Yoga is an ancient practice that began in India thousands of years ago. Many early texts describing yoga practices were transcribed onto fragile palm leaves, now lost and destroyed by the ravages of time. At its heart, yoga began as a series of physical, mental, and spiritual rituals. Yoga was supposed to help individuals control the senses and the mind. While many people think of yoga as a series of poses that promote physical strength and flexibility, yoga is also about controlling your breath, stilling the mind, and expanding consciousness.
The long and spiritual history of yoga can be intimidating to new practitioners who want to get started practicing this ancient art. How do you prepare for your first yoga class? What can you expect? If you've never attempted it, will it be too overwhelming to step into yoga?
At MUV Chiropractic & Yoga, we don’t want you to feel intimidated about starting a new adventure. We want you to feel prepared and comfortable for your first foray into yoga. That’s why we want to help prepare you for your first yoga class, covering all the essentials like appropriate clothing, the equipment you need to bring, and practical tips for what’s ahead. Yoga can be an enlightening, joyful, and fun experience. We want to help you get the most out of this ancient healing practice.
How to Prepare for Your First Yoga Class
How do you prepare for your first yoga class? First and foremost, you need to get into the right headspace. Starting something for the first time can feel intimidating and overwhelming. It’s understandable to be anxious about your first time. Many people worry about not getting the poses right or not being flexible enough or not being able to follow along with the instructor. A negative attitude can sour your first experience with yoga before you even step into your first pose.
The best way to prepare for your first yoga experience is to bring a good and positive attitude to the first class. At MUV Chiropractic & Yoga, our instructors aim to give you a fulfilling and positive experience. We understand that beginners are all on different pages. That’s okay. We gently walk you through poses and proper technique, including breathing and mobility. You learn and feel supported in ways that excite you about continuing your yoga journey.
What to Wear to Yoga Class for Beginners
Now that you are in the right frame of mind, it is time to prepare for your first beginner's yoga class. Yoga is about flow and movement. Baggy clothing like sweatshirts and loose-fitting sweatpants may feel comfortable and be appropriate for a jog but not for practicing yoga. Your body needs to be able to move and stretch freely. Loose or baggy clothing can hinder your range of motion and make it challenging for your yoga teacher to ensure you are maintaining correct body positioning when practicing yoga poses.
What is appropriate yoga clothing for a beginning yoga class? You want clothing that moves with you as you flow from one pose to the next. Yoga clothes should be comfortable, supportive, and flexible, working with your body, not against it. Most quality yoga clothing should be breathable and moisture-wicking. Women may opt for a comfortable and supportive sports bra or form-fitting athletic shirt that allows their upper body full range of motion. Lower body options are numerous and can include yoga pants, athletic shorts, or leggings. Men practicing yoga for the first time should consider a form-fitting athletic top and yoga pants or shorts. Men may be more comfortable looking for athletic shorts with additional inner compression lining for support and extra coverage.
Don’t forget your undergarments. These should be comfortable and made from breathable materials like cotton so you don’t feel sweaty or wet during your session. You also don’t want to wear undergarments that can shift position, making you uncomfortable, or you’ll be fidgeting instead of focusing. Remember, yoga clothes don’t have to be trendy or expensive. Comfort and support should be primary. Leave jeans, baggy clothing, and too-tight clothing at home or in your locker.
What Do You Need to Bring to Your First Yoga Class?
Yoga doesn’t require a ton of fancy equipment to get started. However, there are a few basics that you need to bring with you to your first yoga class. These basics include:
Water: First and foremost, you need a suitable water bottle to help you stay hydrated throughout your session. People often forget water or leave it behind. Some believe that because yoga isn’t “high impact,” they won’t need water. Nothing is further from the truth. You will want to bring a reusable water bottle with enough water to keep you hydrated during your yoga session. Replenishing your body and flushing out the buildup of toxins is essential.
Yoga Mat: You will also need to bring a yoga mat. Yoga mats help give you traction so you don’t slip when performing yoga poses. It can also help you keep your balance and offers comfortable, springy protection between your body and the ground. Don’t know where to start? Yoga mats about 1/8 inch thick are standard and a good place for beginners to start. PVC mats are durable and offer excellent grip, while natural rubber and jute are more eco-friendly options. TPE mats are a man-made blend of plastic and rubber, more environmentally friendly than PVC, but don’t tend to be as durable. A good mat can make all the difference.
Hand Towel or Yoga Towel: Pack a yoga or hand towel. A towel is handy for wiping the sweat from your head or hands during your session. You’ll also want to use your towel to wipe down your mat or provide extra grip when needed.
Additional Yoga Gear: Other yoga gear you may want to consider includes a gym bag to hold all your stuff, yoga blocks, yoga straps, and a post-workout snack. While not strictly necessary, yoga blocks and straps can help with alignment in some yoga poses.
Are you ready to transition into yoga? At MUV Chiropractic & Yoga, we offer Yoga (Beginners Flow), a class perfect for individuals interested in learning more about yoga and yoga poses. Our yoga teachers can help you flow from one position to another in a supportive environment. When you master the basics, you may be interested in our other yoga programs, Yoga (Intermediate Vinyasa) and Yoga (Standard Vinyasa), to further your yoga journey.