What to Expect with Yoga for Beginners
A Common Myth
First, let me dispel one common myth: You do not need to be flexible to do yoga. Increased flexibility is a benefit of yoga, not a prerequisite. If you aren’t flexible now that’s all the more reason to come to yoga for beginners! Some of our classes will warrant some current flexibility and strength but others will require VERY minimal.
Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up…
Dress in Something Stretchy
When you attend yoga classes for beginners, fitted clothing is better than loose, but the most important thing is that you are comfortable. You can come in your P.J.’s if you want (As long as they are clean! -See Yoga Studio Etiquette). HOWEVER, if you’d like to have something specifically designed for movement, something that looks good and feels good, we have a boutique with the largest selection of yoga appropriate clothing and gear for both men and women in Sacramento. Come in and pick something out.
Come at least 15 minutes early for your first class
This gives you time to fill out the waiver, turn off your phone, take off your shoes and settle into the candle lit space you will practice in.
You will need a yoga mat
You are welcome to borrow from us on your first visit, rent for $1 after that and hopefully very soon purchase your own. (The cost of a mat ranges from $23-$99)
Let the teacher know about any physical issues you may have before class
If you are taking beginning yoga for the first time, it’s important to let the teacher know about your restrictions. This way that they can offer you the individual support you may need. Although the teacher will provide you with educated options throughout the class, you are the one who makes the final call. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. The teacher will not be offended. We are all here to help you. Ask any teacher before or after classes if you need more information or even more personalized options.
A yoga pose is more than a position you take with the body.
Sometimes they are called “postures.” The Sanskrit word for a yoga pose is “asana.” [AH-suh-nuh]. Poses are designed to give the body and mind maximum benefit. What makes it a yoga pose is the way you do it, not the shape you take. It’s officially a yoga pose when you are breathing consciously, have a balance of effort and ease, and you are not competing with yourself or anyone else. (Darn, turns out it’s even harder than putting your foot behind your head!- That’s why we call yoga “a practice”.)
The teacher will lead everyone through a variety of yoga poses, with directions for healthy alignment of the body. He or she will also offer breathing directions, moments of silence and they may or may not play music. Some teachers are more conversational, with questions and answers as part of the class; other teachers are more formal and will assist individually while they walk through the class as they teach.
The yoga for beginners class will be slower paced and more educational, helping with correct posture in each pose. However, some of our other more advanced classes are also very slow and methodical and focus on a few specific poses, while others may flow and move through more poses with less emphasis on each pose. Our classes vary depending on focus and pace. Some classes will focus more on relaxation, while others will give you a more physical work-out. Again, you can learn more about our class styles here, but know that there is also variety within a certain style from teacher to teacher.
The last pose…
…is a resting pose, in which you lie on your back on the mat and relax for anywhere from 5-10 minutes. The Sanskrit term for this pose is Savasana [sha-VAH-sah-na]. This pose is all about comfort and rest, so if lying on your back is not comfortable for you, let the teacher know! He or she will offer modifications. A simple Savasana modification that you can do yourself is to place a bolster (a long, black cushion available at the studio) underneath your knees. This releases the low back and reduces discomfort.
To close class…
It is traditional for the teacher to say “Namaste” and for the class to repeat it back to the teacher. The word Namaste (Pronounced NAH-mah-stay) is literally translated as “I bow to you”. More generally, it is an ancient sanskrit understanding of interconnectedness, acknowledging that we are all part of the same beautiful, united whole. If you wish to make this acknowledgement you can respond the teacher by repeating “Namaste”.
Recommended for Beginners – Yoga 101
See our UPCOMING EVENTS to find the next Yoga 101
At Asha Yoga we believe in a skillful, appropriate and safe approach to yoga. A Yoga 101 workshop with us is the perfect place to begin your yoga practice.
We create a very supportive environment for you to explore and learn at a comfortable pace with others who are new to yoga. This 2 hour class is designed to provide you with a valuable foundation for an educated practice, as well as help you to feel confident and comfortable in the Dynamic Yogi All-level or Dynamic Yogi Level 1 classes.
You don’t need to be flexible, strong, or be able to quiet the mind. Simply show up and do your best.