OK, so this is it, you’ve bitten the bullet, taken the plunge and signed up for your first ever yoga class.
You’re probably plagued with questions: What do I bring? When do I arrive? What if I’m late? What if I need a wee? What shall I wear? What if I’m no good? Will I be the worst? Will everyone look at me? What will it be like? Will she make me close my eyes? I hate that. Oh. My. God. What if I fart? Goodness gracious me, why have I even signed up for this? Maybe it’s not too late, I can probably cancel.
Ok first things first – take a deep breath, and remember that one of the primary intentions of yoga is to reduce stress, not increase it!
And even if you are plagued with all those questions, we yoga teachers are trained to set your mind at rest and encourage you to relax.
And… trust me… you are absolutely, completely, utterly, not the only person to ask those questions! It’s all perfectly normal.
OK, so now we’ve taken a deep breath and remembered that we are normal – let’s address all the issues (and note – these issues are as they relate to my classes – some of the details may be different if you are attending another teacher’s class somewhere else):
What do I bring?
If you’re coming to a class in Paradise with me – just bring yourself, an open mind and a smile. Nothing else is required.
I provide the mats and all the props. I have water and bamboo cups. I have a place for you to pop your coat, jumper, phone, wallet and keys. We don’t do anything remotely sweaty, so you don’t need a towel.
When do I arrive?
At Paradise Yoga, the Owl Door opens ten minutes before class (“What’s an Owl Door?” I hear you ask. It’s the gate at the side of our house, leading down to the studio, and it’s locked except for when there’s a class on).
No need to arrive earlier than this, because me and my Owl Door won’t be quite ready for you.
If it is your first ever time to Paradise Yoga and/or to any yoga and/or you have a special condition, issue or other consideration I might need to know about – please get here the full 10 minutes before.
This gives you time to register, sign the waiver, find the loo, tell me what’s going on with you, take your shoes off, admire the view, coo at the chickens, and generally get your bearings.
If you are a regular, please arrive five minutes before class so that we can start promptly – and if you have a new injury or situation, a couple of minutes before that, so you can fill me in.
What if I’m late?
In the yoga world, arriving late to class is a bit of a no-no, etiquette-wise (although of course, sometimes, life or traffic get in the way).
I always start my classes precisely on time, so if you are late, you will have to join in part-way through.
This is not ideal because you will miss the theme, the relaxation exercise that brings you into the right zone for that theme, and maybe even some of the warm-up poses.
And if you’re a newbie, it means you don’t have a chance to tell me about your shoulder injury, your tight hamstrings or your recent surgery – and this is actually really important stuff for me to know, as I tailor each and every class depending on who’s in it and what’s going on for them.
So – what to do if you’re late? If you’re within the first ten mins, come and join in, and if you’re new, I will offer as many modifications as I can just in case you have anything going on. And if I have a chance, I’ll have a quiet chat with you anyway.
If you’re more than ten mins late, it’s probably best to take yourself off for a nice coffee (Girdlers down the road is great), take a few deep breaths and book yourself back in for next time. Be sure to check the policy for cancellations and no-shows!
What if I need a wee?
I have a bathroom that you can use at any time – before, during or after your class. You can also use this bathroom to get changed in, if you need to rush off to work or somewhere else after class.
Don’t worry about going for a wee mid-class… It happens to all of us, even teachers! In fact, just this morning I nipped off for a wee as the students were coming in to their final relaxation. Yes, I am human too 🙂
What shall I wear?
Any loose, comfortable clothing will do the trick. You do not have to go out and spend $100 on fancy pants. You do not have to wear a sports bra.
Simply wear something that moves with you, is breathable and you feel good in.
In winter, bring socks and an extra layer or two.
(Side-note: Avoid short shorts. They cover up a lot when you’re standing, but (trust me) not so much when you’re lying down with your legs in various poses!)
What if I’m no good? Will I be the worst?
This one is easy for me to answer (but maybe trickier for you to believe!) – there is no such thing as being good at yoga.
Yes, you heard me. I’m not good at yoga. You’re not good at yoga. No-one is good at yoga.
There’s just yoga.
ALL of my classes focus on adjusting the pose to suit the person not adjusting the person into the pose (that’s why I need to know about your shoulder injury, tight hamstrings or recent surgery!)
It’ll take a few classes before you start to believe me, but for now, just humour me 🙂
Will everyone look at me?
People will definitely see you, yes. What will they see? They’ll see another human coming to the same class as them.
They will probably also think they see someone who is better at yoga than them (refer item above), someone who has been doing yoga longer than them, someone who is thinner than them, someone who is overall better at everything than them.
It doesn’t really matter what they actually see – this is usually what they think they see.
And they’re so busy thinking this, that they don’t really have any time to think about anything else.
So don’t worry – people will see you, but they will only see what they think they see!
What will it be like? Will she make me close my eyes or chant? I hate that.
It will be like being in a beautiful studio overlooking Pittwater, mostly lying down, sometimes sitting or kneeling or standing (but not much), breathing deeply and letting all of the stress leave your body. It will be like one of the best and kindest things you have every done for yourself.
No, I will not make you close your eyes! Or chant! Or do anything else you don’t want to do. Everything in my classes is optional! I will invite you to do many things, including closing your eyes or chanting “Om” – you choose what to do or not do.
O.M.G. What if I fart???????
Yes, you may fart!! Join the club!! We’ve all done it, we’ll all do it again. Don’t worry, no-one will comment on it (never yet, anyway) and you will get over it.
Just like my yoga teacher friend, who – in one of her first ever teaching experiences – farted directly over a student’s head as she was placing the eye pillow on her eyes. Cue her running out of the room, mortified, leaving her teacher to take over!
But she got over it, and she is now a very successful yoga teacher…
Yes, my lovely friend, you know who you are 🙂 and I know you don’t mind me sharing this! It makes the students feel better!!!
Why have I even signed up for this? Can I cancel?
You have signed up for this because you are finally ready to be kind to you. To give yourself the same good things that you have been giving other people your whole life.
Because you deserve it.
But yes, of course, you can always cancel! Check out the terms and conditions to make sure you understand the cancellation policy, and head back to your booking confirmation email, click the link and follow the steps to cancel.
I hope you don’t, though! Because it really is your time… and I can’t wait to meet you.