8 Tips for a Better Yoga Class
So you've set the intention of going to yoga regularly or maybe you're trying a yoga class for the first time. Here are a few quick tips to help you get he most out of your class.
1. Wear Layers
Being comfortable during yoga should be your #1 priority. Wearing layers ensures that you have control over your comfort level throughout class. As the class gets going you can strip layers off and cozy right back up for a closing shavasana, which is way better than freezing in your own sweat.
2. Arrive Early to Warm Up
Arriving just a few minutes early allows you to not only snatch up your favorite spot but also warm up. We all have our weaknesses in yoga and for me it's my hamstrings. So, when I arrive early to a yoga class, I always sneak in a few extra forward bends to get my hamstrings warmed up. When I make time for these opening stretches before class starts, I always notice that I move more easily through asana's and can go further.
3. Hydrate Herbally
It takes a lot of planning, reminding and practice for me to get my daily water in. What helps is to make it fun. To yoga, I usually bring nettle infusion (a super long steeped nettle tea). It is a very mineral rich (think electrolytes) drink. When I am super stressed, sometimes I throw rose petals into my water bottle. As an herbalist, I appreciate that roses help to gladden the heart. Other favorite herbs during stressful times include holy basil, chamomile and lemon balm. If I want to energize a workout, I throw in some citrus. Herbally infused waters are way more interesting and purposeful.
4. Don't Compare
I now that it's tough not to compare yourself to others when in class, but really try to remember that you went to yoga for yourself. Ignore how well others are doing (or not) around you and focus back in on yourself. Comparison truly is the thieve of joy. This is your time, make it count and keep it positive.
5. Set an Intention
You have worked so hard throughout your class so at the end of class, whether prompted to or not by your instructor, take time to set an intention before you start packing up. This is your time to think and focus on what means most to you. The peace and calm that you experience at the end of class is fleeting, so don't squander it. Your intention should be a mindful declaration to yourself of something that you want to focus on or hold for the rest of the day. Need more help? Check out the 'How to Really Set an Intention' post.
6. Take an Extra Breath
At the very end of class, take an extra long inhale and exhale before you get up off of your mat. This is an extra moment of calm and ease that you can harbor for yourself. A sweet little extra bit of peace just for you before you return back to being you in the real world.
7. Ask the Instructor
If you have any questions, ask the instructor. As a yoga teacher I always love getting questions from students. Instructors take so much time to plan the contents of a class, the music, what they wish to say and how they wish to mentally hold the class, that student questions really help to bring into focus the individual needs of students. A good yoga teacher will always be happy to answer your questions.
8. Journal It
When you get back home or another relaxing space, journal post yoga about your experience. Note how you felt before class started, anything that came up during your class for you, how your intention setting went, etc. Allow journaling time to be another touchpoint about the special time that you set aside for yourself to attend yoga class today and hopefully you'll get to experience the calm from class again before you close off the day.
Have any other tips?
Contribute your voice below in the comments and share what has worked for you.