Here's to a new year and: new yogis! Below are some top tips to gear you up before, during and after your first yoga practice. Calm those nerves with these top tips, and walk into your first class with confidence.
Drink water throughout the day, giving your body time to absorb H20 and hydrate properly. If you're like me and have the world's tiniest bladder, you might consider limiting your water intake thirty minutes before class.
Avoid a heavy meal 2-3 hours before class. Try these light snacks instead, your stomach will thank you.
Oatmeal with berries
Quinoa or low fat yogurt with sliced apples
Hydrating smoothie (think spinach, kale, mango or pineapple with coconut water)
Rice cakes with almond butter
Wear non-constrictive workout attire that you feel good in! No need to make a fashion statement. No need to bring a mat either. Most studios will allow you to borrow or rent a mat for your first class.
Arrive at least ten minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor. Don't forget to disclose any injuries or physical limitations. Arriving early will also give you enough time to settle into your mat. (Hint: Prime real estate for new yogis is towards the back of the class. Here, you can peek at seasoned yogis in front of the class if you are having a difficult time following instructor cues.)
Connecting movement with breath is one of the most important parts of the yoga practice. It can be confusing at first, but don't fret! You'll get the hang of it soon. Maybe that's why they call it a yoga practice.
If you can't get into a pose, don't! Seek modifications from the instructor, or hang out in a child's pose for a few breaths.
Your first class will end with Savasana: final relaxation pose. This is your invitation to find a comfortable lying position and tune out the rest of the world for the last few minutes of class. With our busy, buzzing lives, savasana may be the most important posture in our yoga practice. Allow your body to be still and find one thing to focus on (I like to concentrate on my breath). Oh, and don't judge yourself if you're thinking about your next trip to the grocery store or what you're going to make the kids for dinner. This is totally natural.
You can lose 3.5 lbs of water weight during a typical yoga class. Be sure to re-hydrate with water, electrolytes, or coconut water.
Just like any exercise, post workout fuel is crucial to muscle repair. It's best to eat a balanced meal of protein, fats and carbs 30-60 minutes after class.