Getting the most out of your yoga class

There are many benefits to yoga; however, most of these benefits will only come to fruition with the right mindset and attitude towards your class.

Yoga can be more than just a simple exercise class that you attend. These tips will help you to experience all of the wonderful benefits of yoga and really get the most out of your classes.

Drop the expectations and ego

If it is your first yoga class, you may expect to get a grasp on it quickly, after all, you are a “fast learner” at the office. Though this may not necessarily translate into the yoga studio. Don’t expect your body to be able to hold certain poses on the first try – mastering some aspects of yoga take time and practise. Appreciating and embracing your beginner status will help put you into a better mindset when joining your first yoga class. Walking into your first yoga class with an open mind, free of expectations will help you to ease into the environment more smoothly.

Free yourself of distractions

A big part of yoga is practising mindfulness, and by this, we mean being in the present. Do not allow your mind to wander to the events of your day, what you are cooking for dinner later or your upcoming week. Keep your mind focused on the activity at hand: your yoga class. Free yourself of any other possible distractions prior to your class too, such as a full bladder or uncomfortable clothing. Make sure that you are comfortable and ready before stepping into your class to ensure that you will be able to adequately focus.

Speak to your instructor about your physical limitations

If you are struggling with lower back problems, stiff joints or are recovering from an injury of some sort, it is best to let your instructor know. This will enable your instructor to provide you with suitable modifications of certain poses to allow your class to be comfortable and safe. If a certain pose is causing you pain, speak up! Your instructor will only be able to help you if they are aware of your ailments.

Listen to your body

Yoga is not a competitive class and it is not about who can hold a pose for the longest or who can achieve a deeper stretch. Understand and appreciate that everyone’s body is different with its own set of strengths and limitations. If a pose or stretch is not working for you, listen to your body and ease up on the intensity. Yoga should not be about screaming hamstrings and crying shoulders, be gentle with your body. You should also remain hydrated during your yoga class, particularly if you are participating in hot yoga.

Arrive early

Rushing out the door and arriving to your yoga class the minute it starts or a few minutes late will only leave you flustered and impact on your overall experience. Give yourself sufficient time to prepare and arrive at your yoga class so that you are calm and collected as it begins.

Be grateful

Having an attitude of gratitude will always be beneficial in a yoga class. Feel thankful that you have taken this time out of your day to do something for yourself. Be thankful for your health and your body and all the amazing things it can do for you before, during and after your yoga class. Practising this gracious mindset in each yoga class will ensure that it will remain with you long after you have rolled up your mat and walked back into the world.

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