I've been there, wanting to try something new. I was so scared to do the dang thing because I thought I'd look silly, I would have no clue what I'm doing, and everyone would be staring at me. Sound familiar?
In fact, these are the exact thoughts running through my head the first 5 times I went to yoga class.
Yup that's no typo, 5 classes... in 6 years to be exact. I swore off yoga 5 times before I realized that yoga was something I could in fact, actually do.
So yeah, I totally get it, trying something new is scary.
Here’s the thing, I don’t want you to waste once more second letting fear keep you from trying that yoga class, and I certainly don't want it to take you 6 years.
It's time to get your butt on that yoga mat and I wanna help you with 6 tips to make your first yoga class a little less scary.
1. Do your research.
I know what you’re thinking, “research what Dominique? I know nothing about yoga except the word downward dog.”
I’m not talking about that research, I ‘m talking about learning a little bit about your studio of choice like,
♡ do you need to sign up in advance?
♡ how many people are in the class?
♡ is there paperwork to fill out?
♡ are there beginner classes or classes that provide personalized attention?
Trust me, it’s worth it to not walk in feeling like there’s a ton of paperwork, there’s no room for you because you didn’t sign up. I’ve been there.
2. What do you need?
Again, I can only speak for Body Mind Fitness here… but props are available if you want, or you can bring your own - I’m easy like that. All I ask if you wipe your props after you use them - it’s just the right thing to do.
Don’t run out and snag a $100 pair of leggings, just dress comfortably… whatever that means to you. Oh and no socks, I wanna make sure you’re safe - and SOCKS + YOGA MAT = SLIPPERY.
Speaking of comfortable, definitely eat before class, but try to avoid a big meal… have you ever laid on your stomach after a big meal. Yuck!
3. Arrive early.
While I can’t speak for every yoga studio, there’s at least 15 mins before and after all my classes, so no one feels super rushed.
This’ll give you lots of time to check out the space, find the perfect spot, scope out the bathroom, chat with the teacher, and really settle into the space more comfortably. In fact, this is my number one tip when walking into a class for the first time.
4. The spotlight effect.
Trust me when I say “no one’s watching you.” You probably don’t believe me, I wouldn’t have believe me. I get it, everyone looks like they know exactly what they’re doing, and you’re worried about looking ridiculous.
Guess what? Everyone of those people were new once, and they’re way to wrapped up in their own practice. No one is watching you. No one is judging you. They’re just super excited that you’re here.
5. It’s normal you’ll feel weird… maybe even uncomfortable.
First there’s the emotional part, having no clue what to expect, Don’t judge all yoga by one class. There are various styles and teachers bring their own flare - and if you’re first class has the word Kundalini in it… pick another one. I love kundalini yoga, but it’s a little woo woo for your first ever class.
You are your best teacher. You know your own body better than anyone else and if something feels wrong, it probably is.
Then there’s the physical part. I have one rule, can you breathe and smile at the same time? If not take a step back. Meet your body where you’re at today. Maybe you didn’t eat your Wheaties this morning (this post is not sponsored by Wheaties and I’m not saying Wheaties will make or breath your yoga class… do Wheaties even exist anymore)?
6. Turn off your phone.
Give yourself and those around you a much deserved break. That’s all.
I’m all about making yoga and fitness accessible as women as possible, and step one is just getting you into class.
So whaddya think? Still nervous? I have one more suggestion for you that's perfect for you.
Book a private yoga session, this is the perfect place to move at your own pace and explore yoga in your own way.
- practice the must know poses so feel like a boss walking into any group class
- modifying your favourite poses for your injury
- gain more flexibility, mobility & strength
- relieving stress and pain management
- managing and preventing core and pelvic floor dysfunction
More than anything, I want you to feel supported on this journey so you can feel strong and confident in your movement practices.
Give these tips a try, and get your butt into a yoga class. You'll soon be looking back and wondering why you didn't try it sooner.
Dominique Gauthier is a wife, mama to 4 (2 Bonus Kids + 2 Rainbow Babies), and the boss babe behind Body Mind Fitness located in London (Lambeth), ON. As a Personal Trainer, Yoga Teacher & Pelvic Floor Expert, she empowers women to connect with their core + pelvic floor so they feel strong and confident. Her goal is to help women lead an active lifestyle with education and a body-positive sustainable approach to becoming their best selves.