By Ntathu Allen
Congratulations!!! You have rang your local Yoga Studio and signed up for your first ever Yoga lesson. After the initial “yeah, feel-good-vibes”, you sit down and wonder what to expect.
As a Yoga Teacher, I receive many enquiries from potential students, anxious about what to expect when they join a class.
Here, in no particular order are the seven most popular questions I am asked by new yogis prior to starting their first yoga lesson.
Seven Most Popular Questions Asked By New Yogis
1. What Do I Wear ?
When you practice yoga it is essential you wear loose comfortable clothing. Clothes that enable you to move your body freely without restrictions and in which you feel at ease in, for example, yoga pants and a cotton tee-shirt. Some schools of yoga prefer students to wear tee-shirts which cover your shoulders and preserve your modesty.
Other schools, for example Iygenar prefer students to wear shorts, so that the teacher can accurately see your body and make appropriate adjustments.
Some ladies prefer to wear leotards and leggings when they practice yoga. Again, it is a personal choice.
2. Can I Eat Before My Class?
Generally speaking, it is best to practice yoga on an empty stomach. If it is a heavy meal, try to eat at least 60 – 90 minutes before your class.
3. I Am Over 40 Years Old, Am I Too Old To Start Yoga?
Absolutely not! Regardless of age yoga can be started at any age. In fact, in my experience, mature students approach yoga with a quiet determination to use their practice to let go of past hurts and regain their flexibility and strength. If you have not practiced any form of exercise for a while, then yoga, with its emphasis on gentle stretching and relaxation techniques, offers you a gentle introduction into living a more active lifestyle.
4. I Am Pregnant And Have Heard That Yoga Is Good Preparation For Childbirth. Is This True?
Yes, yoga exercises and relaxation techniques are perfect preparation and exercise for pregnant women. Breathing practices and relaxation techniques help your body adapt to the physical and emotional changes your body undergoes. Whilst meditation exercises encourage you to turn your mind inwards and connect with your inner strength – all necessary preparation for labour.
If you are pregnant and this is your first experience of yoga, it is advisable to attend a Pre-Natal/Yoga For Pregnancy Class where the teacher will be able to adapt yoga poses to your particular stage of pregnancy.
5. I Am Really Stiff And Suffer From Back Pain – Can Yoga Help Me Relieve My Back Pain?
If you suffer from back pain, it is essential that you seek advise from your Doctor before starting any form of exercise. Yoga postures, such as the cobra, half spinal twist can help to strengthen weak back muscles and improve the flexibility of your spine. With regular practice, yoga will help to ease back pain.
6. How Long Does A Yoga Session Last?
Classes usually last 60 – 90 minutes. Generally, your yoga class will consist of an initial relaxation, a few rounds of the Sun Salutation, breathing exercises, yoga postures and a final relaxation. Some classes include a period of guided meditation as part of the lesson.
7. I Am Stiff And Not Used To Sitting Cross- Legged On the Floor – How Will I Cope?
Generally speaking, most people are not used to sitting cross-legged. If you have problems with your knees, stiff hips, lower back pain you will find it easier to sit on a cushion with your legs stretched out in front of you. Alternatively, you can always practice yoga seated on a chair. If you are nervous about sitting on the floor, have a quiet word with your Yoga teacher before the class and she can advise you on different easy seated postures.
There you have it. Seven popular concerns new yogis have when they start yoga. Let me know if your concern isn’t covered and I will be happy to offer you support to ensure you enjoy your first yoga class.
Ntathu Allen, Hatha Yoga Teacher works with women who want a richer, more fulfilling life for themselves and their families. She inspires and supports you to take time-out from your busy schedule to care for and nurture your mind, body and soul. To find out more go to: https://www.yogainspires.co.uk and sign up for your FREE weekly copy of Ntathu’s Yoga Guide To Better Health, Inner Peace And monthly Yoga Inspires newsletter