Posts Tagged classes

What to do if… You’re Late for Class

Sometimes it’s inevitable – there’s traffic, your meeting ran long, the kids wouldn’t let go of your legs when you tried to walk out the door and leave them with your mother… sometimes you will be late for your yoga class.

Chances are, if you are late, you are stressed out because you are late. The first part of every yoga class is about leaving the worries of the day behind and bringing your focus to your practice, so if you sail into the studio halfway through the initial meditation, you are missing something that will greatly benefit you. You will not only be interrupting the instructor and distracting your fellow yogis, you’ll also be shortchanging yourself.

But, as I mentioned, sometimes it is inevitable. So what should you do if the door is closed and class has already started?

(Picture Source)

  • If you are stressed out because you couldn’t find a parking spot, stop and take a deep breath before entering the room. If you rush in and make audible apologies because you are flustered, you will only end up irritating everyone around you.
  • If you can see the class (for instance if it is in an open foyer or a church’s recreation room) or hear what is going on, wait until there is a clear pause or the teacher has finished speaking. Then enter the room or space.
  • If you are more than ten minutes late and the quiet time at the start of the class is just finishing, wait until it is over before entering.
  • Enter as silently as possible and immediately find a place to put your mat. If you do not have your own mat and must go to the front of the room to collect one, do so without stepping on anyone else’s mat or interrupting their flow, even if they are a friend.
  • If, embarrassingly, people have to move in order to accommodate you be grateful and courteous – but do so quietly!
  • Join in with everyone else when you are ready and focused, even if it means taking a few moments to close your eyes and breathe.
(Picture Source)

For those of you that live a block from your studio or arrive half an hour early just to get your favourite spot in the room, don’t hate on the late! The fact is, everyone is going to be late for something at some point. If the late students are considerate and respectful of the other yogis and the teacher, then everyone can enjoy the practice. 🙂

(I offer this advice as someone who has to hang around for an hour after work before heading to the studio a five minute walk away. I have the opposite problem – I’m bored and often ten minutes early!).

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The Downward Dork’s Guide to Beginner Courses

On Wednesday I had my first true beginner’s yoga class. I have been taking the intermediate class at my studio for a few weeks and really enjoy it, but I wanted a stronger foundation for my poses. Beginner’s classes are a great way to learn more about the yoga style of breathing (this is one of my weaknesses – I tend to hold my breath without realizing it!) and proper alignment even if you are already familiar with the basics.

If you have been practicing yoga for a little while, you may find a beginner’s course too slow for you. Poses are taught stage by stage, and then the stages are combined. Poses are repeated multiple times so that the students can ‘get’ it while focusing on correct breathing and position.

Some simple yoga poses like the cow pose and the cat pose are good for beginners.(Picture Source)

Poses you might encounter in your first class are cow or dog pose and cat pose, pictured above, downward dog, Warrior I & II, tree pose, mountain pose, forward fold, and corpse pose, pictured below.

These courses are for those with no experience (as the term ‘beginner’ tends to suggest), and hopefully your class will be small enough that the instructor will be able to provide one-on-one support to each student. This aims to provide a fun and supportive atmosphere for new yogis. Beginner’s courses are also great for going back to the basics if you are a bit more experienced or getting back into yoga after a long break.

You will probably also encounter people from every age group. The amazing woman next to me was 70 years old and had never tried yoga before in her life. If she can do it, we certainly can! She was a real trooper and truly shows that you can start practicing yoga at any age and for any reason.

Corpse Pose(Picture Source)

Each class will likely conclude with savasana, also known as corpse pose. The class itself may be a bit fragmented as everyone picks things up at their own speed and the instructor comes around to assist individuals, but everyone comes together at the end for a bit of relaxation prior to leaving the studio.

All courses are different, as are all instructors, so you may find your experience is not quite the same as mine. If you have been considering yoga, a beginner’s course is a great place to start. You could always jump right into a class with a faster pace, but it is better to learn the correct alignment and positioning. You don’t want to accidentally pick up any bad habits! They are also extremely helpful if you decide to practice at home between classes.

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