Taking a Yoga Class For the First Time

What You Can Learn From a Back-to-Basics Yoga Class

Even though I have taken a few yoga classes here and there, I've never decided if the practice is for me. So when a friend suggested a beginning series at my favorite yoga studio, I jumped at the chance.

A basics class is important in any learned skill, and yoga is no different. During our first class we learned basic standing poses like Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 and Triangle Pose, which our teacher said were the basis of many more poses to come. It was nice to only focus on a few poses and repeat them many times, unlike in a general class, where poses flow into one another at a quicker pace.

Every week the class focuses on another fundamental of yoga, so I'm excited to see how my understanding of the practice progresses. Even after just one class, I've already been reminded of why the practice is more than just for fitness. Read on for three lessons I learned from my first back-to-basics yoga class.

  • Body awareness is a skill. Of course, I only need to be reminded of this every time I work out, whether it's running or rock climbing, but much the practice of yoga is being precise with your body and understanding anatomy, which is a good basis from everything from good posture to better balance.
  • Learning to let go is harder than I thought. Focusing on breathing while relaxing during savasana or precise posing is important for practicing yoga, but it takes work to train your body and mind to relax.
  • The right apparel is important. I threw on some old sweatpants before I went to class, but I noticed that it was hard to make sure my heels were aligned or that I was hip-width apart through my voluminous fabric. Next time, I'm investing in capris.
Source: Thinkstock
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