New to Yoga?
tips for your first class
We recommend arriving 15 minutes before class starts so you have time to get settled. There is physical no waiting area at BYS, as our entry door leads right into the practice space. Because of this, there is no late entry to class once it has begun. When you come in, you will need to take off your shoes, then sign-in and pay for class with the teacher. It is up to you to decide how much to pay for class. The minimum donation is $10, but many students give more than that, as this minimum doesn't cover all of our operational costs. Many students like to come early for class to warm up or meditate, so please be mindful of the small space and avoid speaking on your cell phone in the room.
If you have any questions about the class, or specific health issues or injuries you are working with, it's very helpful to tell the teacher about them beforehand. This way they can assist you throughout the class and keep an eye on you. If you are pregnant, this is also something to let the teacher know, as there are certain modifications you will need to know for the class.
Yoga is a physical activity that is best to practice with a mostly empty stomach. Avoid eating 2-3 hours before class, otherwise it can make you feel sick to your stomach turning everything in all directions! Juice or fruit are good options if you need a little something in that time frame before class. Also, stay hydrated! Drink some water before and after class - you can even take a few sips during class, if needed. Lastly, wear comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in!
If you have your own yoga mat, you are welcome to bring it, or we have mats available to rent for $1 per use. We also have props available to use (blocks, blankets and straps), which can be extremely helpful when you are first starting to practice. If you're not sure how to use them, the teacher can show you during class, or you can learn tricks from the other students.
If you are brand new to yoga, start by trying out one of the Gentle, Level 1, or Level 2 classes. On Sundays at 10am, there is also the Basics Class that is specifically geared towards first timers like you! The All-Level classes on the schedule are also an option, but please be aware these classes are very mixed in experience level - meaning that you will be in a class with students who are practicing at a different pace than you. Some people find this very helpful, but others find it distracting, so you can experiment and find what works for you. It's also important to find a teacher that you like! All of our classes are in the same style of yoga, but each teacher brings his or her own unique insight to the classes. When you are first starting to practice, it can be great to try our different teachers until you find some that you really like and feel comfortable with.
It's good to remember that you do not have to do everything perfectly! We don't do yoga because we're already really flexible or strong. The reality is that we're coming to yoga to take care of our bodies and become healthier! This is a learning environment, and a place to try things out and have fun! Once class starts, you don't have to practice every single pose in the class. If something feels outside of your capacity, it's totally fine to rest or try a modified version of the pose. The teacher may give you some one-on-one directions to help you, or some gentle hands-on adjustments. The exercises shouldn't be painful at all. If they are uncomfortable, please ask the teacher so they can assist you.
Each class ends with a guided relaxation where you will lay on the floor for 5-10 minutes. It's important not to skip this part of class or leave early. Not only does this disrupt the other students, but you are missing an important part of the practice! This deep relaxation normalizes the body after all the various exercises, bringing the heart-rate back to resting, and allowing the benefits of the postures to integrate fully.
After class, take your time to see how you feel! Yoga is very practical: use the things that are helpful to you and let go of what isn't. The affects of the practice may be very overt like "my hip didn't hurt me after class" or more subtle, like "I felt energized" or "I felt more relaxed at work". Take some time to notice what's happening for you and decide for yourself if yoga is the right fit for what you are looking for in your life.