Avoid taking a class on a full stomach: Trying to do yoga too soon after a meal will hinder your practice. In order for your body to get the most out of the class, the stomach shouldn’t be digesting something heavy. I suggest eating at least 2 hours before practice, but if this isn’t possible, having a banana 20 minutes before class should be okay.
Wear comfortable clothes and go barefoot: Clothes that allow for free movement are best. Make sure it isn’t too loose-fitting – remember it’s going to fall down or even fall up when the body is inverted for certain poses.
Arrive early: Head to the Studio at least 10 minutes before the class is due to start in case there’s paperwork to fill out or if you want to ask about any introductory discounts for new students. Arriving early also gives you a chance to set up in a prime location and perhaps even connect with the teacher. The doors close 2 minutes before the class begins.
Grab all the props: Make sure you let Becs McBride Yoga know if you don’t have your own mat and need to rent one. Feel free to bring your own blanket, it will make all the seated postures — plus the final relaxation — even more enjoyable. You can pick up whatever additional props are available when you get to class. A strap, brick and block all offer something a little different to a beginner’s practice, but each helps your body get into a deeper version of a pose. Straps and blocks give you a little extra room to twist.
There might be chanting: there might be some Sanskrit chanting at the start or at the end of class. If you’re not comfortable with this, there’s no pressure to take part. Simply relax, breathe, and keep an open mind. If you’re interested in trying, do your best to keep up with the class, but no one will notice or mind if you mess up a few words.
No need for socks or gloves: While sticky yoga socks and gloves are marketed to yoga beginners, there’s actually no need to invest in either of these unnecessary accessories. In fact they provide your body with a false sense of being grounded into your mat, something that a consistent yoga practice will do naturally with time.
Release the tension: Clenching your fingers, toes, or even your jaw is very common when you’re first starting out. The more you let go and release this stress from your body, the easier every pose will feel. Keeping things loose and comfortable will allow for a better experience, and once you’ve chilled out, you’ll find that you’re able to hold poses for longer.
Breath is everything: Pay attention to how shallow your breath is at the beginning of class and if it’s deeper and more relaxed at the end of class. When you feel your mind wander, think about lengthening your inhalations and exhalations. It’s the best way to calm down and dive back into your practice with a fresh outlook.
Child’s Pose is always an option: There might be yogis of all levels practicing in class, so if there’s a pose you don’t understand or aren’t ready to try, don’t be afraid to take rest in a gentle Child’s Pose. This posture is always an option if you lose your connection to your breath during class. It will help you to tune into your body’s needs.
Savasana: Each practice finishes with a Savasana. This simple posture is done by lying your back with your arms and legs spread. Eyes are closed and the breath is deep. The whole body is relaxed. It’s a chance for your body to simultaneously integrate and let go of the yoga practice just experienced. Many consider it the most important pose in yoga. And the lessons it offers are truly beautiful.
Trust the teacher: Moving at your teacher’s pace might be difficult. Regardless of whether it’s feeling too fast or too slow, trust their choices for sequencing and do your best to stay on track with the rest of the class. There will be hands on with adjustments from time to time. If you’re not comfortable with the teacher making adjustments to your poses, then please just let us know.
Be a beginner: In a few months, you might be taking every yoga push-up (Chaturanga) possible, but let yourself have the opportunity to be a real beginner! Revered in a yoga practice, the idea of a “beginner’s mind” means heading to your mat with no preconceived notions about what you can or can’t accomplish or poses you can or can’t do. Keeping this positive outlook and leaving expectations at the door will result in the best experience possible.