Yoga Chew Valley

MORE THAN A YOGA STUDIO

Getting Started

Whether you are new to our studio, or you are joining us online using Zoom, we all share the experience of starting our first class.

Here are some tips to get you going.

Generally speaking, if you are new to class, it is best to come along to our studio for in-person instruction. Our teachers can provide more personalised guidance in the flesh. That said, if you are not able to come along to our studio, or if coming to our studio is otherwise preventing you from getting started, video classes via Zoom are a perfectly acceptable solution.

Here is a 15 minute gap in between our classes. This allows for change-over time and it means that after class, our members can take their time to leave. It also allows anyone new to speak with the teacher before class starts. If you are logging onto a class using Zoom, and you are new to using Zoom, we suggest you take the 15 minutes before a class to allow for any technical issues.

For hygiene purposes, you will need to have your own mat. You can get them so easily these days, from Amazon, through to TX Maxx and even most of the larger supermarkets. From time to time, we do place an order for more specialist yoga mats, but when you are first starting out, a basic sticky yoga mat, which is about 4.5mm thick which will cost somewhere in the region of £10-15 is more than sufficient.

You do not need the latest gear from Sweaty Betty or Lululemon. Come as you are, wearing something that will allow you ease of movement. You may be getting down and up off the floor, and you will most likely need to be able to take a long step back or forwards. We would also suggest wearing light layers that can be easily removed when you get hot and put on when you get cooler during the relaxation part of the class. Classes will also be done barefoot.

Most times, you will be fine to wait until after class to get a drink, providing you are well-hydrated before class. If you are new and have not been active for a long time, you may feel more confident having some water available to drink throughout the class.

If you tend to sweat a lot, have a light towel nearby.

When you start moving, everything gets churned up and you may start to feel sick if your stomach is too full.  You can have a light snack, or a smoothie an hour or two before class.

When you are first starting out, it is perfectly acceptable to glance around the room to see what everyone else is doing, but look to the teacher for your primary instruction. If you are in a Zoom class, we suggest you “pin” the teacher’s video, so you just see the teacher as the main video. Listen for the verbal cues as the teacher describes how to do something. Then, trust yourself and know that our teachers will keep an eye on you.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t do something. It is not about keeping up with what everyone else is doing, or worrying what you look like. Most likely, the others are too concerned about what they are doing then someone else. It is a personal practice, and everyone’s abilities and goals are different. Stay light-hearted and keep your sense of humour. Laugh if you fall out of a Pose, smile when things get difficult. Breathe and enjoy yourself.

Remember that your time on your mat is personal. No one else is inside your body, so defer to your own judgment about what you can and cannot do. Over time, you will learn to discern the difference between something you may be afraid of or think you cannot do and something that is actually painful or possibly dangerous for you.  Listen to your body and respect what it tells you about how to practice.

Make a habit of doing this as soon as you get to class. You will be embarrassed if your phone rings during class, and it is a major distraction for the teacher and other students. If you forget and it does rings, own up to it and turn the ringer off immediately. Never answer the phone or send texts during class.

It is fine to leave class for a few minutes to go to the toilet, as you will not be able to concentrate or relax on a full bladder. There is no need to ask the teacher’s permission. The best time to go is when there is a period of rest.

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