10 Ways to Prepare for Your Yoga Practice
January is officially half way over; so how are you doing with your New Years Resolutions? Many people make the same New Years Resolutions, and in recent years close to 40% of people have made fitness and health focused resolutions. But for those of you that are going from 0 to 100, finding out where to start in your exercise routine can be a challenge.
Yoga is a popular practice for those that want to feel the burn, but add some mindfulness to their routine. So for those of you that are just starting out, been away for a while or just want a refresher here are 10 things you should know before your first yoga class.
- Don’t eat right before class – In order to do some of the moves comfortably, your stomach can’t be full. Try eating an hour before class.
- Get there early – Many exercise classes fill up fast; and since it’s your first time you’ll want the ability to get acclimated to the studio.
- Get all the props – If you don’t own a yoga mat call and see if you can rent one from your studio. While there, pick up a block, strap and whatever other props the studio has in order to make your practice more enjoyable.
- Chanting is OK – Some yoga studios chant during their practice, don’t feel pressured to join in if you’re not comfortable. Simply relax and enjoy the class the way you would.
- Bare feet allowed – Some studios may try to sell you sticky socks and gloves; these things are not a requirement. Your bare feet are more than enough.
- Let it go – Release any tension in your body that may be there. You may clench your jaw or tense your shoulders up. Be mindful of your stress spots and let them go.
- Embrace your breath – You will realize breathing deeply will help you relax more and help you go deeper into your stretch.
- We love Child’s Pose – Whenever you feel overwhelmed or just want a break, feel free to go into Child’s Pose; no one will judge you.
- Trust your instructor – You may feel the practice is too much for you, but just take it at your own pace. Many time instructors will offer modifications of poses for those who need them.
- Embrace where you are – Everyone has to be a beginner at some point, embrace your current stage. Learn from others, listen to yourself and ask as many questions as you need to.
For those of you that want to try your exercise practice at home, here’s a great 10-minute video to get started.
READ MORE: 10 Easy Exercises to Do at Your Desk
This article covers the mindfulness and exercise pillars of the Living Happier @Work program.