Wahoo! You’ve made the decision to go to your local yoga class tonight, well done! You’ve made the right decision.
Before rolling out your mat, handing over your hand earned cash or beginning the sun salutes here’s some tops tips to help you get the most out you’re your yoga practice:
- Set off in plenty of time
You don’t want to run into class, panting, whilst the other students are halfway into their second downward dog. You want to arrive around 10 – 15 minutes early. This will give you enough time to greet the teacher, let them know of any injuries you may have, roll out your mat in a decent place and take a few quiet breaths before the class begins.
You’ll enjoy your practice a lot more if you ease into it gently rather than throw yourself onto the mat and quickly and quietly as possible.
- Drink lots of water
Traditional yoga teachers advise not to drink water during your practice as is douses the internal ‘agni’, the fire you create internally when practising. Obviously in the health and safety conscious west a teacher would never forbid you to drink, just advice against it. Therefore drink lots before a practice. This should stop you feeling thirsty yet keep that internal agni burning.
Yes, it may seem a bit weird stretching before a class that includes lots of stretching but it’s nice to warm up your muscles and release and tensions before you get into full swing. Maybe a few ‘walking the dogs’ (downward dog with paddles feet) or a pigeon to open the hips.
- Take some deep breaths
Meditating before your yoga practice will help you bring your mind into the right place to commence your moving meditation. Just sit on your mat, close your eyes, forget about your journey to class and breathe away the stresses of your day.
- Talk to people
If you’ve turned up in plenty of time then utilise it by making some new friends. If it’s a class you attend regularly you’ll begin to notice a few familiar faces. Chat to them, talk about how your practice is progress or probe them for tips. You’ll also notice a few new faces each week, talk to the newbies too! They feel nervous and ‘out of the group’ so approach them, ask them if they have practised before and tell them how much yoga has helped you with your back pain/ flexibility/ confidence etc. Yoga does, after all, mean ‘union’. So unite!