I Signed up for my first yoga class... now what?

Congratulations on starting your yoga journey. It can be a bit overwhelming for a first time yogi, so I have explained a few things to help make your first few classes run a bit more smoothly.

What to expect during your first yoga class:

Before class

Eating/Drinking: It is best to let meals or snacks digest before coming to class. After a meal, give yourself 2 hours before practicing yoga. After a snack, give yourself 1 hour. You may drink water during class as needed, but you may feel more comfortable if you hydrate before and after class.

What to wear: Wear comfortable, stretchy clothes that are not too loose. Choose appropriately based on how your clothing may respond to things like sweat, twisting, lying down, or bending forward.  I like to wear layers depending on the weather and the temperature in the room. It’s good to have the option to take off a layer if you get too hot. 

Bring: A yoga mat, towel, and water. We will have mats to borrow if needed, and other necessary yoga props for your convenience. If you are prone to getting cold, socks may be nice to slip on during savasana.

Avoid: Wearing strong scents such as perfumes, deodorants, essential oils, or cologne. 

Get there early: If it is your first time, please arrive 10-15 minutes early to fill out any necessary forms, get changed if needed, and settle in.

Once you arrive

Footwear: Take off your shoes and socks before you walk into the practice space and place them in the designated changing or shoe-storage area.

Electronic devices: Please turn your cell phone to vibrate, or, better yet, do not take it into the practice space with you. If you do need to keep your cell phone with you and turned on during class (i.e. if you are a physician on call or a pilot on standby), then please set it to vibrate. If you’ve brought your cell phone in with you and it accidentally rings aloud during class, please turn it off as soon as you safely can.

Communicate: If you have any injuries, limitations, or concerns, please notify your instructor before class begins so they can help you stay safe.

Hands and Feet: Don’t use hand cream or foot cream before class, you spend a lot of time grounding and gripping with your hands and feet. I’ve been there when I’ve used hand cream even in the morning and I’ve spent the class sliding on the mat. A good quality yoga mat with a good grip should also help.

During class

Format of the class: The class will be slightly different each time you come however generally the beginning of the class we sit or stand and take a few moments to close our eyes, connect with the breath and ground. This helps to bring us into the present moment and let go of our day. There will be a warm up, a series of postures which may target the whole body, legs, arms, backbends, core and then finally a relaxation called Savasana.

Take Child’s pose at any time: If at any point you feel that you need a rest, then please take Child’s pose, or any comfortable resting pose. You can return to this pose at any time—even if the teacher does not specifically cue it—and then rejoin the class when you are ready.

If you feel that you need to leave the room: It is not uncommon to experience dizziness, fatigue, or discomfort during your first yoga classes, especially if you are practicing in a warm room. If you must leave the room, then please choose a point in the class that is resting (i.e. Child’s pose or Down Dog) to excuse yourself, and leave and return quietly.

Communicate: Let your teacher know if you are confused, are having trouble with something, or are experiencing any pain. Your teacher is here to serve you but cannot help if s/he does not know there’s an issue. A quick mention to the teacher or asking for help can be the difference between having a horrible time and being comfortable enough to focus on your practice and other students may benefit from your question!

"I'm just here for the Savasana": Savasana, or Corpse pose, is the last pose we do in class, and consists of lying down on our mats with our bodies relaxed and our eyes closed so that we may absorb the benefits of our yoga practice. This is a very important part of yoga class, so please give yourself a full Savasana! Your teacher will let you know when it’s time to come out of the pose.

Namaste: I end my class my bringing my hands to heart centre and bowing my head down while I say Namaste. Don't be scared off by this, I’m acknowledging the connectedness between us and honouring you for attending class.

After class

Clean your immediate area: If you borrowed a mat from the studio, wipe it down if needed and return it. If there is moisture on the floor around your mat—either from your perspiration or your water bottle—wipe it up with your towel. If you used props, put them back.

Communicate: Speak with your teacher after class if you have any questions or concerns about your yoga practice.

Make sure you take your own belongings: Double-check that those are your shoes! This goes for anything else you leave out during class, like sweatshirts, jackets, or water bottles.

Congratulations on starting your yoga practice! If you'd like to join us for a class, see our class details and events here.