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Have you been considering yoga as an effective method to reduce stress and to increase your physical vitality? You are not alone, as a study by IBIS World has shown that there are more than 4,100 yoga studios in the United Kingdom alone. Let's take a quick look at what to expect in your first yoga class so that you are prepared in advance.

A Welcoming Environment

One of the main reasons why yoga classes are so popular is that participants are all seeking the same sense of peace and wellness. So, you can expect a welcoming and open environment. Another important point to make is that everyone can work at his or her own pace. The word "competition" simply does not exist.


Be sure to take your shoes and socks off before you enter the room where the class is being held. In addition, there are normally mats there for the attendees to use. It could still be wise to bring your own in the event that none are remaining.

Basic Yoga Poses

Yoga can increase muscle tone, flexibility and reduce chances of physical injury. However, no one expects you to be able to perform advanced yoga techniques during the initial session. You will likely begin with basic poses such as the bridge, the cat, the child and the chair. As always, there are others around who will be glad to help.

The Importance of Breathing

Many of us take for granted the automatic (and yet essential) act of breathing. You might be surprised to learn that your first yoga class will centre heavily around how to breathe and the the timing between different poses. From research conducted by Healthline, Yoga has shown to to dramatically increase circulation throughout the body and breathing plays a critical role.

A Bit of tradition

Let's not forget that yoga has been practiced for centuries. There is a great deal of tradition involved and those who are experiencing their first yoga class may be taken aback. Do not be surprised when the instructor and the students bow to one another and say the word "namaste". This phrase simply translates to "I honour you" and it is a way of expressing a sense of mutual respect.

The Atmosphere

Besides the yoga poses themselves, the ambiance during a yoga class could be a bit unfamiliar. You will likely hear soothing music or tracks with binaural beats. These tones are thought to help with relaxation and mental creativity according to a study by the Institute for Psychological Research. It is also possible that incense may be burned. However, this might not be the case if you are taking a class within a large fitness centre.

This is some of what to expect in your first yoga class. Please note that more in-depth sessions will normally be offered during a wellness retreat; a great idea if you are hoping to connect the mind with the body. Either way, be prepared for an amazing sense of rest and rejuvenation!