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Yoga tips for beginners

Eat light or low-acid food before yoga class

Keep the day of your first yoga class light and simple by having healthy food at least two hours prior to class. Do not eat saucy, fried, fatty, spicy, and high-acid food as they take longer to digest. It’s also not a good idea to do practice with empty stomach because at the end of the day, you may start feeling lightheaded as the body needs for fuel that is not there. If you want to eat a quick snack before the class, you can grab yogurt, fruit or vegetables. A lightly filled stomach will provide you a better edge to get into some poses.

Drink plenty of water before and after the class

It is very necessary to stay hydrated during class. This is because in a typical yoga class, you will lose water weight. Better if you start drinking water at least two hours before your class since your body needs time to absorb the water properly for hydration. Over time, you’ll learn how much water your body needs before and after the class.

Wear comfortable clothes that don’t restrict your movement

You don’t need to wear long pants or spandex, just wear something you feel relaxed and confident in. Ladies can wear quick-dry Capri and tight tops whereas gents may put on shorts and baggy t-shirts. Also try to avoid wearing clothes that are too loose in which your private areas are unnecessarily exposed—you may spend more time adjusting your dress instead of concentrating on your positions. Remember that unlike running or other gym exercises, you will be bending and stretching a lot, so loose clothes tend to fall in your face during downward poses and it will become difficult for the teacher to check your alignment.

Take your shoes off

Yoga is practiced barefoot; shoes and socks are generally not permitted. Being barefoot allows more grip on the mat in various poses. If you have any problem being barefoot, you can keep your socks on—or invest in a pair of yoga socks.

What if you’re worried that your feet may smell?  Let’s face it, sometimes we’ve already had a long morning with our feet confined to non-breathing shoes while we’ve been getting a bit sweaty.  Yoga isn’t the time to feel self-conscious while practicing.  Consider removing your shoes just outside the door or in the car, wiping your feet with a baby wipe, and putting on clean socks before entering the studio.  Or ask your instructor for guidance.

Have a brief conversation with the teacher before the class starts

Many people are shy or uncomfortable talking to the teacher, but you should understand that they want to help you. Yoga teachers are very helpful and encouraging—they want new students to have the best experience possible during their first class. And believe me, these teachers will provide adjustments and more detailed instructions if you tell them you’re new. Make sure to let your teacher know of any limitations and medical conditions you have that might affect your practice. Your teacher will offer modifications where appropriate—most yoga poses can be adjusted to your needs.

Keep your cell phones off and mind your manners

Maintaining silence in the room is difficult when someone’s cell is ringing – plus it’s distracting for your fellow students.

Don’t let your ego guide you

There is no place for comparative thinking in yoga studio. If you are practicing in a place that makes you feel judged then this is not the right place for you to be. It doesn’t matter if you can’t yet do the specific pose or your body is not super flexible. Always listen to your body – don’t push or overextend your threshold just to keep up with the rest of the class. If it gets to be too much, spend time in child’s pose until you are ready to jump back in.

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