We’ve all been there. Starting a new session always makes me nervous – it’s asking us to step out of our comfort zone, to meet new challenges and to deal with the unexpected.
So I’d like to make life run a little smoother, and let you know what to expect from your first yoga class with The Soul Space.
What to Wear
While there is a lot of fancy yoga clobber out there, you don’t need to spend a fortune on clothing. Clothing needs to be comfortable, breathable and easy to move in. This could be leggings and a t-shirt, or maybe you’re more comfortable in loose trousers and a sports top – the important thing is that you feel comfortable enough to move.
Yoga is practiced in bare feet, but if you’re prone to cold toes, then there are some fantastic yoga socks on the market so you can keep your grip on the mat. Personally, I LOVE Yoga Toes socks as these give grip without compromising balance.
What to bring
The only essential item you’ll need is a good yoga mat. This is worth investing in. Cheaper mats tend to have less grip and wear more quickly. That said, you don’t need to spend a fortune here either! Shop around and if in doubt, ask your yoga teacher for recommendations.
A blanket is a MUST. At the end of class we will enjoy Savasana – this is the posture we move to for our meditation practice. As it requires no physical movement, your body temperature will quickly drop. A blanket makes you super comfy and relaxed, enabling you to go deeper into your meditation without being distracted by chilly toes and fingers!
Drinking during yoga is very important, as you need to replace any fluids lost, especially during a warm class. A water bottle is the best option – pure water will rehydrate you quickly, and it’s easy to top up if needed at the end of class.
Depending on the type of yoga you choose, blocks, bolsters or straps may also be used. These are really down to personal choice, and something your yoga teacher will introduce you to as your practice develops. Usually teachers will have a stash of spares for you to try out if you’re interested.
It’s best not to eat a huge meal before a yoga session. A light snack and glass of water will help your body keep up with the physical demands of your practice. Stay away from heavy carbs though – your stomach will thank you.
Arriving a few minutes early allows you time to get your bearings. In your first session, you’ll be asked to complete a quick health form – this gives me a good overview and begins a conversation. Most sessions will have a certain mat layout, if you’re unsure where to place yours, just ask! I’m always happy to help. Spacing helps to give everyone enough room and ensures we can all see and hear everything.
Do I have to do everything?
Absolutely not! I will give you plenty of options so you can choose the level of challenge, in fact, I will encourage you to take the more simple approach the first time while you get to grips with the postures. It’s important to remember that this is YOUR practice, and that I am only here as a guide. So follow your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, stop, come down, and ask for an alternative. If you don’t feel comfortable in a pose, simply take a moment in child’s pose and when you’re ready to continue, jump back in with the rest. Yoga is a judgement free zone!
Towards the end of the session I will tell you it is time for Savansana. This is the BEST bit! Lying on your back with your eyes closed, eye mask at the ready should you wish, you will then be guided in meditation. At the end of the meditation, you will be guided back. Keep your eyes closed for as long as you feel comfortable. This helps to keep that feeling of calm you have cultivated throughout the session.
At The Soul Space, we honour connection, so we end our practice with a chant of Aum. This is completely optional! We chat Aum in recognition of the universal sound running through the entire Universe, through past, present and future. This sound connects us all. Also, it sounds AMAZING when we all come together like this.
I will then close class by bringing hands to prayer, and saying ‘Namaste’.
You can take as long as you need then to get moving again, collect your things and enjoy the rest of your day. Taking this time allows us to hold on to the peace, and take a moment of gratitude for our practice.