Not sure what to expect for your first Tribalance hot yoga class? Here’s some information for you to get ready!
We recommend using a yoga mat. It will be cushion underneath you and keep your sweat off the floor. You can fold it if you want more padding underneath your neck or knees for some poses. We’ll lend you one for your first class, and afterward you can rent one $2.
Most students lay a towel over their mat. This absorbs sweat so you don’t stick to or slip on your yoga mat. This also provides additional cushion if you feel you need it for some poses. You may want a hand towel or washcloth to blot your face during class (blot: resist the urge to scrub. You’re sweating out toxins, and you don’t want to rub them back into your skin). You will probably want another towel for a post-class shower. That shower will wash away those toxins you’ve sweated, help your body temperature recalibrate to the world outside the class, and invigorate you even more.
Strap or Block
It doesn’t matter how far you can reach or bend if your body is collapsed or misaligned. Often, a strap or block will help you do a pose in proper alignment. No one gets a medal for doing a pose without them. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use them or what they are for: our instructors do. We have plenty available for class, free of charge. An instructor will bring one to you and show you how to use it properly when they see you struggle and think it will help you. As long as you align the right way, you will still get the full benefit of the pose.
Bring something to wear during class that allows you a full range of motion. The room will be warm so dress appropriately. We also recommend a full change of clothes (including underwear) to wear after class, because you will sweat through everything you wear during class. You may want a rubber band or hair clip to keep your hair out of your face. If you wear glasses, they might steam up during class, which can be distracting for you. You may want to wear contacts if you have them, or forgo them for 90 minutes if it won’t give you a headache.
Many students bring a plastic bag to carry their damp clothes and towels home.
Drink plenty of water during your day before class. You will feel much better during class than you would if you drank soda all day. Many students have a bottle of water to sip between poses, which we encourage. It’s best to arrive hydrated and drink water to maintain that balance than to arrive dehydrated and struggle to catch up during class.
You may feel a little nauseous or dizzy at some points during your first class. Your body is making a significant adjustment from the world outside. It’s okay if you need to take a break, sit or lie down, and breathe quietly. The biggest accomplishment of your first class is staying in the room for the entire class. If you need to leave the room for a few moments, there’s no need to ask the instructor for permission. Just leave quietly between poses so you don’t distract the other students. If you feel pain during any poses, wave at your instructor to ask for help. Please notify your instructor about any injuries before class. They’ll want to know. They can show you modified poses so you can get the full benefits of the pose without unnecessary strain.
We do have a locker room where you can leave your personal items. You can bring a lock for the locker door. If the weather is wet or snowy, we request that you remove your shoes before stepping into the locker rooms, so that no one slips in dirty puddles.
It’s okay if you are a little nervous before your first class. Acknowledge your nervousness and let it go. We dim the lights during class for a few reasons. One, that makes it easier to be internal and focus on your own postures. Second, to eliminate negative self-consciousness. There’s no need to worry about others judging you. Most of them can’t see you, and those who can aren’t looking. The class is mentally and physically challenging, so everyone is devoting their full attention to their own work. Turn your energy from self-consciousness to self-awareness: notice your breath and alignment.
Once you set foot into the room, leave the outside world behind you. Your boss isn’t going to run in and drop a stack of paperwork on you, so don’t let your job stress follow you in; likewise for any other life stressors. The different environment, warm and dim and quiet, makes it easier to tell your mind that you are in a completely different zone. Many students arrive a few minutes early to relax, breathe, and get into the yoga mindset. Once class starts, the poses and the breath will require your full attention: there won’t be room in your mind for anything else. It’s liberating. Enjoy it.
The body stores stress, so some poses may trigger feelings of anxiety or sadness. Don’t panic. It’s normal. Allow those feelings to occur – no one is looking or judging. Notice them and let them go. It is fine and healthy to reflect and process through them after class. The practice of yoga will help you have peace in body and mind, and to transcend pain and stress.
There is room for all faiths and all beliefs in the yoga classroom. Keep yours close to your heart and allow its full benefit to bring you peace. If you don’t follow a faith, there’s room for that too; you can still feel calm, peaceful, and connected to your breath. No one is going to cram their point of view down your throat. Yoga is about union, not separation. The Dalai Lama says: “If you have faith or not, it doesn’t matter, as long as you have a warm heart.” Bring an open mind to class and you will have the full benefit in mind and spirit.
For many students, class becomes a 90-minute meditation. Don’t worry if you’ve never meditated before. It’s a total focus, a deep concentration and mindfulness. You’re relaxed and “in the zone.” Not only can you sweat out the physical toxins from your body, you can release any toxic feelings or connections. Let the physical lightness you feel after class be a spiritual lightness too. It doesn’t matter what religion or faith you practice, nor does it matter if you don’t. The yoga practice can blend and transcend. Accept the lightness as you feel it. Let go of any pain or stress in class, and let it keep that distance from you when you leave.