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Yoga Teacher, Jolene Cherry, Provides an Intro to Your First Yoga Class
Thursday, 23 January 2020

 Interested in yoga but not sure what to expect? Don't' worry. It's perfectly normal for a new fitness routine to appear both daunting and intimidating. But, with a little help and encouragement, you'll enter your first yoga lesson bursting with confidence and positive energy.

 In this article, experienced Yoga Teacher, Jolene Cherry, reviews what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect from yoga, so that you aren't caught off guard for your first class.

Yoga is more of an umbrella term than a specific fitness class because there are different types of yoga. When choosing your yoga class, look for words like Kundalini (focused on breathing and core), Ashtanga (more advanced), Vinyasa (slow flow), or Bikram (hot yoga). These are just a few of the yoga styles that may be offered. If you're unsure which class to take, ask for a recommendation for a beginner. Yoga communities are often very kind and helpful.

What to Wear

Regardless of which type of yoga class you start with, your clothing will be similar. Leggings or tight-fitting shorts, along with a fitted tank top or shirt is usually the best option. You will want your garment to be fitted because yoga poses will often have you bending over or upside down. Loose clothing will end up showing far more of your body than fitted clothes. High-waisted leggings are a classic staple and superb for yoga practice. 

Yoga is low impact, so a sports bra of medium or low support is all that's required. Socks are not usually required, and bare feet may be preferred for helping to hold a pose.

What to Bring

When you are getting ready for your yoga class, be sure to pack a bottle of water and a small towel for dabbing sweat. Some yoga classes offer a yoga mat for each person, but many places expect you to bring your own. It's a good idea to check on that before your first class. If you do need to bring a mat, look for one that has a small strap to keep it rolled, which makes it easy to carry.

Other yoga accessories to consider are straps, which help you stretch if you are not very flexible, as well as a yoga block, which serves the same purpose of the strap but is more useful in certain poses.

What to Expect

Yoga not only requires strength and flexibility, but it is also a combination of body, mind, and spirit. Most people find that yoga challenges their mind as much as it challenges their body.

You can expect to stretch a lot in a yoga class and to hold poses that require endurance and strength. You will probably sweat at least a little through the class, and you will sweat a lot if you are in a hot yoga class! 

You can also expect to repeat the poses, which is called a flow. Each time you go through a flow, you will likely be able to stretch a bit further. By the end of a yoga class, your muscles will be warm and lengthened; your body will be relaxed. However, the next day you may be slightly sore, but the recovery is typically quick since yoga is a relatively low impact form of exercise.

Overall, yoga is an excellent physical activity with several benefits (both physical and mental) that requires little gear to practice and is usually accompanied by a warm and welcoming community. What are you waiting for? Discover the joys of yoga today!

About Jolene Cherry: Jolene Cherry is a certified and experienced yoga instructor and personal trainer based in Portland, Oregon. She has always been interested in fitness, meditation, and nutrition and decided to help others reach their desired levels of physical fitness. Her international training and experience, ranging from Hawaii to Thailand, along with her nurturing one-on-one sessions have helped propel her to a prominent personal trainer and yoga instructor in the Pacific Northwest. She excels in a variety of yoga styles, especially Vinyasa Yoga, traditional Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, as well as meditation-oriented Yin Yoga.
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