Your First Time… Trying a Yoga Class

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

Yoga is a great way to improve your strength, gain flexibility, and relieve tension in your body, but for a newbie considering taking a class for the first time the many different types of classes to choose from combined with the jitters of trying something new in a group setting could be enough to make you want to forget the whole thing.  But don’t be discouraged! To help you navigate the yoga waters, we asked Melanie Cuccia, a certified Group and Private Vinyasa Yoga Instructor, to give us some tips to make your first time trying a yoga class a fun and rewarding experience.

The Daily Quirk: Lets say I am interested in taking a yoga class, where should I start?

Melanie Cuccia: To prepare for your first yoga class, figure out which type of yoga you would like to try. There are so many out there and you might have to do a bit of research first to find the best fit for you. Here’s a great website to check out with the most common types of yoga explained .

TDQ: Ok, so I’ve picked a type of yoga and signed up. What do I wear to my first class?

MC: Wear comfortable clothes that you can move freely in, but that fit well, so you don’t end up with your shirt over your head in downdog! Sweatpants, capris, or shorts, and a tank top or tee are perfect!

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

TDQ: Is there anything I need to bring with me?

MC: Just bring yourself, some water (ok, maybe tons of water if it’s been a while since the last time you exercised), and maybe a friend or some questions. Most yoga studios provide free mats and towels for you to use or they might charge a dollar or two as a rental fee. Just call up your studio and ask.

TDQ: Entering a new class of any kind can be a little anxiety inducing. Is there any kind of yoga class etiquette you can share to help me get acquainted?

MC: The most important thing to do is introduce yourself and don’t be shy. Let the instructor know if you have any questions. Make sure you let him or her know if you don’t want to be touched because most yoga teachers walk around the room and give hands on adjustments or assists, Also be sure to let the instructor know if you have or had any injuries or if you are pregnant. Remember to breathe and that laughing is ok. Just try not to be a loud distraction.

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

TDQ: Sometimes it helps knowing what to expect. What’s the first move someone is likely to learn?

MC: The first pose you’re going to learn seems kind of silly, but it’s actually pretty difficult for most people. You’ll learn to find a comfortable seated pose. You’ll start off class this way, with your eyes closed, focusing on your breath, and working on getting out of your own mind. While you’re finding this “easy” pose, you can use all different kinds of props to help you. Most yoga studios have blocks, blankets, and boulders to help you out. Using the boulders and blankets also make it super comfy!

TDQ: What should I keep in mind if I want to have a successful first lesson?

MC: If you want to have a successful first lesson, try to let go of any fears you may have when you step into the yoga room. Try to live in the moment. Be yourself and just breathe.

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

Image Credit: lululemon athletica

TDQ: Any other tips or tricks you can share?

MC: If you’re not happy in the class you’re in, don’t give up. Try a new class! There are so many teachers out there with all different styles of teaching. And there are so many different kinds of yoga. There is a style of yoga out there for you.

TDQ: How about advice for aspiring yoga fanatics?

MC: Don’t try to overdo the poses or compete with the people around you. Yoga is about you and finding your true self.

We would like to thank Melanie for the wonderful tips and hope they give you the courage to get out there and try your first yoga class! If you are located in the NY Metro Area and are interested in taking one of Melanie’s classes at  The Yoga Collective NYC in Midtown, Manhattan or Kid’s Fitness World in Rutherford, NJ, you can get more information via Melanie’s Yoga Page or by emailing her at: MelanieCuccia {at} gmail {dot} com

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