Have you always thought about starting a practice and didn’t know where to start?
I remember my first class. I was training for my first Biathlon. I knew I needed to stretch. So I started my search looking for a class close to home. I found one at a local community college. I remember clearly how I felt at the end of class…EUPHORIC! While walking back to my car I stopped in my tracks and looked down. I felt like I had been walking on a tread mill that was moving and I was standing still! Yup right there yoga grabbed my attention. I knew that there was something there that I needed in my life. I knew I wanted more. I knew I needed to find a studio. And I did. Summit Yoga Studio in Summit, NJ.
To make a long story short, I started practicing there, I found my first teacher there, Alex Shipman, I met Beryl Bender Birch there, I started teaching there, AND I fell in love with Ashtanga vinyasa there. Believe it or not is was as simple as that. Once you find your hOMe studio all you have to do it show up and do the work…one grateful breath at a time…it’s that simple. Here are a few things to help you simply find your hOMe on the mat.
You’ll Need a Mat
We have mats that you can borrow. However, you might want to consider bringing your own. Less expensive mats can be found at TJ Maxx or Target. Once you decide you are all in and want to commit to the practice of yoga, you might want to consider purchasing one that is made by Manduka. I’ve had my original Pro for nearly 17 years. It has seen a LOT of work! Although they are more expensive, they are worth it! It will be MUCH more comfortable and last a LOT longer.
Choose Your Class
It is important to select the class that is right for you when you try yoga for the first time. If you have not been too active in a while we recommended that you start with a beginners, or gentle class. You can also look for a class that is open to all levels of practitioners. In an all level class, the instructor will offer modifications for beginners and more challenging variations of poses for experienced practitioners. And it is a good idea to arrive 10-15 minutes for class begins in order to get yourself settled.
What to Wear
You will want your clothing to be comfortable and loose enough that you can move easily, but not so loose it gets in the way. A tank top or tee shirt with leggings is a good choice for women and a t-shirt and shorts with an elastic waist for men. It is customary for people to practice yoga in bare feet.
Getting Settled In the Yoga Room
All you need to bring into the room is your mat, water, and a towel if you think you will be sweating. You should not bring your phone or any other belongings into the yoga room (so that you can disconnect and focus inward) and you will need to leave your shoes outside of the room. Once you roll out your mat, you can ask your teacher if you will need any props to guide your practice (blocks, strap, blanket, bolster) and sit down and relax quietly or get to know the yogis around you. Keep in mind as you move around the room that it is considered proper etiquette not to step on anyone else’s mat and to keep your voice volume low as some yogis may come in early to relax in the peace and quiet.
In order for yoga to be truly effective, you must make it a routine. Try practicing at least twice a week and see how you feel. Most likely, you will find improvement in strength and flexibility. You will might also find that you are more calm and relaxed and that you are sleeping better. Communicate with your teachers if you have concerns or questions and learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
To learn more about the fundamentals of yoga, including the most common postures, how to breathe in a pose, the use of props, and class and studio etiquette, join your friends at Inlet Yoga for: