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HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST “YOGA From The HEART” CLASS With Nancy May RYT (registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance)?

You’ve made the commitment to fitness and relaxation and it is easy to prepare for a class. Good decision! However, before you get in there and start practicing yoga moves like downward dog, or tree, you need to take a few things into consideration. The first, naturally, is to consult your physician. This is especially important if you haven’t practiced an exercise regime for a while and you have health issues like muscle problems or chronic conditions that might affect the degree to which you can be a participant in your yoga class. The doctor may also issue specific guidelines to prepare for a yoga class. In most cases, a physician will give you the go ahead, but may want you to avoid certain poses.

What do you need to bring to be prepared for a yoga class?

You might start by purchasing a yoga mat. This is an inexpensive item, frequently under $20 However, I do have a mat for you. If you’re fairly certain yoga is for you, then having your own mat is a good investment.

What should you wear to prepare for a yoga class?

The right clothes can help you be more comfortable as you prepare for a yoga class. You should wear loose, but fitting, comfortable clothes. Don’t make the mistake of wearing giant clothes, as your yoga instructor needs to evaluate your body in the different poses and help you correct any poses. I won’t be able to see very well if your clothes are several sizes too large. Also, for women, prepare for a yoga class by wearing a well-fitted sports bra, to give you support but not cause discomfort or pinching.

Do I fast to prepare for a yoga class?

Most instructors will ask that you come to the class with an empty stomach. Yet we live busy lives, and the class schedule may mean going for hours without food. Generally one can consider the stomach empty two hours after eating. If you have to eat, try a light meal like a protein shake or a fruit or green salad, so you won’t feel too full. If you take a class first thing in the morning, then you can breakfast after class. However, be certain to have a big glass of water prior to leaving for the class. You don’t want to get dehydrated.

How else can I prepare for a yoga class?

If you are new, be sure the class you are taking is for beginning students, and don’t worry, I offer modified poses for beginners. Beyond price considerations, think about yoga as an opportunity to do something nice for yourself, and good for you. Once you get here, prepare for a yoga class by opening up to not just the physical exercise of yoga, but also its spiritual, emotional side. Being mentally prepared can increase your satisfaction with the yoga experience.


Top 10 Reasons to Try Yoga from Yoga Alliance

Give yoga a try and discover what it can do for body and mind.
A central premise in yoga is “everything is connected.” That’s clear when looking at the health and fitness benefits of yoga that have long been reported by practitioners and are now being confirmed by scientific research.

1. STRESS RELIEF: Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body by encouraging relaxation and lowering the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system, as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue,asthma and insomnia.

2. PAIN RELIEF: Yoga can ease pain. Studies have demonstrated that practicing Yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.

3. BETTER BREATHING: Yoga teaches people to take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function and trigger the body’s relaxation response.

4. FLEXIBILITY: Yoga helps to improve flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing aches and pains.

5. INCREASED STRENGTH: Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe. Yoga also helps to relieve muscular tension.

6. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: Yoga (even less vigorous styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels, as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress. Yoga also encourages healthy eating habits and provides a heightened sense of well being and self-esteem.

7. IMPROVED CIRCULATION: Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

8. CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING: Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.

9. BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT: Yoga helps to improve body alignment, resulting in better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle problems.

10. FOCUS ON THE PRESENT: Yoga helps us to focus on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body health. It opens the way to improved coordination, reaction time and memory.

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