Are you ready to take your Covid-style yoga practice out into the real world? You’ve been practicing at home for some time, and now it’s time to get yourself out there and connect.
Maybe you want to explore yoga as a new fitness regime, or maybe you want to explore yoga because of its history and spirituality.
There’s one problem: you’ve never set foot in a studio before and the thought of it is intimidating AF.
The thoughts running through your head may sound a little like this:
“I’m not flexible enough.”
“Everyone else looks like they know exactly what they’re doing.”
“I have no idea what the words mean.”
“There’s more than one kind of yoga? How do I know where to start?”
I know this feeling all too well.
Believe it or not, I never actually went to my first in-person yoga class until weeks into my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
I started my entire practice – the very thing that changed my life for the better – entirely at home.
I was a nervous wreck. Feeling insecure in my life decisions, and lack of knowledge with yoga, I was nervous about feeling judged.
And here’s a secret I have come to learn: everyone feels uncomfortable when going to a yoga studio for the first time.
It’s an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar ways of moving your body. But you soon find, every time you come back to your mat, something magical starts to happen.
Before you can fully submerge yourself in yoga, letting the practice take you away, you first need to mentally prepare.
Here are 5 practical and simple ways you can ease your mind before stepping foot into the studio:
Do Your Research
It sounds like common sense, but make sure that you’re researching different studios and class types in your local area.
Wear Clothing You Feel Comfortable In
Contrary to popular belief, Lululemon and Alo are not the end-all, be-all when it comes to yoga clothing.
You don’t even have to wear anything spandex. Any type of clothing that you exercise in will be fine.
If you wear a looser shirt, prepare for it to fall near your shoulders when your head is towards the ground. You can always tuck it in or rock it – no one’s looking at you anyway.
Don’t worry about wearing shoes, you take them off as soon as you enter the studio. Socks are completely up to the individual. If you opt to wear socks during a yoga class, I recommend wearing something like this yoga sock, to provide extra grip on the mat.
Know That Everyone Is Here For Their Own Practice
In the beginning, it can feel particularly intimidating to show up to a yoga studio for the first time.
Whether we realize it or not, we’re afraid of feeling like outsiders. It’s normal in environments where we feel new and unfamiliar.
I can tell you this one thing for sure: everyone that shows up on their mats are showing up for themselves and themselves only. No one is looking around the room thinking “wow, I am so much more flexible than her. Look at my downdog next to his – doesn’t even compare.”
As you’re coming to yoga to destress and release tension in your body, so is your neighbor!
The more time you spend on your mat, the more you come to understand the internal transformation that it brings.
Be Open-Minded And Try Not To Take It So Seriously
In the west, we associate yoga with a few things: spiritual enlightenment, flexibility and trendy athleisure wear. But this ancient practice has so much more to offer.
Beginning for some as a physical practice, yoga soon brings in emotional and mental benefits.
Every day on your mat is different.
Let’s Set Some Clear Expectations:
One day you’ll walk into the studio feeling excited. You’ll feel extra strong, and balanced. Your downward dog is the best it’s ever been, and you leave feeling accomplished.
But maybe the next day you fall on your butt, your balance is off, and for whatever reason you can’t seem to get your mind quiet.
The next day may be a combination of the first two days — or you’ll experience something totally new, again.
Yoga is a practice. There is no ending. Every time we step foot on our mats we are choosing the beautiful journey of beginning again.
So What Now?
Bottom line: everyone experiences discomfort at some point in their yoga journey.
It’s all a part of the process. Human beings are hardwired to look for potential threats in unfamiliar situations.
Here at Sacred Moon, we choose to honor and explore those moments of discomfort in a safe place. We offer a variety of different yoga styles, levels, and class times that are suitable for anyone – plus our teachers are here to help you figure out what’s best for you.
We’re all human here. Some of us are in recovery, and all of us are fighting our own battles.
Our mission is to provide an environment for our com-moon-ity to gather and support one another on our individual journeys.
We want to welcome you inside.