Checking out a new workout or fitness class can be quite intimidating. You’ve never checked out the studio before, you don’t know where the bathrooms or water fountain is, you’re unsure the instructor’s name, and you’re not quite sure what cues are being called out so you for sure are sticking out like a sore thumb.
We’ve all been there. And none of us want to be.
- Have a good quality mat. This is important in a hot yoga class because a flimsy mat will be moving and scrunching up throughout the class so you’ll be focusing more on adjusting your mat back to place than the actual moves.
- Have a mat towel. This can simply just be a beach towel or shower towel, you don’t need an actual mat towel but I find this extremely important for soaking up sweat
- Bring a water bottle. This may seem obvious but you will increase your heart rate during these classes, you may sweat (quite a bit), so you’ll definitely want water breaks throughout.
- Show up early. Get to the studio 15-30 minutes before class. This will provide time before the majority of students show up and can give you time to get familiar with the studio, the room you’ll be practicing in, setting up your space, and getting the props you need for class.
- Introduce yourself to the teacher. If you feel comfortable with this, it is nice to connect with the person who is leading the class. They can make sure to give you enough attention throughout the class and also will normally give you insight after the class as well. This is also an opportunity to share with the teacher if you are dealing with an injury or don’t prefer to have hands-on adjustments or assist.
- Breathe. This will be your saving grace when you might be feeling dizzy, light-headed, or overwhelmed. The teacher will cue breathe but you might find yourself holding your breath at points when you’re trying to transition between poses, moving into poses, or holding a pose. This will take time to master and you’ll not be a professional in your first class but the more you can catch yourself in these moments the better.
- Go Slow. You do not need to keep up with the student to your left or right, you don’t even need to keep up with the teacher. It will more than likely be very hot and probably hotter than you’d prefer. Take breaks with you need to. Child’s pose is also wonderful when you need a moment to catch your breath.
- Don’t overthink the pose. If you can’t do the pose, don’t do the pose. Many yogis who have been practicing for years still can’t do many various poses. It’s a practice, not perfection so don’t overthink the pose and just do your best.
- Celebrate! You’re a warrior! You tried something new and you did a fabulous job. Now enjoy some savasana.