Article by Tegan Burger

Tegan Burger has been teaching yoga since 2012. She’s completed Living Yoga’s Teacher Training; teacher training with Jim Harrington including his 500 hour (advanced) training; and the 300 hour Jivamukti Teacher Training in New York with David Life and Sharon Gannon. Tegan is currently a BSc in Nutritional Science. Tegan credits yoga to helping her keep in check with herself and more in tune with her true self.

Your first yoga class can be daunting. Especially if you’ve got this idea of ex-dancers

arriving to show you up, and expecting a room full of women who know every cue.

Let me assure you that in my five years of teaching I’ve only ever had one ex-dancer come regularly to my class. I see more and more men joining the classes, and nobody knows their left or right for the first few days, I promise.

The best advice I can give to you is to start with a beginner class. These are classes full of people in your shoes. Confused about what the teacher is saying, falling over occasionally and not ridiculously flexible – yet!

A beginner class is great because the poses should be entry level, accessible to everyone and a real chance for you to learn week by week.

Things to Know Before Your First Yoga Class

  1. You probably won’t know who the teacher is for the first few classes, that’s okay.
  2. Don’t eat a big meal before your first class. I like to wait an hour or two before I practice.
  3. Wear clothes that are comfortable. Ladies: Think leggings and a vest. Guys: Think shorts and a vest.
  4. Don’t buy a mat from the pharmacy or sports shop. Rent a mat from the studio until you can justify buying a decent mat. I assure you, you will throw away the R150 yoga mat.
  5. Don’t bring your shoes into the actual studio. Keep them in the waiting area.
  6. Relax and try to enjoy yourself.

As long as you don’t get into your head about not being flexible or good enough to keep continuing with yoga, you really will start to see progress happen. Having said that, keep in mind that each of us are different and come to the mat with different injuries or physical backgrounds. You shouldn’t expect to be the same as the person next to you.

For example, imagine a guy who has played rugby most of his high school life sitting next to a woman who did some dancing in primary school. The guy will have hamstrings too tight to mention and the woman won’t even struggle to reach past her toes! But men don’t worry, your advantage lies in your strength. All those push ups and pull ups you have been doing will pay off in yoga when it comes to being able to hold plank and do a low plank (known as chaturanga dandasana). Watch as those ladies build a sweat!

Don’t write off yoga until you’ve given it a couple of months. Like anything it takes time before you become good at it and before it becomes second nature.

Follow Tegan on instagram @teganbyoga for daily yoga inspiration.

Main image by Tegan Burger 

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