Are you new to yoga? Nervous about giving it a try or not sure what to expect?
When you “enter” a yoga class, people will likely be laying down, stretching, or sitting quietly with their eyes closed.
We recommend using this time to stretch out a few areas that your body really needs, or just relaxing and soaking in a few extra minutes of “you” time!
The instructor will guide you through movements, poses, and breathing techniques – it’s always your choice to participate in any of them, or just relax in a different position.
They will also provide props or modifications to the poses so that someone of any ability can safely enjoy the benefits of the pose.
Yoga classes always end with “savasana”, which means “corpse pose”. Physically, you lay down on your back or in any comfortable position. The goal is to not let your mind wander, but to focus on one thing (e.g. your breath, or a mantra). You may also use your savasana to sink into deep relaxation, almost a dream-like state that is very restorative and a great antidote to our busy modern lifestyle! Your instructor will guide you into this. Savasana usually lasts 3 to 10 minutes.
All yoga classes provide a safe, non-judgemental atmosphere. In fact, a lot of students close their eyes during parts of the class to help develop their body awareness. (So, no one is watching you that closely!)
Yoga also teaches “non-attachment”. Students are encouraged to notice what’s going on inside and outside themselves, and to let that observation go without forming opinions on it.
Any yoga class can be as gentle or as challenging as you make it. The amazing thing about yoga, which sets it apart from other workouts, is that if you feel tired or weak that day, you are encouraged to step out of a pose and just relax.
There are many different styles of yoga, ranging from gentle and relaxing to vigorous and sweaty. The best thing to do is try different styles until you find what works best for you.