How To Prepare For Your First Yoga Class

Yoga is a surprisingly restorative practice that can burn a few calories while improving your flexibility and your inner calm. If you are new to the practice, then a yoga class is just the thing to get you started right. The following tips can help you prepare for your first class.

Dress comfortably

Your clothing choices are the most important for comfort. Many people choose to wear leggings or loosely fitted yoga pants as well as a form-fitted shirt. This is because overly loose clothing can drape uncomfortably or even ride up in certain positions, which can show more of your body than you are comfortable with. You want clothing that is elastic enough to allow for easy movement, but it should also provide moisture wicking abilities since yoga is not a sweat-free practice. Standard yoga clothing, as well as most gym clothes, are suitable. Shoes and socks aren't a concern since most yoga studios require bare feet.

Be hydrated

Drink plenty of water before you head to the studio. You don't want to feel bloated, but you do want to be well hydrated. If you are participating in hot yoga or Bikram yoga class, where sweating profusely is the norm, hydration is even more important as is avoiding caffeine for a few hours prior to class. A light snack an hour or so before class is fine, but larger meals will affect your movements and can leave you uncomfortable or nauseous during the class. Also, don't forget to bring a water bottle -- you'll need to stay hydrated after class, too.

Inquire about mats

Yoga generally uses a few pieces of equipment, but mats are a must. Some studios provide mats either for free or for rental, while others require that you bring your own. Ask the studio beforehand what their policy is on mats so you can be prepared. Other optional props, like yoga blocks and straps, are generally provided by the studio for students that need them. This is especially true in beginner classes, where props are more often needed. If you are unsure, though, don't be afraid to ask.

Arrive early

Arriving late is disrespectful to both the class and the instructor, but it is especially important to arrive early for your first class at a studio. You will likely need to fill out paperwork if you haven't been before, as well as arrange payment, which can take a few minutes. It's also a good idea to speak with the instructor before class so you can let them know this is your first time doing yoga. This is also a good time to inform them of any physical limitations, such as injuries or conditions that contraindicate certain movements. A good teacher can help you find alternate poses for those you can't do.

For more help, contact yoga classes in your area.