Do’s and dont’s – information for prospective (or exisiting) yoga students
In order to get the most from your yoga practice here are a few things you need to know before you start:
Don’t let anything on this list put you off. Yoga makes your body smile.
Do check any health conditions (no matter how small) or injury with your GP and with your Yoga teacher.
Do wear loose fitting clothing that you feel comfortable in. (You will need to be comfortable when sitting, bending over, being upside down, lifting your legs up and stretching). Something like a pair of leggings and a tshirt, or a tracksuit, is generally fine. But if you want something a little different have a look through the clothing in our online store
Don’t eat a meal, drink alcohol, or consume caffeine before you practise yoga. Ideally, Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach. If you must eat – then try to eat at least two hours prior to practise – and make it a light meal or snack. If you normally suffer from digestive problems see your doctor or health care practitioner, and if you experience any issues (such as nausea or indigestion) during your yoga practise , chat them through with your yoga teacher.
Do invest in a good yoga mat. Yoga is usually practised on a <<sticky mat>>. Some of the studios have mats which students are free to use, others don’t. Our yoga teachers will always carry a few spare just in case. But we do recomend that you buy your own if you are going to practise regularly – its more personal, pleasant and hygenic! (Visit our <<store>> – or ask your yoga teacher – for details of our yoga mats).
Do take something warm to your yoga class. The warmest of rooms can feel cold during relaxation or meditation, so even on a summers day, just take a light blanket and a pair of socks….just in case. Have a look at our <<store>> for more ideas.
Do bare your toes! Yoga is usually practised in bare feet. It’s good to get your feet out, it allows the skin to breathe, and the toes to spread, and lets you really connect with the ground beneath you. (Another reason for having your own mat.) We don’t mind if the underside of your feet are a bit, well, dirty. But if you do, then give your feet a soak in a bowl of warm lavender water first. If you really want to wear socks, why not try some of our <<yoga socks>>, which are sticky underneath to stop your feet from slipping.
Do invest in a Yoga block, which is a small spongey or foam square, which yogis the world over use to raise their hips when sitting, or for supporting knees, wrists or heads. (Check out our online <<store>> for more info). Even if you are uber flexible, a yoga block can still be useful.
Do use a a Yoga Belt – it’s not like a black belt in Karate!! Yoga belts are used to help you stretch. Great for all students – have a look at the <store> for more details.
Do stay hydrated.Its always a good idea to keep hydrated before and after yoga,and sometimes people need a small sip of water during class. Ideally, bring a bottle of water to keep you topped up. Try not to gulp down loads of cold water though, it isn’t good for you generally, but before or during yoga can make you feel a little sick.
Do keep wrapped up warm after the class, and make sure you drink plenty of water.
Do warm up your body before the class begins. Yoga teachers should do some nasic warm up exercises at the start of the class – but even so – the warmer your body the less likely you are to injure yourself. So maybe walk, cycle or jog to the class, or get there a little earlier and do your own gentle warm up stretches. For more on warming up click <<here>>.
Do remember to smile! Yoga makes you feel good! and smiling reminds you of how good you feel!
Don’t take it too seriously – lighten up – have some fun!!
Don’t worry about what other students are doing. Yoga will benefit you most if you listen and pay attention to your body. Although you may not be able to contort your body like a gymnast, you will be able to gently increase your flexibility and strength, by working just on the edge of your bodies capabilities. Yoga shouldn’t hurt. Though sometimes it might feel a bit odd, and even a bit uncomfortable.
Do breathe and relax into postures. Sounds crazy, I know! But, when you get to the posture – take some nice deep slow breaths. Feel the body lift a little, expanding as you fill with breath, and notice how things soften as you breath out. Enjoy the rythym of your body.
Don’t work in pain. The first principle of yoga is non-violence – which means don’t hurt anything, anyone or yourself.
Do think of your yoga practise like a pamper session, nurturing and caring for your body, your mind, your soul.
Do ask your teacher, or us, anything you like (about yoga of course – well you can ask us anything – football, building walls etc, but we can’t guarantee being able to answer you!!). But seriously, do let us know of any concerns or things you don’t quite understand. We are here to help.