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How can I Prepare for a Yoga Class?

A yoga mat is necessary to practice yoga and is a worthwhile investment for people who plan on attending multiple classes.
A woman performing Triangle Pose on a yoga mat.
There are many health benefits when partaking in yoga.
Many people bring water to yoga class.
Think about yoga as a chance to do something nice for yourself.
A woman doing yoga.
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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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You’ve made the commitment to fitness and you need to prepare for a yoga class. Before you get in there and start practicing yoga moves like downward dog, or tree, you need to take a few things into consideration. The first, naturally, is to consult your healthcare provider. This is especially important if you haven’t practiced an exercise regime for a while and you have health issues like muscle problems, osteoporosis, or chronic conditions that might affect the degree to which you can be a participant in a yoga class. The medical professional may also issue specific guidelines to prepare for doing yoga. In most cases, he or she will give you the go ahead, but may want you to avoid certain poses.

What Kind of Equipment Do I Need?

You might start by purchasing a yoga mat. This is an inexpensive item; however, you can check ask the instructor if he or she provides mats. If you are using a mat from the class, be sure to bring a nice big beach towel to cover it up. Yoga can be vigorous, and cause a lot of sweating, and the last thing you want to do when you’re trying relaxed poses is to go nose down on a smelly mat. If you’re fairly certain yoga is for you, then having your own mat is a good investment.

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What Should I Wear?

The right clothes can help you be more comfortable as you participate in a yoga class. You should wear loose, but fitting, comfortable clothes. Don’t make the mistake of wearing giant clothes, as your yoga instructor needs to evaluate your body in the different poses and help you correct any poses. He or she won’t be able to see very well if your clothes are several sizes too large. Also, women should wear a well-fitted sports bra, to give you support but not cause discomfort or pinching.

Do I Fast to Prepare for a Yoga Class?

Most instructors will ask that you come to the class with an empty stomach. Yet we live busy lives, and the class schedule may mean going for hours without food. Generally one can consider the stomach empty two hours after eating. If you have to eat, try a light meal like a protein shake or a fruit or green salad, so you won’t feel too full. If you take a class first thing in the morning, then you can breakfast after class. However, be certain to have a big glass of water prior to leaving for the class. You don’t want to get dehydrated.

How Else Do I Prepare for a Yoga Class?

If you are new, be sure the class you are taking is for beginning students, or that the instructor offers modified poses for beginners. Yoga has its great instructors, and also ones that are not so fantastic. Often yoga studios will offer a reduced price if you buy several sessions at once. Unless you know and like the instructor, don’t invest yet. You may want to try out several studios before deciding on your yoga home.

Beyond price considerations, think about yoga as an opportunity to do something nice for yourself, and good for you. Once you get into the studio or classroom, prepare by opening up to not just the physical exercise of yoga, but also its spiritual side. Being mentally prepared can increase your satisfaction with the yoga experience.

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Discuss this Article

anon328337
Post 10

The only way to prepare for yoga and meditation is that you are willing to go from your heart and dedicated to do meditation.

julies
Post 9
I have been practicing yoga for a long time, and one thing I learned early on is that I do much better if I don't have a full stomach. On the other hand, I also don't like to listen to my stomach growl during a yoga session.

I usually like to drink a protein shake about an hour before I go to class. This keeps me full and satisfied without feeling like I am stuffed.

I usually attend class in the evening so my protein shake is my meal for the night. When I am done with class I don't feel like eating a big meal and enjoy feeling lighter as the stress and tension have eased away.

I also keep water with me during class. It is nice to have this to sip on from time to time so my mouth doesn't get so dry.

John57
Post 8

When I signed up for my first yoga class I went out and bought a pair of yoga pants. Wow - are these ever comfortable! Since then I have bought several more pairs of these pants and wear them all the time. They are comfortable, flexible and yet look fashionable.

You don't need a pair of yoga pants to practice yoga, but they really are much better than a pair of baggy shorts. They come in so many different styles and colors that it isn't hard to find pants that suit your style.

sunshined
Post 7

If you are serious about participating in yoga, I would make the investment and buy yourself a good yoga mat. Some are definitely better than others, but you still don't have to break the bank to get a good one.

I don't want to use a mat that someone else has been using, so have always had my own mat. I like to buy one that is portable so I can use it at home or at the gym.

Other things I look for when choosing a mat is the material it is made of. I don't want the mat to slide all over the place, but also don't want it to feel sticky. I am also a stickler for cleanliness and want a yoga mat that is easy to clean and disinfect.

Mykol
Post 6

I know it is usually recommended to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, but I have never done this. I am in good health and wonder what my doctor would think if I made an appointment with him to see if I could sign up for a yoga class.

For someone who has some health issues I can see why this is probably a good idea. I would think participating in a yoga or meditation class would be beneficial for most anyone.

baileybear
Post 5

@turtlez - You should really consult your instructor or the place where you're going to be doing your workouts because BelugaWhale may not be an expert (just saying). While they are right about the difference between Pilates and Yoga, there is really more to it than just that. That's kind of the run down on it. You could also find a Pilates class and try that out versus your average Yoga class.

BelugaWhale
Post 4

@turtlez - The difference between Yoga and Pilates is really more philosophical than physical. While you might find yourself in familiar or similar positions in either class, the truth is that Yoga is mean to make you feel more energized, calm, or whatever.

Pilates, on the other hand really focuses more on toning the body. Like I said, you might find some similar poses, but it's the overall quality of the move and not the quantity in either situation.

turtlez
Post 3

@BelugaWhale - Aren't Yoga and Pilates kind of the same thing? Is there a difference and should I chose one over the other you think? Help!

BelugaWhale
Post 2

@anon85685 - I really couldn't tell you specifics, but if you are a beginner you can find several different videos around the web (like YouTube) that will show you some beginner poses. It's the same with local Pilates classes. You need only ask your instructor what kind of poses you will be doing in order to get a better idea of what you're in for. Yoga is kind of a meditative exercise that shapes and tones the body so be sure to utilize it with a Cardio routine weekly in order for weight loss results.

anon85685
Post 1

With this article i was able to be in a yoga class. what poses are done there? thanks again!

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