You’ve made the commitment to fitness and you need to prepare for a yoga class. Before you get in there and start practicing yoga moves like downward dog, or tree, you need to take a few things into consideration. The first, naturally, is to consult your healthcare provider. This is especially important if you haven’t practiced an exercise regime for a while and you have health issues like muscle problems, osteoporosis, or chronic conditions that might affect the degree to which you can be a participant in a yoga class. The medical professional may also issue specific guidelines to prepare for doing yoga. In most cases, he or she will give you the go ahead, but may want you to avoid certain poses.
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?
You might start by purchasing a yoga mat. This is an inexpensive item; however, you can check ask the instructor if he or she provides mats. If you are using a mat from the class, be sure to bring a nice big beach towel to cover it up. Yoga can be vigorous, and cause a lot of sweating, and the last thing you want to do when you’re trying relaxed poses is to go nose down on a smelly mat. If you’re fairly certain yoga is for you, then having your own mat is a good investment.
What Should I Wear?
The right clothes can help you be more comfortable as you participate in a yoga class. You should wear loose, but fitting, comfortable clothes. Don’t make the mistake of wearing giant clothes, as your yoga instructor needs to evaluate your body in the different poses and help you correct any poses. He or she won’t be able to see very well if your clothes are several sizes too large. Also, women should wear a well-fitted sports bra, to give you support but not cause discomfort or pinching.
Do I Fast to Prepare for a Yoga Class?
Most instructors will ask that you come to the class with an empty stomach. Yet we live busy lives, and the class schedule may mean going for hours without food. Generally one can consider the stomach empty two hours after eating. If you have to eat, try a light meal like a protein shake or a fruit or green salad, so you won’t feel too full. If you take a class first thing in the morning, then you can breakfast after class. However, be certain to have a big glass of water prior to leaving for the class. You don’t want to get dehydrated.
How Else Do I Prepare for a Yoga Class?
If you are new, be sure the class you are taking is for beginning students, or that the instructor offers modified poses for beginners. Yoga has its great instructors, and also ones that are not so fantastic. Often yoga studios will offer a reduced price if you buy several sessions at once. Unless you know and like the instructor, don’t invest yet. You may want to try out several studios before deciding on your yoga home.
Beyond price considerations, think about yoga as an opportunity to do something nice for yourself, and good for you. Once you get into the studio or classroom, prepare by opening up to not just the physical exercise of yoga, but also its spiritual side. Being mentally prepared can increase your satisfaction with the yoga experience.