Infos for your first Yoga class

If you have never attended a Yoga class before, there are some things that are useful to know before you do so. Here is a list of information that we hope is useful for you. If you have any questions about Yoga in general, public or private classes, do's and don'ts in a Yoga shala, or anything else, feel free to ask us! We believe that Yoga is for everyone and all of us were beginners at some point, so we're happy to help you find your way into the world of Yoga!

 

This list is being updated and expanded on a regular basis, but if you find something is missing, please let us know! Thank you!


Before your first class:

  • Yoga is for everyone. However you are, to do Yoga you are flexible enough, slim enough, healthy enough, strong enough and you know enough. And if you want to improve in any of these fields, time will bring it.
  • A lot of studios offer so-called drop-in classes that don't require registration beforehand. You normally find information about them and a schedule on the studio's website.
  • There are many many MANY different types of Yoga classes. You find explanations of some traditional classes on our lessons page. If a studio doesn't explicitly offer beginner's classes, we advice starting with a Hatha Yoga class.
  • There should be three or four hours between your last meal and your Yoga session. If you really need to eat something during that time let it something pure and soft (e.g. a banana).
  • All studios we've come to know so far always offered Yoga mats and props, though sometimes ask a fee for the rental.
  • Wear comfortable sports clothes in which you can stretch and move easily. No need for special shoes as Yoga is done barefoot.
  • Make sure to arrive about 20 min early to make sure you can prepare all the props you need and settle in stress-free.
  • If mats aren't already spread out, grab a mat and place it with the short edge pointing towards the front of the room wherever you feel comfortable. We know, there is an urge to take a spot in the back, but especially if you're unfamiliar with Yoga poses, make sure you pick a spot where you can easily see and hear the teacher and the teacher can see you.
  • When you've laid out your mat, prepare offered props, normally consisting of a belt, two Yoga blocks and a cushion or bolster. Keep those next to your mat within reach.
  • There are some teachers who like to keep silence in the Yoga Shala (Sanskrit for "home" or "abode" - means the place where you practice Yoga) before a class. You will notice immediately from the atmosphere in the room. If so, it is a "noble silence", means if you have an urgent question, you are of course allowed to pose it. Otherwise just sit down comfortably, find stillness and look forward to the practice.

During class:

  • From beginning to end, it is your personal practice. Listen to your body! If you feel pain, stop! If you have trouble, pause and try a variation of a pose. A good teacher will offer you options all throughout the class. Take whatever option suits you best and makes you feel good!
  • You can pose questions during the class, but make sure they don't interrupt the flow of the lesson. Often it is easier to wait a moment as a lot of questions get answered over the course of the class.
  • If you didn't understand a verbal cue, look at the teacher or other students for visual cues. If you are still uncertain, signal the teacher and he or she will help you.
  • Yoga poses are called Asanas (literally "seat", modern "pose" or "position") and come originally in Sanskrit names. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language and is often called the "language of Yoga". Your teacher might use Sanskrit words, but should always give you their translation into whatever language the class is in.
  • Even if the teacher didn't explicitly tell you so: You always have the option to come into a resting pose, e.g. child's pose (kneel down, sit onto your heels, let your body rest on your legs and either stretch your arms forward or have them rest by your side).
  • Have fun! There might be a lot of information pouring down on you and you might be clueless about positions more often than not, but that's all part of the journey. Just enjoy the ride and let the magic of Yoga pull you in!

At the end of class:

  • Clean your mat and put it back, together with all the props you used.
  • Of course you can ask the teacher questions, just make sure that they are short and precise and don't take up enormous amounts of time (which technically is the teacher's free time). If you have inquiries that ask for an in-depth discussion, you might want to book a private lesson to dive into any questions you might have.
  • At the end of the class teacher and students say "Namaste". There are different meanings of this word, here is our favourite:

I honour the place in you

in which the entire universe dwells.

I honour the place in you

which is of love, light, peace and joy.

When you are in that place in you

and I am in that place in me,

we are one.