Yoga is a personal practice everyone can do and benefit from. However, if you’re new and don’t know what to expect coming into a studio for the first time can be uncomfortable. What should I wear? Why do they call it a practice? Does going to a yoga studio mean I need to chant Sanskirt with my foot behind my head while worshipping Shiva and maintaining a vegetarian diet??? If that lights you up WONDERFUL, we can hold space for you, but it’s certainly not required. We’re just happy you’re here and honored to share the physical, mental and heart centered practice of Yoga with you.
At Yoga Six we offer Yoga from a place of individual participation and expression. There’s no right or wrong way to practice. Simply coming to your mat with an open mind and heart is all you need to reap the benefits of this age-old tradition. That said here are some insights to get you started on your first day.
Selecting a Class
If you can do Sun Salutations in your sleep AND have practiced in a hot studio skip this question – you know the drill. However, if you’re new to yoga or have never practiced in a hot studio selecting the right class is crucial to a positive first experience at Yoga Six! Students who are familiar with yoga but have never practiced in heat might want to start in Y6 Flow, Warm 60, Athletic Deep Stretch or one of our yoga alternatives, Y6 Barre or Y6 Sculpt). For students with little or no yoga experience we recommend Yoga Fundamentals, Restorative Yoga or Y6 Ignite. We also offer Personal Yoga Plans free of charge.
Arriving at the Studio
For your first class arrive 10 to 15 minutes early. Check in at the front desk, take off your shoes and place them in the shoe cubbies. Locker rooms are available to change, store your belongings or take a shower. If you have any injuries please share with the front desk and let your instructor know.
Entering the Practice Room
When you’re ready, quietly enter the practice room and gently lay your mat on the floor. You may find other students sitting quietly in meditation, stretching or relaxing on their mats. Please make yourself comfortable and honor the quiet space as you wait for class to begin.
The Urge to Compare
In a class setting it’s natural to notice the other students and compare. You may even find yourself thinking some students are “better than you” at yoga. Do not be discouraged! We don’t expect you to do handstands on your first class and neither should you. Everyone starts somewhere and every place on the path in honorable. Notice when the mind wanders off and starts spinning a story; bring it back to your breath and the movement being offered. Be kind to yourself and your body, know that strength and flexibility come over time with practice. Yoga is not a competition, it’s an experience.
Perfecting the Posture
Yoga is not about being able to do the perfect pose. In fact, perfect poses don’t exist and no two poses will look exactly alike! This is because each of us has a unique body type and structure. Yoga is a practice of meeting your body where it is on any given day and noticing what shows up. If everyday were the same – like Groundhog Day – life would be boring and predictable.
Listening to YOUR Body
Your body is dynamic, and so is your yoga practice. Though it sounds cliché no 2 days are exactly alike. A posture that feels good one day might feel crappy the next. Listen to your body as your practice, and if a posture doesn’t feel good don’t do it!!! You don’t need to practice every pose every time. If you’re tired, lightheaded or begin to feel the “tw” in twinge PAUSE. Back off and take a breather in a resting posture like down dog, child’s pose or corpse pose. Honor your body and rejoin the class when you’re ready.
The Infamous Resting Pose
Yoga classes end with a final pose called “shavasana” or corpse pose. You will be instructed to lay on your back, arms and legs outstretched. From there the teacher will guide you into relaxation. This restorative posture is very important as it enables you to absorb and integrate the benefits of the other postures and restore the body to its natural state. During this time the teacher may come around and massage shoulders or neck. The completion of class is as important as the beginning and middle. We strongly recommend that you do not skip this life enhancing opportunity to just be.
When Class Ends/After Class
If there isn’t a class beginning right after yours concludes, your instructor might offer the option to remain in relaxation for an extended period of time. Feel free to remain longer if this option is given. Whenever you depart quietly roll up your mat Wand return props – blocks and straps – to where they are stored. Exit silently in order to respect the quiet space. Drink plenty of water or after class, especially if you practiced in a heated room. Coconut water is always a great option as it helps to replenish the electrolyte balance.