Basic Yoga Tips

Tips and Tricks for a More Enjoyable Yoga Class

  1. Tell your yoga teacher if you have any current or former injuries (shoulders/knees, etc) so she/he can offer pose variations to reduce the chances of aggravating or re-injuring yourself.
  2. Just like when you go to the dentist or the doctor, tell the teacher if you are pregnant. Like above, there are many modifications that a pregnant woman needs to take so you and your baby are kept safe, especially in the first trimester. Even if you haven’t told the important people in your life, pull the teacher aside. The teacher won’t (and shouldn’t) point out the pregnant ones in the class if it isn’t obvious, but will discreetly offer you options and variations to certain poses throughout the class.
  3. Unless you have special grippy socks made for yoga, don’t wear socks. You won’t have the traction needed and may slide or fall out of poses and possibly injure yourself. Also, take your shoes off before coming into the yoga room to prevent rolling around in South Dakota dirt (manure).
  4. You don’t have to wear fancy $100 yoga pants to practice yoga, but do wear tighter-ish clothing. Many poses put you in an upside-down angle (downdog pose) and if you’re wearing a big, baggy t-shirt, it will flip over your head, showing off your hard rock abs while bunching at your face and suffocating you. Target has fun yet still cost-effective options for yoga clothes for both men and women.
  5. This one is for the ladies: wear supportive bras (preferably sports bras). I usually wear a sports bra underneath my yoga top for extra support, and even then, I’m surprised how strong gravity can be with my less-endowed chest.
  6. Bring a water bottle and a small washcloth/hand towel if you are the sweaty type. Keep in mind you will probably be using props throughout the class, so be mindful of “the stuff” on and around your mat, and respect the spaces of others also.
  7. Yoga is really just a breathing exercise. If you are panting and grimacing through the poses, you are working too hard. Find downdog or child’s pose until your breath is more controlled.
  8. Turn your cell phone off and leave it with your shoes at the door. This is your time to yourself and you can’t achieve complete relaxation with notifications and messages continually interrupting your practice. If you must keep it on your side, turn your phone on silent to decrease the distraction for the other students.

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