Welcome! First of all, when we say “new students”, we mean “new to yoga”. If you’re already practicing but haven’t been to Groove Yoga yet, just come on in. It’ll all make sense to you.
Download our New Student Form
If you’re new to yoga, here are a few things to remember and what to expect in class.
Things to Remember
- Download our new student form to complete and bring with you to your first class.
- Please remember to arrive 15-20 minutes early for your first class so we can orient you to the studio. We are happy to recommend classes for new students, just ask!
- Always come to yoga class well hydrated. Bring water with you or you may purchase it at the studio.
- Bring a clean towel and yoga mat. Rental yoga mats are available and hand towels are available for your use. You’ll need a towel for the hot yoga classes!
- Sign in every time you come to class.
What to Expect in Class
A yoga practice is a practice for body, mind and spirit. The mix will be different from class to class and from day to day, based on what the teacher is doing and how you’re feeling, but there’s a very different feel from other exercises you may be used to. Runners, think of it as a trail run through an empty Yosemite on a bright golden morning. Yes, you’re working — hard, in fact — but there’s more than that going on.
If you have a yoga mat, bring it. If you don’t, we’ll rent you one. Wear comfortable workout clothes. You don’t need a fancy outfit or fancy equipment. It’s the simplest thing in the world — just your body, a mat to keep you from slipping and give you a little cushion, and maybe some water.
After you fill out a registration form and choose whether you want to do a drop-in or take advantage of our new student 30-day offer, you’re ready to go in. Inside the studio, pick a spot you like, unroll your mat and get on it. You’ll likely see some people in balasana (the child’s pose), with their knees open, their hips on their heels and their head down. This is a great way to start, just letting your brain settle down and get into the right frame of mind. That frame of mind is calm, open, and exploratory. Other people will be stretching out or maybe practicing some tricky pose they’ve been working on.
When class is ready to begin, the teacher will ask everyone to come into some starting position; maybe balasana or some other simple pose. Typically, they’ll talk through some opening to set a tone and get everyone ready, and then we’ll begin. Every teacher will be different, and every class will be different, but in general the class will include a series of connected movements, one flowing into the next, interspersed with some holds to really give you a chance to get the feel of the pose. At the beginning, the poses may be coming a little fast, and you may feel a little lost. Don’t worry about it. Some sequences will repeat, and you’ll get the hang of it. If you find that you’re on the wrong leg, or twisted the wrong way, just adjust. We’re not the Bolshoi Ballet. It’s not a big deal.
You’re going to find at one point or another, and probably at many points, that you just can’t hold the pose any longer. You’re tired, it’s hard, and you’re getting frustrated. Pay attention to this moment. It’s the most important one in the whole class and it’s the beginning of your true yoga practice. Notice how your mind reacts, the old tapes that play in your head, the issues of achievement or failure or embarrassment — maybe you want to hide or leave, maybe you want to punch the teacher, maybe you want to knock over the person next to you who seems to be doing it so easily. The yoga, the real yoga is in recognizing that moment for what it is, and using concentration and breathing to bring yourself off the ledge. And if your body is really beyond its limit, then you back off, come down to child’s pose and take a break. The healthiest thing in the world is learning to listen to your body and knowing when you need to push through a mental block versus when you need to back off of a physical one.
At the end of class, you’ll do a pose called savasana. This pose looks suspiciously like napping — laying flat on your back with your eyes closed, arms and legs the width of your mat. It’s not. It’s actually the time of the most intense mental discipline. You try not to let your mind wander — not to plan, or analyze, or review the class and the poses you did ‘well’ versus those you did ‘poorly’. You try to let your mind be perfectly still. No stories, no words, no drifting. Just being there, perfectly still, feeling your body settle and recover. Let all your muscles completely and totally relax. Please don’t leave class during this pose. Try not to fidget, or make noise, or talk. But if someone else does, try not to let that spin you out. Don’t get mad, don’t lose focus. Just try it, release and relax.
Then the teacher will close the class and you’ll be done. Notice how you feel. It’s way different than the end of a run or a gym workout. Your muscles are fatigued, but they’re not tight. They’re lengthened rather than shortened. You’re cardiovascular system feels worked, but you feel light and nourished, with more oxygen in your system. Many people say they leave class “blissed out”, but don’t confuse that with some sort of dream state. If you ask, they’ll say that their mind feels sharp and quick, but unburdened and clear.
Individual results may vary, but doesn’t it sound worth a try?