With the New Year and its resolutions in full swing, we've noticed lots of newbies in our classes this week. With the intention of helping everyone reap the benefits of a yoga practice, we've put together this list of tips to help the aspiring yogis out there.

Do your research

You wouldn't start a post secondary program or sign up for a cooking class without doing some research first, so treat your yogic education the same way. Research the studios in your area, and the styles of yoga they offer to ensure you are going to get out of your practice what you are seeking. Weather it be weight loss, spirituality, increased flexibility, or community, all studios & styles are unique and have something different to offer.

Prairie Yogi's studio directory is a great place to start!

It's not going to be love at first samastitihi

My very first yoga class, a woman said to me: "you aren't going to love it the first time, and maybe not even the second. You are going to need to commit to at least five classes in the next two weeks for you to start feeling what it's all about." I am so thankful to this woman, because I don't know if I would have returned for a second class if it weren't for those words. She was right, it wasn't until my third class that I actually started to get the postures and to feel bliss.

Most studios have great two week or one month intro rates for first time students, so invest in yourself and commit to doing at least two classes each week for that period.

Talk to the teacher

Be sure to get to your first class at least 15 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time to get registered and familiar with the studio space. Talk to the teacher before the class, tell them that this is your first time, and inform them of any injuries that you may have This will give them a chance to give you extra support throughout your class and show you any modifications that your body may need.

Take a few extra minutes after class to ask the teacher any questions that may have arose during class, remember… There is no such thing as a stupid question.

Dress comfortably

You don't need expensive yoga gear to have a great experience, just breathable, comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely and be comfortable.
Set a yoga goal for yourself (i.e. I will attend three classes a week for my first month) and once you complete that goal, reward yourself with a sweet new yoga outfit. that will get you excited to keep coming back to the mat.

Leave your ego at the door. 

This can be very challenging, even for seasoned practitioners. You may feel clumsy and foolish your first time on the mat, unfamiliar with the postures, and feeling like everyone around you is judging you. Don't worry, their focus is on their own mat, and if they have noticed you, they are not judging you, they are actually sending love + light in your direction. We've all been there.

Let go of your feelings of "I'm not doing this right" and "I must look ridiculous right now" and instead, be grateful to yourself that you have brought yourself to the mat, and are starting your journey towards better physical fitness and connecting your mind, body & spirit.

We at Prairie Yogi want to help you get what you want out of your yogi journey. If you have any questions, comments or tips of your own, please share!

Illustrations by Émilie St-Hilaire

Rachelle Taylor is a writer, yogi, photographer, and the founder of Prairie Yogi Magazine. Taylor forged a deep connection to her practice while living in the Cayman Islands on a working holiday. The return to her hometown, in the heart of Canada, inspired her to create PYM with the intention to inspire, educate, and bring together the strong yoga community of the prairies. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Canada.


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