Most people are a bit nervous before they go into their first yoga class, which is understandable. After all, you’re trying something completely new, in an unfamiliar place with people you don’t know. Because you’re new, people will be forgiving if you make a slight faux pas, but you should make an effort to follow common courtesy guidelines: being on time to class, being polite and friendly, not staring inappropriately, etc. Aside from avoiding bad manners, you’ll want to avoid making these 6 mistakes in your yoga class.
- Picking the wrong kind of class
If you’re a beginner, you’re not doing yourself any favors by joining an intermediate or advanced level class. You might discourage yourself and may actually unintentionally slow down the pace for the rest of the class.
- Wearing the wrong clothing
The best clothing for yoga is stretchy, comfortable and form-fitting. If you wear a baggy t-shirt to class, be prepared to have it slipping and sliding up and revealing everything underneath when you go into downward dog position.
- Being judgmental
Go easy on yourself; you’re still learning. Try your best to turn off that little voice in your head that’s telling you you’re not good enough. Similarly, avoid the judgmental reflex you might have when you see someone in your yoga class that you wouldn’t have expected to be there (men, people with disabilities and people with a few extra pounds are sometimes unfairly judged by people who haven’t yet internalized the spiritual self-love aspects of yoga).
- Taking things personally
Good yoga teachers will move throughout the class when you are holding positions to make adjustments and correct your form. If your teacher tells you do change your position or redistribute your weight, don’t take it personally; they’re just trying to make sure you get the most out of your practice.
- Not listening to your body
One of the things yoga teaches us is to respect and listen to our bodies. If a position feels wrong, stop doing it and ask your teacher for help right then or after class.
- Giving up after a bad class
Just because you had a bad class doesn’t mean you should give up on yoga completely! Maybe you don’t jibe with the teacher, or maybe you should try a different form of yoga.