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What REALLY to expect from yoga with Abi


What to expect from yoga with Abi

You’ve been listening to your friends talk about how good they feel after their yoga class but every time you think about going, your mind gets overwhelmed with nerves and questions bombard your brain:


Will I be able to keep up with the rest of the group?


Will I be told off if you can’t touch my toes?


Where do I put my yoga mat?


Will I have to chant strange sounds over and over again?


Read on to find out exactly what to expect if you come to a yoga class with me:


Welcome


You’ll be warmly greeted at the door and you’ll be shown where you can leave your coat and shoes. Make sure your phone is turned off to avoid any distractions! Feel free to bring a drink of water which you can place next to your mat.


Shoes off


Take your shoes off when you come into the room or ‘shala’ as yoga studios are often called. You can keep your socks on if you’re feeling chilly to start with.


Take a seat


There’s no seating plan so you can go wherever you feel drawn to. If you want to bring your own mat, that’s great, but you can also borrow one too. Roll out your mat and sit down (this doesn’t have to be some fancy yoga pose, just a comfortable seated position – cross legged or kneeling). There’ll be a few minutes while everyone arrives so feel free to chat to the person next to you or introduce yourself to the teacher.


The start of class


Classes start with a few moments of silence and stillness, to allow yourself to properly ‘arrive’ on the yoga mat. You’ll be guided to bring your attention to your breath. It might be the first time all day that you’ve stopped, so follow the teacher’s guidance and don’t give yourself a hard time if thoughts arise.


The focus for the class will be described so that you understand what you are working towards. Sometimes it’s a part of the body, other times it’s a class focused on one particular pose or a philosophical element.


You will then be guided through some opening postures, where you’ll spend a few breaths in each pose, giving you the time to find the alignment that suits your body.



Flow


Movement and breath will be paired together with some half sun salutations and sun salutations (a series of poses sequenced to help you to link breath and movement). There’ll be lots of ‘modifications’ (adaptations of the pose to suit your body) so there’s no need to be able to touch your toes! These movements usually change slightly each class to reflect the focus for that session.


The flow then gets longer, adding on standing poses as your body gets warmer.


You’ll get the chance to have a go at some balances (typically where your weight is in one leg while the other leg is raised up). Don’t worry if you wobble!


End of class


After flowing with the body and breath, you will be guided through some closing postures, usually on the mat or seated before getting ready for savasana.


Savasana is time for deep relaxation and you’ll spend a few minutes here, sometimes in silence or other times led by the teacher.


You have the option to lay down on your mat, arms and legs outstretched or find a more comfortable position.


Put on any extra layers of clothing and cover yourself with a blanket for that extra bit of comfort!


There’s nothing to do in savasana apart from relax, a chance to let go of the practice and find some rest.


Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, allow rest to find you.


The teacher will guide you to come to a seated position and the class will end with a few breaths of silent gratitude.


The word ‘namaste’ (pronounced nah-mah-stay) may be said by the teacher, which means ‘I bow to you’, a symbol of respect and gratitude towards the students.


Then it’s time to roll up your yoga mat and carry on with your day feeling more relaxed, less stressed and looking forward to your next class!


If you’d like to come along to a yoga class in Calderdale, join our friendly community! You can book your first class here (use the code firstclass for a price reduction).

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