What to Expect in a Yoga Class

What to Expect in a Yoga Class

So you’ve bought a few yoga outfits, you’ve taken your shoes and socks off, and you’ve left your cell phone in your bag. Now what?

  1. Usually the teacher is near the door greeting students or preparing the space for class. This is a great time to let her/him know if you have any injuries or questions. Look at where she has her mat set up and any props that she has grabbed. That is what you probably will need too.
    • Most studios/classrooms will lock the door the moment class starts to prevent people walking in late and causing distractions, and to secure personal belongings/prevent theft while people are in class. If you’re going to be a few minutes late, let a fellow student know so they can open the door for you.
  2. After you’ve grabbed your props and organized the space around your mat (water bottle, towel, props), start to prepare yourself for class. Stretch your muscles, quiet the mind of any distractions or problems. The teacher might have the lights dimmed and soft music playing to assist you in preparing your mind for class. It’s ok to make small talk with other students, just respect other students and refrain from yelling across the room.
  3. There is almost always a warm-up in every class. You will do simple stretching and breathing exercises to wake up your body to prevent injuries and prepare certain muscles for the peak pose or flow.
  4. The teacher may “assist” you in poses throughout the class. The purpose is not to make you feel like a failure in a pose, but help you maintain safe alignment, enhance your breathing in the pose, or provide further relaxation. If having a teacher assist or touch you gives you true anxiety, talk to the teacher before hand so she is aware and can offer assistance in other ways.
  5. The class will begin to pick up in pace or difficulty, building enough heat and strength for the peak pose.
  6. After the peak pose or sequence, the class will begin to cool down, usually with forward folds, long holds in stretchy poses, and ending in Savasana (Corpse pose).
  7. Savasana (Shah-vaah-sah-nah) is the most important pose of the class. Please do yourself and fellow students a favor and don’t leave during Savasana. Usually the lights are dimmed back down, the music soft, and the teacher is going around the room giving out yummy neck and shoulder massages (you really don’t want to miss that!) Tripping over water bottles and dropping props on your way out completely ruins the experience for everyone else.
  8. Expect to enjoy this time to yourself, learn something new about your mind and body, and maybe even laugh at yourself. The only person judging if you fall out of a pose is you.
    • “Falling out of a posture means you are human; getting back into the posture means you are a yogi.” ~ Bikram Choudhury

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