New to yoga? Walk into your first class well-prepared by reading this post on what to expect during your first yoga class.
Yoga is a great way to improve both your physical and mental health through strengthening your body and centering your mind.
Don’t feel intimidated by fancy terminology, all of the props, and challenging poses. Yoga can be a good fit for everyone! And there is generally at least one style of yoga that people enjoy.
Whether you’re in the best shape of your life or just beginning on your fitness journey, yoga can work for you.
There are plenty of yoga options on YouTube for free so browse all of the options and pick something that resonates with you. Or attend a local yoga class near you.
How to choose your first yoga class
As a beginner, you want to make sure you choose the right class. Look for classes called “Intro to Yoga” or “For beginners”. These classes will be more likely to take things slowly and explain the poses a little more.
As you get more comfortable with yoga, you can try other classes that sound interesting to you. If you struggle with back pain, I highly recommend low impact classes that will provide all of the same health benefits, but with less impact to your spine and joints.
What to wear
Yoga requires a lot of movement and stretching, so you want to be comfortable and dressed properly to take the class to its fullest. You’ll want to avoid loose-fitting clothing that may get in the way or be uncomfortable in certain poses.
I recommend wearing yoga pants or leggings and a close-fitting shirt that won’t ride up easily as you move into different yoga poses.
As for shoes, you will be barefoot during the class, so feel free to wear whatever you are most comfortable in to travel to and from class.
What to bring
I recommend bringing a bottle of water to class so you can stay well hydrated.
Otherwise, the yoga studio should have any other equipment, or “props”, that you’ll need for the class there, so no need to worry about buying anything. If you have your own yoga mat, feel free to bring it, but if not no worries!
Yoga studios usually have cubbies inside the classroom for you to keep your wallet and keys close by. Remember to put your phone on silent so it doesn’t go off during class.
What Are Yoga Props?
You will always want a yoga mat during class, but there are other pieces of equipment called yoga props that teachers will sometimes utilize during class. These include something called a block which is essentially a block of hard foam or cork that you can use during several poses.
Another common yoga prop is a strap which is a fabric strap that can make certain stretches easier.
You may also use something called a bolster which looks like a pillow and is often used to add support during restful poses.
Lastly, another common yoga prop is a blanket, which is exactly what it sounds like. You can use a blanket under your knees during certain poses, so I highly recommend using one if you have knee issues.
Attending your first yoga class
Now you are ready to attend your first yoga class!
I recommend getting to class at least 10-15 minutes before it starts to give yourself plenty of time to settle in and get ready for class. There’s nothing worse then signing up for a yoga class to relax and then ending up stressing out and rushing into class at the last minute.
It may be a good idea to introduce yourself to the instructor and let him or her know that you are new.
Ask them what kind of props they recommend having in class. They usually keep all of the props in the back of the studio so you can grab what you need and pick a spot to set up.
You may want to choose something located in the middle or towards the back for your first class so you can follow along as other people move through the poses as well, but go wherever you feel most comfortable.
Now breathe and relax! Try your best to be present during class and really enjoy it. Sometimes I find that my thoughts easily wander to my to-do list, what I’m going to eat for dinner later, etc. but I always try to bring my mind back to the present moment and focus on the class.
During class, the instructor will walk you through several different yoga poses and sequences. Follow along the best you can, but don’t worry if you don’t get things exactly right. Sometimes it takes a little practice!
At the end of class, there will be a few minutes left for shavasana, or corpse pose. This last pose is an opportunity for you to just focus on your breath and find your inner peace. This pose is honestly one of the best parts of going to yoga because you get to just lay down and relax after all the hard work during class. It’s like your little reward!
The instructor will use a bell or some kind of noise to indicate when this time is over. At this point they will conclude the class.
Once class ends, you’ll want to return all of your yoga props to the back of the room where you got them and wipe down your yoga mat.
That concludes class, you did it!
Benefits of Yoga
Why should you give yoga a shot? Yoga has plenty of health benefits that make it a worthwhile activity.
Physically, yoga can help you strengthen your bones, reduce back pain, and improve your balance. It can also help you improve flexibility and stretch your muscles.
Mentally, yoga also has numerous benefits. It has a large focus on the breath, inner peace, and developing a calm mind. Yoga can help you reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, especially if you also practice yoga meditation techniques.
In addition to the many research studies that show how yoga can benefit your life, I can also personally say yoga has improved my life in several ways. I went to my first yoga class about eight years ago, and I have never looked back.
I have struggled with back pain throughout my life, and yoga has been so essential in my recovery and pain management process. I have also found yoga to be a great way to stretch muscles that have a tendency to become tight due to my back pain, like my hamstrings.
Yoga has also had a great impact on my mental health. I have found that yoga helps reduce stress – and I feel the effects almost instantly.
I look forward to my yoga classes each week and find each experience to be so calming. It’s an hour where I am completely unplugged from my phone and can just focus on myself. I leave the yoga studio relaxed and feeling ready to tackle the rest of my day or week.
How to Find a Yoga Class
You can find yoga classes in several ways. If you are already a member at a gym, check and see if they offer any yoga classes.
If not, Google “Yoga classes near me” and read the reviews for the various studios that come up in the search results.
If you aren’t sure that you want to commit to the investment quite yet, you can also try some free yoga classes online first. Although I find the atmosphere of a yoga studio more relaxing, online videos are a great way to introduce yourself to the practice and work out from home.
Comment below with any questions or to let us know how your first yoga class goes!
Written by Erin Amborski
Erin Amborski is an avid self care enthusiast and blogger. In her blog, Self Care Seeker, Erin helps women through their self care journeys. She writes about physical and mental health topics such as exercise, nutrition, skin care, anxiety, etc. In today’s world with life’s daily stresses, we could all use a little more self care. To embark on your own self care journey, check out and follow Self Care Seeker.