As the weather begins to turn, so does our focus on goals and tasks that weren’t completed during the summer months. Fall is the time to jump back into your body and get down to work. Yoga is a practice that enables your mind and your body to do so. Nervous to give it a try? Here are a few tips that will have you rocking Mala Beads in no time!

Here are five things you should remember to do:

  1. The Butt Test. Especially the ladies, before you step into the room and into your downward facing dog, know what you are showing. Once you are decked out in your spandex gear, never leave the house without the functional four: Water, Mat, Towel, Hair Ties. Yes, I count them off in my head before I leave the house. It’s just a pain in the ass if you forget one and it sets you up for unnecessary stress. However, if you forget any of the above, most studios offer mat and towel rentals as well as water and headbands to purchase.
  2. Arrive Early. Especially as the weather gets cooler, classes fill up. You don’t want to be this chick:
  3. Child's Post (Media Credit/Kim Fisch Yoga)

    Child’s Post (Media Credit/Kim Fisch Yoga)

    Just Breathe. Have no expectations of yourself, especially when everything/everyone around you is a new experience. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. If all else fails, come down to child’s pose.
  4. Listen. Were you a pro at Simon Says or the Hokey Pokey? Good, because really that is the only skill you need. This is a game of Hand-Ear coordination. Your instructor will guide with alignment cues. If you don’t panic and listen closely, your body will naturally follow.
  5. Stay Put. I can’t voice the importance of this one enough. As an instructor, nothing is more disappointing then when a student leaves prior to Savasana. Savasana is the final position of the class. After all of your hard work, you lay on the ground like a flattened pancake. Sounds weird, feels amazing. This is the time where your mind settles and calmness over takes your body. Don’t take my word for it, give it a try.

And here are five things you need to accept:

  1. Your feet. Well, your entire body. It’s all you are given and every single one of them is unique. Go get a pedicure and be thankful that you are able to walk into the class.
  2. Scandal. You may have heard about the New York Times article “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” or about the guru who was apparently sleeping with all of his students. No, I’m not going to link to them. Everything these days is smattered in controversy. Don’t let the voices of others sway you. Leave your ego at home and show up with an open heart. Your only take away from class should be enjoyment. If not, find another class.
  3. Jealousy. It happens to all of us. Personally, it is very easy for me to do splits. I’m pretty damn flexible, it’s in my genes. But ask me to come into an elegant, simple side twist? Hell no. My storage fat sits in my midsection. This midsection has difficulty twisting itself with the extra cargo. Oh well, I do my best, while glaring at the skinny bitch in the corner completely facing the back wall. Like I said, it happens.
  4. Emotions. Get the giggles out while you can ladies and gentleman. Someone is going to fart. It’s inevitable with all the twisting and forward folding. You personally can avoid this by not eating or drinking directly before class. It’s that simple. Also, someone will cry. When you start working deep within the hip openers, lots of heavy emotions may be released. One moment you may be giggling and the next you are sobbing like a teenage girl. Just be OK with it, we regulars are.
  5. Touch. Some instructors are trained to gently touch their students to enable them to come deeper into the postures. Don’t freak out! It feels good. In some cases, it feels like a massage mid-practice. If you are uncomfortable or are working with an injury, let the instructor know. Everyone will respect your boundaries.

Ashtanga Yoga founder, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, once said “Practice, practice and all is coming.” Take a cue from one of the greats and jump in there. It’s worth it.

About The Author

Amanda Bergin is a full-time architectural designer and part-time yoga instructor in Boston and Cambridge with a vegetarian appetite. Her current obsessions include NPR podcasts, juicing, headstands, organizing, exploring on her bright green bike and her Boston Terrier, Beacon.

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