This is something I hear all the time from students. I get it! I was scared to try a studio class too.
In this post I'm going to break down for you all the things that ran through my head - all the things that I was anxious about.
First up - all the questions that I first had.
1) What if I'm not flexible enough?
2) What if I don't know the names of the yoga poses?
3) What if I get a little gassy?
4) What if I can't do what the instructor is asking?
5) But my body doesn't look like a yogi's? I don't feel comfortable in yoga pants.
6) What if I get sweaty and stinky (or in my case when)?
Im sure there are even more thoughts I had but these are the ones I remember vividly.
So lets talk about it...
1) Yoga is not all about flexibility. Asana practice (yoga postures) can have flexibility elements but it's not the only goal. There are even yoga classes that have minimal movement aspects. My biggest advice is to use props, be open to trying different types of classes and don't give up after your first try. Yoga is a journey and every class and every day are different.
2) Sanskrit names can be tough. Even I sometimes forget or don't know the name of something but the good news is a lot of instructors in North America use names in English and many instructors will demonstrate. I personally invite questions during class and if anyone is unsure they are welcome to say something. Find a class that works for you.
3) Bodily sounds are totally normal and often poses are designed to help with digestion and proper function of things like the liver and spleen. We've all been that person in class and it's really no big deal. If you still don't feel comfortable a few things to consider. Be aware of what you are eating prior to class and consider what time of day your class is. For example you can stick to whole clean foods vs a Taco Bell meal deal. Morning classes on an empty stomach are a great idea because not only do you start your day right but you can avoid the tummy rumbles.
4) This one is really about finding a good instructor and an appropriate class level. Do some research and find an instructor you feel connected to. A seasoned instructor will be able to give different levels of a pose or modifications with props. Lots of studios also offer level classes based on experience so make sure to try out a beginner class or a level 1. Even if you have some yoga experience you can learn a lot from going back to the basics. USE YOUR PROPS! never be shy about using props even if you can do a pose in its fullest capacity it might not be whats best for your body. Never feel bad about using props
5)What is a Yogi anyways?? All bodies are different and amazing in their own way. Wear clothes that are comfortable to move in. Wearing tight leggings and a sports bra has nothing to do with yoga and if you end up in a space that makes you feel that way it might be time to try a different class. You don't need that in your life. My only advice is wear something that allows freedom to move and isn't super bulky.
6) Yeah, sweat happens. It's actually a good thing to sweat because it decongests your pores, releases toxins and helps with improved circulation. If you find you have a smell that is bothersome think about what you are eating prior to class but you can also try out classes that incorporate essential oils or are in outdoor spaces.
My biggest advice for a first time yogi is to get in the car and go to the studio. Feel all the emotions and then do it anyways. You won't regret it.