5 things to do before a yoga class, 5 things to do after a yoga class

Attending your first yoga class can be a bit daunting. I still remember my first time… I had no idea what to expect and I showed up in a too hot outfit, no water and no towel. I spent most of my first class feeling confused and uncomfortable… but soon fell in love with the practice – but more of that another time… 😉

To help you make the most of your first yoga experience, I’ve compiled a list of things you should do before and after your class.

BEFORE your class:

  1. Arrive early. Getting to class about 10 minutes early can help you settle in and align your attitude with the purpose of the class. While you’re waiting, you can practice a pose, do a few stretches, or just sit or lie quietly, breathe, and get centred.
  2. It’s best to practice on an empty stomach and empty bowels. Not eating at least 2 hours before class is recommended. Most obvious reasons are that your energy level will be higher, you will feel lighter and your digestion will not be in your way when your body gets into different poses.
  3. Do let your teacher know about injuries or conditions that might affect your practice. If you are injured or tired, skip poses you can’t or shouldn’t do, or try a modified version.
  4. Leave your mobile phone in your bag. Socialising and business can wait until after your class. Enjoy some time for yourself and try to not disturb the peace of the practice.
  5. Make an effort to create an intention. To help you focus, you might find it helpful to dedicate your practice to a certain intention. This might be to become more aware and understanding, more loving and compassionate, or healthier, stronger, and more skillful.

Here are 5 things you should do AFTER a yoga class:

  1. If you sweat a lot, it’s best practice to bring your own towel to wipe off your mat. Sometimes gyms and studios provide towel paper for the exact same reason. Please use it!
  2. Always pick up and put away the props you use.
  3. Take time to think about what you did in class, so you can retain what you learned. Review the poses you practiced and note any instructions that particularly made sense. Even if you remember just one thing from each class, you’ll soon have a lot of information that can deepen your own personal practice.
  4. Drink two full glasses of water or coconut water to replenish your body, especially if you just spent 60 minutes sweating your b… off!!
  5. Eat a nutritious meal after class. If it was a morning session, cook yourself up a two-egg omelette with fresh veggies such as tomatoes and spinach and a side of fresh fruit. If it was an evening class, maybe you can try grilled salmon and sautéed veggies for a delicious dinner of lean protein (vegan/ vegetarians – swap eggs/ fish for quinoa or brown rice). Make sure you are getting enough protein throughout the day so your muscles can repair and grow.