Needless to say, yoga is getting more popular than ever. About 14% of American adults practice yoga to enjoy its physical and spiritual benefits.
But after signing up for the class, beginners usually get lost in what they should bring on the first day. To make matters worse, a lot of brands and yoga studios try to exploit customers into buying products they don’t need.
To clear things up, I’ll cover what to bring to your first yoga class. Prepare your notebook and let’s get going!
- Start with a Comfortable Outfit
- Get a Mat
- Bring a Water Bottle
- Pack a Towel
- Bonus: General Tips for Yoga Beginners
- To Wrap Up
Start with a Comfortable Outfit
This might seem obvious, but a lot of beginners actually miss out on this part. Unlike the common belief, the yoga outfit doesn’t have to be tight. If this would make you self-conscious rather than comfortable, you should definitely opt for an alternative.
Loose Pants Suit Beginners
A pair of loose, aka flowing pants, would give you a nice wiggle room to accommodate challenging movements. Although pants should have loose legs, they must have tight waists. Otherwise, you’ll lose focus each time you pull your pants up.
You can choose the classic tight pants if that’s what you prefer. But make sure their material is stretchy enough, or else they would limit you.
Pick a Bit Tight Shirt
Unlike pants, I advise against wearing a baggy shirt. Since yoga is full of bending movements, a loose shirt would keep sliding down. Don’t pick it too tight, though. It has to have a good balance between support and comfort.
Practice Barefoot or with Yoga Socks
Typically, yoga is practiced barefoot. Still, if you’re uncomfortable with barefoot training, you can opt for yoga socks. Unlike a regular pair, these socks usually have rubber soles to provide extra support for beginners.
Get a Mat
Generally speaking, studios can rent you a mat for a couple of dollars. If you don’t mind secondhand items, you won’t have to buy a mat on the first day.
However, if you’re serious about yoga, you’ll need to buy your own mat to be able to practice anywhere. And when it comes to shopping, you should pick a high-quality mat that’s durable enough to last a while.
That said, Manduka mats are among my favorite. The Manduka Pro has a highly dense thickness for maximum comfort. Also, it doesn’t allow sweat and bacteria to grow thanks to its closed-cell surface. Make sure you also check our guide to the best non slip yoga mats.
Consider a Mat Carrier
For maximum comfort, get a mat carrier to carry the mat over your shoulders. Unlike mats, a medium-quality mat would work. But surely, you shouldn’t choose an awful product that breaks in half after a couple of days.
There are a lot of stunning designs out there. Pick something that would look cool enough in public.
Bring a Water Bottle
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t drink in the midst of a yoga class. Just like any exercise, practicing with a filled stomach would be unpleasant. That’s why I always suggest drinking a couple of glasses 1 hour before your class.
Then why should you bring a bottle? Believe me, you’ll be literally grateful for every sip of water after the class.
Yoga consumes a big part of your body’s water, either through sweating or direct body movements. Staying hydrated will rapidly restore your energy and decrease the likelihood of cramps.
However, don’t drink right after you finish. It’s better to wait 30 minutes until your body resets to normal.
Pack a Towel
Like I said earlier, you’ll lose a large amount of body water to sweating. This would be more notable if you naturally sweat more than the average. If you opt for hot yoga, you might need an extra, backup towel.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Any fabric that quickly absorbs sweat should be more than enough. However, special yoga towels usually come in a size similar to mats. This way, you can use them to cover a rental mat as a quick, affordable solution. You may also like some of the best yoga towels for hot yoga from our list, so be sure to check them out.
Bonus: General Tips for Yoga Beginners
Since this would be your first class, there are other tips you should know aside from the required gear. Don’t let this overwhelm you, though. It’s perfectly fine if you miss a couple of tips. You’ll pick them up later on with regular practice.
Signing Up for a Studio vs. Training at Home
Alright, this is by far the most common question I get from beginners. As you might expect, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You should choose based on your needs and schedule. However, I think attending studio classes would be more valuable for first-timers.
Watching yoga videos, either free or paid, might seem informative. But in fact, it lacks a crucial component, feedback.
Since you’re a beginner, you can’t really know whether you’re doing something in the correct form. Although yoga is safer than other exercises, some movements can lead to injuries if done incorrectly.
That’s where studio training kicks in. Yes, it’s usually more expensive, but instructors will provide feedback and suggestions to improve your movements.
It’s always better to arrive at the studio 10 minutes before the class starts. This way, you can regulate your breath and ease the stress early on.
Also, you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the venue and pick your favorite position to place your mat.
Communicate with the Instructor
Typically, instructors should welcome you to their class by striking up a conversation about your experience, overall activity, etc. But in public classes with many participants, this might not always happen.
If so, you should be the one starting the conversation. Ask the instructor to keep an eye on you since you’re still new.
Also, it’s crucial to inform your instructor about pregnancy, injuries, or chronic conditions. This way, he/she could exclude you from positions that might be risky in your case.
Do a Quick Search
Yoga is an absolutely fun exercise that everyone should enjoy. But it can be quite overwhelming for beginners. Some asanas can push your body outside of its boundaries, making it harder to commit.
The best way to phase out this bafflement is to familiarize yourself beforehand. Youtube is full of amazing videos that handle the most common asanas.
You don’t need to actually practice since you might do them incorrectly. Just take a brief view to get a feel of what your body would be exposed to.
Don’t Eat Before the Class
Quite obvious, isn’t it? For what it’s worth, you shouldn’t eat 1 hour before any physical exercise. This gets especially true for yoga since your body moves in all sorts of ways.
Moreover, you should avoid meals that induce gases. Aside from the embarrassment, these meals would make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. These include:
- Beans and lentils
- Whole grains
Remember to Breathe
If you’ve seen yoga videos before, you probably heard the instructor repeatedly reminding you to breathe. Holding your breath breaks your relaxation and exhausts you faster than usual.
However, it’s fairly common for beginners to hold their breath during challenging moves. I think the body tends to automatically do this to tighten the muscles. And with the natural stress of trying a new thing, it becomes more important to monitor your breathing.
Don’t Underestimate the Savasana
At the end of most yoga routines, we tend to do a pose called the savasana, or the corpse pose. As the name implies, you should lie on your mat just like a lifeless corpse, slowly relaxing every bit of your body.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it actually isn’t. You can easily learn how to bend, twist, and balance to do any other asana. But you can’t order your body to instantly relax. Otherwise, insomnia wouldn’t have been that common.
Also, you should relax while remaining alert. In other words, you shouldn’t get sleepy.
That said, you can’t skip the savasana. Some beginners believe they can do it on their own since it looks so simple. If you have to leave the class early, inform your instructor so that you can do it before you leave.
Reconsider Your Outfit
Yoga is highly versatile. People can practice it with different movements, forms, and styles. Expectedly, you might not know what works and what doesn’t before you become experienced enough.
So, don’t expect anything to be perfect right from the first class. If you feel that your outfit isn’t comfortable enough, feel free to try something different. Asking your instructor or classmates could be the fastest way for valuable, tested solutions.
To Wrap Up
What to bring to your first yoga class? A mat, towel, water bottle, and a comfortable outfit. If you can’t decide on a mat yet, you can probably rent one from the studio.
Wearing comfy clothes is by far the most important consideration. You don’t have to follow the trend and wear tight clothes if they make you uncomfortable.
My most important tip for beginners is to relax and have fun! Don’t let anyone overwhelm or discourage you by a huge to-do list. Just show up and let it be.
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