1. Choose the Right Yoga Class

Finding your favorite yoga class or style at the beginning can help you avoid dropping out in the long run. One of the most important first considerations is what you want to get out of the practice and what benefits you would like to gain. The Yoga West team and teachers are here to help you with advice and guidance in your journey – so please talk to us if you are unsure! Our studio offers a wide range of classes (Yin to Vinyasa), which can allow you to explore the different styles and how they make your body feel. We also offer a Beginners Course which can be a perfect introduction to key standing and seated poses, sun salutations, breathing, meditation and relaxation.

  1. Listen to your Body 

Unlike other physical activities yoga never encourages people to fight through the pain – safety, your body’s needs and well-being always come first! It’s important to remember that in any class child's pose is always an option.  There might be yogis of all levels practicing, but always listen to your body and don’t be afraid to take rest if there's a pose you don't understand or aren't ready to try.

  1. Yoga Is Not a Competitive Sport

Yoga is not a competitive sport and there is no need to look at and compare yourself to fellow students. Yoga requires concentration of the mind and focusing only on yourself and your individual beautiful practice.

  1. Breathe

Your yoga practices should combine movement (Asana) and breathing (Pranayama).   Always remember to breathe (even during more challenging poses) and return to your breath when you feel your mind wander. You can also explore how shallow your breath is at the beginning of class and if it's deeper and more relaxed at the end. Thank us later!

  1. Yoga Class Preparation

Don't take class on a full or heavy stomach: It would be unpleasant to move, twist and jump into poses while your stomach is digesting. Best practice is not eating at least an hour before class, and if you are not able to or need a boost of energy – have a delicious and nutritious banana!

Arrive early: This will give you a chance speak to our staff or teachers if you have any questions, set up your mat in your preferred studio location and relax before the practice begins.

  1. Pick the right outfit

You may not think that what you wear to yoga is that important but it can actually affect your performance a lot. This point is not about being the most stylish or trendy yogi in the studio. Yoga demands comfort and flexibility – choose an outfit which puts utility first (comfortable sports bra, stretchy leggings, simple top, warm sweatshirt for the final pose). Yoga West offers some beautiful yet practical clothing online and in-studio from our partner Jilla Active.

7.  Respect your neighbours

Basic manners such as arriving on time, not disturbing the class or talking to your friend, never laughing at others, respecting the teacher’s efforts and following their guidance are crucial. A respectful surrounding creates the best class experiences!

  1. Don’t chase only physical benefits

It’s important to note that the physical elements and achievements are only a small component of yoga. Your practice is a journey to understanding the self. Touching your toes, twisting into a backbend or doing a head stand won’t make you a good Yogi. Focusing on your thoughts, understanding the strength of both your body and mind, finding purpose and applying your practice in life off the mat is what defines what kind of Yogi you are.

9.  Yoga Props are your Friends

Blocks, straps and blankets help your body get into a deeper, more flexible or relaxed version of a pose. Whether you are a complete beginner or experienced yogi, props are there to help and assist your practice. Yoga West offers a convenient Beginners Gift set containing a yoga towel, brick or block and a strap. Please ask our studio staff if interested.

10. Be committed

The amazing benefits of yoga can only be felt when you fully commit to a long term practice. This applies to physical elements and incorporating what was learned on the matt in everyday life. Honouring your commitment will truly allow you to progress in every aspect of yoga -physical, spiritual and emotional!