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Beginner Yoga Classes: What to Expect & How to Prepare

Finally thinking about starting your yoga journey? This chapter is exciting, but can also be intimidating. That’s with anything, right? Fortunately, yoga withdraws any judgement and meets you right where you’re at. As you begin your journey, you may run into some difficulties, but in time, you’ll see that yoga is more than just a physical practice. We know that yoga offered a myriad of physical and mental benefits, making it an ideal practice for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

What I love about a beginner yoga class is that a student has nothing to lose and everything to gain in a gentle, slow paced class. A beginner yoga class is also amazing for a yogi who has been practicing for years. Getting back to the basics every now and then is a humbling challenge. You can refine your skills, pick up new ideas, and explore new concepts within yoga. Above all, it allows the yogi to remember why they began practicing.

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through what you can expect from a beginner yoga class and how to prepare for it. This may look different depending on if you’re practicing at home or in a studio. Nevertheless, make this journey your own, have fun, and let yourself be a beginner!

Preparation – Yoga Props and Accessories:

  • Invest in a yoga mat
  • Wear stretchy, comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely
  • Wear a pair of ankle socks so you can take your shoes off while practicing
  • Have a water bottle with you to keep hydrated before and after the class.
  • If you’re practicing in a studio, arrive to class 10 minutes before class starts to get acquainted with the space and introduce yourself to the instructor. Now would be the time to let your instructor know about any physical limitations you may have and your experience level.
  • If you’re practicing at home alongside a guided video, create some space where you’re practicing, minimize distractions as best as possible, and leave your phone in a different room. If possible, try to practice in front of a large mirror to check/adjust your form.

What to Expect:

As a beginner, you can expect thorough instructions from your instructor. You’ll most likely always begin with simple stretches to stimulate your muscles and engage your body effectively. From there, they will guide you through each pose, explaining proper alignment and modifications to accommodate different experience levels. Some instructors may provide hands-on assistance for proper alignment, but do make sure they ask you for consent. If you’d like the hands-on assist and they don’t ask for consent, you can either ask them privately to help you if they deem it necessary or you may want to consider a private 1:1 yoga session.

If you’re practicing at home by yourself alongside a guided video, you may find it helpful to watch the sequence first to see the proper alignment, and then replicate yourself.

During your class, you’ll be introduced to foundational yoga poses that form the structure of most yoga practices. These may include Mountain Pose, Downward Dog, Cat/Cow Pose, Warrior Poses, Cobra Pose, and others. Embrace the learning process and remember that everyone starts somewhere.

If you’re learning through videos at home, it would be supportive to search for the foundational basics videos and learn each posture from the ground up in separate videos. Yoga with Adrienne has an entire series on this.

Beyond the physical practice of yoga, you can expect an emphasis on breathing exercises to bring awareness to your body and steer you toward the present moment. Yoga helps a student connect with themselves on a deeper level to encourage personal development.

Attending your first beginner yoga class can be an empowering experience. Embrace the process, stay patient with yourself, and remember that yoga is not just a physical practice; it’s a journey of self-discovery. So take that first step onto the mat with a smile, and be open to the positive changes yoga can bring to your life.

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