New to Yoga?
Attending your first yoga class can be daunting (I know, I’ve been there!). But there are a few things you can do to make it easier on yourself…
- Firstly and most importantly: Know that you are going to be fine!
- Don’t worry about not being flexible – neither am I – honestly.
- Don’t worry if it’s your first yoga class – I am not expecting you to ‘be good’ at something you’ve never done before. In fact, while we’re talking about that, keep reading…
- Don’t worry if you’re not ‘good’ at yoga, because guess what? There’s no such thing as being good at yoga. I’m not good at it, and nor is anyone else. Brownie’s Promise!
- Don’t worry that you’ll be the oldest / youngest / smallest / largest / most sick or injured person there – my regulars range in age from 20 to 80+ years old, and include tradies, ballerinas, men, women, osteopaths, office workers, mums and dads, and many suffer from things like MS, MND, thyroid disorders, cancer, arthritis, skiing and ballroom dancing injuries (yes!), mental health issues and more.
- Don’t worry about what anyone else is thinking of you; they’re too busy worrying about what you think of them.
- Simply breathe, relax and enjoy the view of Pittwater…
- OK, now you’re feeling a lot better about that, now let’s look at some yoga etiquette:
- It’s very good yoga etiquette to arrive at class at least five minutes before the start. ‘On-time’ and late arrivals disrupt the teacher and the other students, plus you miss out on the full relaxation experience.
- For Zen Sessions and Retreats, it’s a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes before, to allow time for registration, and to familiarise yourself with the setting.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes. Layers are good too, especially in cooler weather.
- Always take your shoes off and leave them on the shelves outside the door. We never wear shoes inside a yoga studio.
- Switch your phone to silent (not vibrate) and leave it with your belongings in the coat cupboard near the door.
- You don’t need to bring any special equipment – it’s all provided for you (the exception is during COVID, please click here for more info on that).
Choosing a class can also be tricky, especially if you don’t know all the terminology. Here are a few hints:
- All classes are beginner-friendly unless stated otherwise.
- Classes are small, safe and personal – a maximum of six in any class (four during Covid).
- Hatha Yoga is a general term used to describe a lot of the yoga out there in the world today. In this class, you will move your body, learn how to tune into your breath and most importantly do a lot of relaxing.
- Yin Yoga is a slow class, with postures that allow us to access very deep tissues and old injuries and tensions. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much is going on, but from the inside it can be extremely powerful. It’s hard to explain yin yoga; the best way to understand it is to give it a go.
- Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based relaxation exercise, that allows you to let go in a way you may never have experienced before. A 20-minute yoga nidra is the equivalent of a couple of hours of sleep, so it is deeply restorative. You’ll leave floating on air…
- You can choose between classes, Zen Sessions or Retreats. All are suitable for beginners. Retreats, in particular, are a wonderful way to be introduced to the world of yoga and all it has to offer.
You may not know that:
- The physical aspect of yoga, especially flexibility, is actually only a very tiny part of the whole picture.
- Much more important is learning how to breathe and how to relax.
- Anyone can do yoga – no matter their age, ability, fitness or flexibility.
- You will never be pushed to do anything that does not suit your body. Promise.
- Yoga is not a competition – flexible people are not necessarily ‘better’ at yoga than you are!
- I am a yoga teacher and I am not that flexible – yikes!
- The emphasis at Paradise Yoga is on relaxation – not your performance in a posture.
If you have any other questions, or would like to chat before you come to a class, you can contact me here.
From the moment we walked through the doors I knew it was exactly what I needed to make the weekend really work wonders. The view was stunning which just adds to the whole experience. I had never done a yoga class before and felt extremely comfortable being there and really felt the benefit particularly in my neck and back afterwards.
Claire has such a peaceful and down to earth vibe. There is a big focus on positive mental health and self esteem. This was exactly what I needed. I left Claire’s feeling so happy and relaxed. I only wish Paradise yoga was closer to me so that I could get the benefit from these sessions more often! Thanks so much Claire!
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