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By guest contributor Jennifer Neilson, World Health Edmonton Yoga Coordinator

  1. Try different teachers. Just like with any form of exercise or group class, everyone likes something a little different. Try out a few different teachers, you might find one you really connect with.
  2. Try different styles. Depending on your day or energy levels, different yoga classes can do wonders. Try out a yin or gentle Hatha style class for something a bit more relaxing, or some Flow or hot yoga to get the blood pumping!
  3. Being shy is okay. Many people can be a bit shy walking into the yoga class for the first time. Yogis are known for being accepting and inviting and most of us understand what it feels like when we first started.
  4. Bring a few layers. Things can get heated through movement of the body and breath so it’s good to be able to remove sweaters and socks. When things calm down at the end of class it’s nice to have a layer or two nearby to put on so you are comfortable.
  5. Listen to your body. As with any new type of physical activity, our bodies may not be used to some of the movements. If you feel pain or over exertion, take a rest. Pushing yourself too hard too fast will likely lead to injury!
  6. Observing peace in class. Leave cell phones and conversations in lockers. Buzzing, ringing and talking can be distracting to other yogis! Additionally, at the end of class some people may want to stay longer in Savasana so just quietly roll up your mat and leave when you are ready.
  7. Bring water. Take small sips of water if possible. Chugging back water while twisting and turning can upset the tummy. A good tip is to have the water not too cold, especially for hot yoga. This can make you feel even more hot as your body tries to correct its temperature from the cold.
  8. Chat with the teacher. Yoga teachers love when students let us know if you loved the class or would like something a bit different next time. Additionally, letting a teacher know of any injuries can help them find modifications for your needs.
  9. Eat a lighter meal before coming. Some studios suggest not eating up to 2 hours before class, but having a lighter meal or snack can be a good idea for energy. Eating a large meal then twisting and folding can upset the stomach and leave you feeling lethargic.
  10. Have Fun! At the end of it all, it’s all about enjoying yourself through the exploration of postures and movement! Laughing and smiling is highly encourage during class.

World Health Edmonton is launching a brand new yoga class on Sunday evenings at various clubs from 6:30pm-7:30pm. Check our group class schedule here

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