.Tell your teacher you’re new. They want to know you’re new to yoga.  And will guide you throughout the class without singling you out. Every teacher wants to make sure you have the best experience possible.

     3. Wear the right clothes. Something that’s comfortable and that won’t make you self-conscious. You want your clothing to be so comfortable that you don’t even think about it for an hour and a half. Clothing that you won’t have to pull down over your belly or your butt crack every time you move. Keep in mind if you’re a guy, some studios prefer that you leave your shirt on. Ask before class.

        4. Don’t eat before a class.  It’s recommended to refrain from eating two to     three hours before class so your digestion is complete before class begins. This will help you have comfortable yoga practice. If you have a very active digestive system, a light snack such as a few nuts or a partial granola bar might be tolerated 30 minutes to an hour before class.

      5. Take your shoes off. Its a sign of respect for a sacred space. Every yoga studio has a place by the front door where you can stow your shoes.

     6. Position yourself at the back of the room. You are not left feeling self-conscious like everyone is watching you. In this way you watch the more advanced yogis/yoginis.  And  you learn more by observing as you practice.

     7. Your mat is your microcosm. On it, there is no one to impress, and no one to answer to except yourself: it’s one of the only spaces we can truly call our own. One of the only places we can take risks and feel safe and supported doing so.

     8. Let your breath lead, not your ego. We were all beginners at one time. It’s important to realize that no one cares that you’re a bit wobbly, nor are they judging you.  No one wants to push you to overextend your threshold. Remember, don’t let your ego guide you into a place where you could possibly get injured.

9. Let go of thinking. Your yoga practice is your time for peace and transformation. There is no such thing as the “Best Tree Pose.” We are all unique. Our bodies are shaped differently. Your posture is yours. Own it. Never judge yourself because you aren’t “doing” a pose like the person next to you in eagle. He or she could be practicing for years. We are judged so much in our daily lives that it’s nice to find sanctuary from that. If you are practicing in a place that makes you feel judged, find another studio.

     10. If it gets to be overwhelming, come to child’s pose. You can just curl up into a ball and people will leave you alone. You always have this option. No one’s going to judge you. This is the wonderful thing, and yet another bonus of a yoga practice.

    11. Sometimes you cry in yoga.Believe us, it’s a good thing, Where else can you completely let go of all the emotional stuff locked up inside you.  Not be judged. And you walk out feeling like a million bucks.

12. Cultivate your friendliness.You’ll be among good people. Yoga studios are one of the best places to meet people. In fact, you already have one thing in common to discuss over tea.

Love and appreciate the collective energy of others practicing around you. At the same time breathe and go inwards and begin the practice of stilling the mind.

And enjoy.