Different people practice yoga for different reasons. Some do it for health and fitness perks such as increased flexibility, muscle tone, and balance. Some do it to de-stress, and others practice yoga for spiritual reasons. Click on this link to see a wonderful infographic on the benefits of yoga that start from the day you begin.
If this is your first ever yoga class, there are a few things to know before you get started. I've answered some frequently asked questions below to give you the information you need to feel comfortable and prepared to begin your yoga journey.
1. What do I wear?
Wear comfortable clothes that you can bend and stretch in! There's no hard and fast rule of what you have to wear, but I like to wear yoga pants/capris and tank tops that are fairly tight-fitting. Not so tight that they cut off your circulation, but tight enough that gravity won't work against your modesty when you're bending over, lying on your back with your legs in the air, and otherwise contorting yourself.
You can find stylish, affordable yoga wear at Wal Mart and Target. For mid-ranged price clothes, check out Victoria's Secret and Pink. Lululemon is popular but pretty expensive. And don't forget about the Jala Clothing trunk show beginning January 2 till January 8 before every Firefly Yoga class.
2. What if I'm not flexible?
Then you're in the perfect condition to start yoga. We all have different bodies with different abilities and that's great. We aren't competing to see who can bend the farthest. We start with how your body feels today and will work from there. One of my favorite teachers said that when she started yoga, she couldn't flex her toes, and you'd be amazed to see how far she's come.
3. What should I bring to class?
The main thing you'll need is a yoga mat. Firefly Yoga will provide a few to share if you don't have your own. We'll also be selling mats at the trunk show, or you can find them at any sporting goods store, Wal Mart or Target.
You'll also probably want to bring a bottle of water and a small hand towel in case you get sweaty.
4. Are there any rules I should know about?
I don't like to use the word "rules," but there is some etiquette for classes that's good for beginner yogis to know. We don't generally encourage conversation in yoga classes because this is our time to relax and focus on ourselves, and too much talking can distract you and others around you. This doesn't mean you can't ask the teacher a question or you can't quietly high-five your neighbor if she gets into an exciting pose, but it does mean that we try to keep chatter to a minimum.
I've said this before above but it bears repeating: yoga is non-competitive. You're not competing against anyone else in the class to see who can bend farther or balance longer. You're not even competing against yourself. Every day is different. Some days you'll feel that you have amazing balance and other days you'll feel like your legs are made of cement. It's all good. This is a huge switch from the typical Western athletic mindset and it might take awhile to get used to. Try not to compare yourself to what anyone else in class is doing and don't judge yourself negatively if you think you don't look like everyone else in class. The only perfect yoga posture is the one that's perfect for YOUR body today. Practice self-love. Don't say or think anything negative about yourself while you're in class. If you have a negative thought, observe it then let it go!
5. Can men do yoga?
YES! Of course! I welcome and encourage men to come to class.
6. Can I do yoga if I'm pregnant?
Yes! I will give you modifications to help you practice safely. If possible, come to class a little early so we can chat and I can learn more about your stage of pregnancy and let you know what postures will be suitable for your body.
If there is enough interest I will hold classes just for pre-natal yoga. Let me know if this is something you'd like to do.
Any more questions that I didn't answer? Let me know and I'll answer them for you!