How to Prepare for Your First Yoga Class

Today’s the big day!You’ve finally signed up for that yoga class that your friend has been raving about but you’re feeling a little nervous. Why wouldn’t you be? The wonderful world of yoga seems to be such an exclusive group for bendy people and it seems a little intimidating with its exotic terminology and foreign philosophy. You’re in luck though, because I’m about to break down the six main things you need to know to prepare for your first yoga class.

What Type of Yoga are You Getting Yourself Into?

There are so many different types out there, so be sure you do some quick research to mentally prepare for your yoga session.

Make Sure You Go in Early.

You will probably have paperwork to fill out and a new yoga outfit to get changed into. You’ll also need to be able to get a good spot where you can see the instructor, which is incredibly important on your first day.

Find Out What You Need to Bring.

Does the studio provide yoga mats and towels? If you are doing a hot yoga class, you might even need an extra towel! Do you have a water bottle you want to bring in with you? You can always call your studio and double check with them if you have any further questions.

What Should You Wear?

Your outfit greatly depends on the style of yoga you are doing. If you are doing hot yoga, you might be better off wearing tight fitted clothes that are small and/or thin. If you are doing a restorative or yin yoga class, it might be best if you wear something warmer and more comfortable.

Where Should You Set Up Your Mat?

I know that yoga can be scary the first (few) times, but it really is so important to find a spot in the class where you can hear and see the instructor clearly. You won’t be able to do that if you’re hiding in the back of the class. Also, depending on how busy the class is, you might be extremely close to the people around you. Try to stagger your mat so that you can reach your arms out without hitting your neighbor.

Have Fun and Relax!

Everyone starts somewhere. Even if you feel like you’re extremely clumsy and are feeling shy, just remember that everyone else in the room has been “the new girl/guy,” too. Pay attention to your own body and do your best. Focus on your breathing, the instructor’s cues, the instructor’s voice, and how your body feels.

Other Important Things.

Make sure your phone is off because it really can be a huge distraction and throw off the entire class. Some yoga studios are very quiet places, observe whether other students are talking, or if everyone is quiet. Some people use their time in the yoga studio as a sort of meditative experience; so, remember to be respectful of the other people around you.

That’s honestly all there is to it! The hardest part is taking the initial step into the studio because it is something new and you probably don’t know what to expect. Hopefully, from reading this article, you now feel more equipped to walk into the class ready to enjoy your first yoga experience!

Namaste

Yoga Poses for Mom and Baby

Finding time to work out after having a little one join the family can be challenging, especially if it’s your first. Trying to establish a new routine while trying to keep a tiny baby safe can be nothing short of overwhelming. As your body starts to heal and you get used to the new human in your life you may find yourself trying to figure out ways you can work in a work out between their feedings and nap times. However, what you might not realize is that there are plenty of yoga poses you can do with your baby that can help you both interact together; building strength for you and motor skills for them. Here are a few of my favorites!

Poses for Mom:

Goddess Squat: Goddess Squat is great for stretching out your hips, strengthening core muscles, and increasing your circulation. To perform Goddess with your baby, spread your feet about 3 feet apart with your feet pointing outward. Hold your baby so they are looking out the same direction you are facing. Exhale and then bend your knees. For your safety keep your knees directly over your ankles. Inhale as you straighten your legs to your starting position.

Legs up the wall pose: This pose is done exactly how it sounds. You’re going to lay down on the ground with your feet up a wall. Make sure your hips are as close to the wall as you can get them. Depending on how old your baby is they can either sit up on you or lay on your chest. This position doesn’t necessarily build up a lot of strength but has a variety of benefits for the postnatal mama. It relieves insomnia, migraines, varicose veins, and even digestive problems. It also helps to calm your mind!

Poses/Activities for Baby:

Baby Planet: This pose I found from the “Yoga Buddies” workout from FitPregnancy and loved how it focused on the baby. Baby planets are a fun way to get your baby moving his or her limbs and help you to bond with them because you focus on looking at her face. Lay your baby on a mat or blanket and sit up straight in front of them with your legs crossed. From here it’s all about baby! First touch her forehead with your finger and sing “North Pole.” Then touch her little feet and sing “South Pole.” Next take her left arm and extend it outwards saying, “West Coast.” Then do the same move with her right arm saying, “East Coast.” Lastly, gently hold your baby’s hands and mover her arms together over her chest and sing “Inside,” then move her arms outwards and sing “outside.” There are some benefits to mom with this pose. Sitting up straight with good posture helps strengthen your lower back and core.

Baby Elevators: A baby elevator is essentially a weight lifting exercise with a squat. Start out with your feet hip width apart, and hold your baby at chest level, facing you. Bend your knees into a squat position, then as you straighten out your legs lift your baby up. This is a fantastic move because it works everything from your core to your arms. The baby bonus is that your little one will have so much fun being lifted in the air!

These are just a few of the poses out there you can try with your baby! I think the hardest thing I’ve experienced being a mom so far is remembering that to take care of your baby, you must take care of yourself. These poses are a great way to mind yourself but still involve your baby. What other poses have you tried?