As we ring in the excitement of a new year and the promise of a new decade, we’re sure that more than a few of you are interested in trying out a new form of exercise and healthy living. Yoga is growing in popularity year over year. It’s easy to see why. It’s accessible to any and everyone and is a wonderful way to achieve a sense of mind and body wellness. It’s no wonder then that an estimated 14% of Americans now practice yoga.

Even though it’s never been easier to get started in yoga, it’s still important to have a familiarity with the practice before you step into your first class. We at Water and Rock Studio thought it would be a great idea to start the new year with a guide for those of you who are new to yoga. Here are a few things you need to know before you get started.

Come as You Are

We hear from our new students that the idea of taking yoga classes can be intimidating at first. After all, many of the images presented in the media of yoga are of thin, graceful people wrapping themselves into complex poses. There’s no denying the skill of some of these yogis, but they aren’t representative of the huge group of people who practice yoga every day. 

The fact is, yoga is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re super flexible or not at all, whether you’re at peak fitness or just beginning your fitness journey. You don’t have to look like those models to practice yoga. The practice of yoga is an ever-changing process between you, your body, and the poses you’re performing. We welcome all at Water and Rock Studio.

You Don’t Need All of The Yoga Gear

It’s easy to get lost in everything that yoga “requires” to get started. A quick search for yoga studios online and you’ll be bombarded with lists of gear, some at very high prices. While these things can add to the experience, they aren’t keeping you from practicing yoga. If you don’t have a mat, a specialized outfit, or even workout shoes, that’s ok. We’re happy to get you settled into your class with whatever you do have.

We recommend that our students attend our yoga classes in clothing that feels comfortable to you. We’ve found that stretchy, flexible fabrics, like polyester, nylon, and spandex are best. We also suggest that your clothes be fitted, as loose, billowy clothing can interrupt your movements and flow. We can help you find a mat, and there’s no need for any special footwear, as yoga is practiced barefoot.

In addition to a comfortable outfit, we suggest bringing a water bottle and a towel with you. One is to keep you hydrated, and the other is to help you dry off after a hot yoga class.

Enjoy the Distraction-Free Environment

At Water and Rock Studio, one of our core values is taking a holistic approach to health and wellness. While much of that revolves around the exercise classes and wellness plans we offer, it also means helping you lower your stress, find your focus, and unwind physically and mentally.

We understand that electronic devices are an essential part of everyday life in 2020, but we want each yoga class to be a chance to disconnect and focus on a given moment. We’ve found that even the quietest chirp of a smartphone can pull us out of our practice, and the stresses of everyday life come tumbling onto the mat with us. If possible, we ask that you leave your devices at home, or turned off and in your workout bag. You can use them at the end of the session. The only exception, of course, is if you’re taking an online yoga class with one of our instructors, otherwise, you might find it difficult to connect with them.

More than just devices, we want to create an environment where everyone feels welcome. That means respecting others’ time and space. Please arrive on time to each class, providing enough time beforehand to arrive, check-in, and get settled before each yoga class. Additionally, be aware of those around you, and do not crowd them and their mat.

There’s a Yoga Style for Everyone

If you’ve got friends who practice yoga, they might come to you and rave about their Vinyasa class, or their Hatha sessions. You might find that those styles aren’t for you, and that’s ok. One of the best parts about yoga is that it offers you flexibility in how you develop your, well, flexibility. At Water and Rock Studios, you’ll find several different styles of yoga to appeal to everyone. 

From yoga kickboxing to Hatha flow, and even yoga with animals, we’re sure you’ll find a studio that fits your needs, abilities, and interests. If you’re not connecting with one form, we encourage you to try another! Our instructors are happy to offer their insights and help you find a form that works best for you.

Approach Yoga With an Open Mind

Trying something new, be it yoga or kickboxing, can be intimidating and even frustrating. You might feel a sense of judgment and expectations. In reality, this judgment is coming from yourself, and your expectations of yourself are higher than others. Remember to give yourself some room to explore and learn. 

If you can’t do a certain pose in your first class, it’s ok. Rather than berating yourself, instead, note that it’s something you can work on in future classes. When you need a break, adopt a simple pose instead. Forgiving yourself is an essential part of practicing yoga, so give yourself the OK now to try new things and make mistakes. We think you’ll enjoy your first yoga class, and every one after it, more if you have an open mind.

Start a New Year in a New Manhattan Yoga Studio

Water and Rock Studio is extremely excited to announce that our new space in Manhattan is open and accepting students. We offer our complete complement of classes, courses, and sessions. Find out more about our unique approach, and sign up for your free private consultation to find the right yoga class in Manhattan for you!

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