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Tips for Your First Yoga Class

By Sara Butler

You’ve probably heard about how good yoga is for your health and wellness, but it may be such a foreign concept for you that you’re afraid to make the leap and actually go to a class. Yoga can increase flexibility, reduce stress, and even help you in the battle with back pain, so summoning the courage to give it a try is important. Here are a few tips to help you feel comfortable giving yoga a shot!

What to Wear

First and foremost, you should know that yoga is practiced barefoot, so be prepared to take those shoes off. You don’t need to rush out for a pedicure, but it’s important to make sure your feet are clean and dry before taking to the yoga mat. Most studios have a place to store your shoes as you enter the studio or room where yoga will be held.

When it comes to clothes, comfort should be your first priority in yoga. Remember, you spend a lot of time stretching, twisting, and bending as you practice yoga, which makes it imperative to wear something that won’t fall down easily or restrict your movement. Loose shirts and yoga pants or shorts are often the best choice.

Should You Talk?

Yoga is a contemplative activity, so chatting it up with your buddy next to you is going to be discouraged. You must be able to hear your teacher describe how to go from pose to pose and be able to understand any corrections to be made in the process. So yeah -- yoga isn’t a social activity. Save socializing for before and after class!

What About Breathing?

In yoga, there’s going to be a lot of focus on breathing. You’ll be encouraged to take deep, slow, and even breaths throughout, so be prepared to hear a lot of sounds coming from all around you as people breathe audibly. It’s best if you simply focus on your own breath to calm your mind. Your breathing can be a great tool when you encounter something difficult for you to do.

Will There Be Music?

Some yoga classes will have music playing in the background, but most traditional yoga classes will not have a musical accompaniment. Students need to learn to focus on their breath so music can be a distraction when learning how to do it.

Give yoga a chance -- don't let the unknown hold you back from something you could really learn to love! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downey, Calif.

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