There is one thing that every yogi has in common – once upon a time, they themselves were beginners. You might be planning to attend your first yoga class and wondering what to expect or what to do before, during or after class. Don’t worry, you are not alone. These are just a few of the questions yoga teachers hear all the time from first-time students. We reached out to 12 Seattle-area yoga teachers and asked for their advice for students attending their first yoga class. Here is what they had to say:


Remember to breathe! I once read that the difference between fear and excitement is how we’re breathing. When we get overwhelmed by anything — a lot of new information, concerns that we’re not going to be good at something, intense focus — we often hold our breath. I tell my students that even if they don’t do anything else in the hour or 90 minutes that we have together, to make sure they’re breathing steadily. That can be more than enough.Kat Selvocki


Be open to the experience. Allow any judgment to fall away and be open to being taught. It is helpful to call the studio before your first class to ask what you need (mat, towel, fitted clothes, water). Try lots of different teachers and different studios to find the right fit. There truly is a yoga for everyone. It just may take time (and patience) to find that perfect match.Jenniferlyn Chiemingo


Remember that yoga poses initially can be challenging. This is natural. You will feel parts of your body that are tight, weak or strong. With repetition, the poses get easier, the body starts to open up and get stronger. Like anything we do needs time. Give yourself a couple of weeks or months to grow into your yoga practice. Yoga takes time. Not much will happen in one class. Arundhati Baitmangalkar


Come with an open mind and try to allow the practice to unfold in front of you. Allow yourself to be a beginner, and try to have a sense of amusement and wonder, like it’s your first day of kindergarten. There aren’t mistakes, just learning experiences. Make sure to tell your teacher if you have any injuries or other physical limitations, and have fun!Anna Holden


Yoga is not a race. Getting into the deepest pose the fastest is far from the point. Yoga, “union,” is based on the journey between poses, not getting from point A to point B. Enid Rosalyn Spitz


The most important thing to remember is to relax. Anxiety to do more, fear of being judged, doubt in your ability, etc. all contribute to unnecessary tension and prevent you from getting a deep experience. So just follow the instructions with a relaxed mind, and see what happens! Pavel Dmitriev


Prior to attending class drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, no matter if its hot [yoga] or non-heated. And don’t come in with expectations, come with intentions of becoming a healthier you and becoming a stronger and more flexible you.Alexis Zurdo


Taking a few moments to learn the etiquette of the studio or location where you’ll be practicing can really enhance the experience for both you and your fellow students. Some common but often unspoken rules: Remove your shoes before entering the room. Unroll your mat quietly. Avoid wearing perfume, cologne or heavy jewelry. Refrain from stepping on other people’s mats. Introduce yourself to the teacher and mention that you’re new to yoga. Be mindful about putting props away neatly after practicing. And please, remember to breathe!Jennifer Ball


Do the best you can! Do not worry about how you look or how other people look; Focus more on how you feel in each asana.Yoga is not a competition. Focus on your breath, steady and calm breath, and simply enjoy. Be open-minded and listen very carefully to both your body and the teacher’s instruction.Saiko Malae Shima


Have fun! Yoga isn’t a competition. You wouldn’t walk into your first day of French class and berate yourself for not already being a fluent speaker, so don’t come to yoga and expect to look like a Cirque du Soleil performer in your first practice. If your intention is to win, then you will lose. But if you set your intention to have fun and to explore your body and its amazing potential for movement, then all of your goals will be realized and you’ll notice a profound transformation in your body and thought patterns as you continue to grow your practice. Gabriella Horowitz

Laura Humpf-yoga-seattle

Have fun. Don’t take it too seriously. Congratulate yourself for showing up! That is the hardest part.Laura Humpf

We hope you enjoyed reading the advice shared by this group of local yoga teachers. This article is part of a series of articles focused on yoga for beginners. Good luck with your first yoga class!

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