Thinking about finally going to your first yoga class? Today I want to share with you some of the ways you might be feeling during or after your first Yoga class at GaiaYoga Shala. Also I will give you an idea what might be behind it and what you can do to deal with each one. Specifically you might want to know why you feel each and every muscle of your body, and why you still feel so amazingly blissed out regardless of all the physical challenges you just experienced.

So here are 5 things you might experience after your first yoga class and how to deal with them: 


1. You feel each and every muscle - even the ones you didn’t even know you had

The reason for feeling this way: the practices in our classes include flowing through physical movements. We engage the entire body to work as a whole, while aligning our movements to a full breath and a strong focus. While our modern life - of mostly sitting and walking - has very limited demands on our range of movement, in Yoga we move our body slowly and in controlled way in all directions. This is superhealthy when done regularly, and will shift your sense of well-being and confidence in your bodies abilities. But you do need to give your body some time and regular practice to adjust to it.

What you can do about it?
Come and practice regularly, and be prepared to do the work now so you can reap the benefits of a strong and healthy body later. Give your best but don’t push yourself too deep or too strongly just to show what you can do. And above all - do not compete with anybody next to you! Every body is unique and that is to be respected. Always.


2. You feel weak, rigid and incapable

The reason for feeling this way: again, any new excise you do, or any new demand you put on your body takes time to learn and adjust to it. In Yoga we combine a specific way of breathing, we introduce many cues on how to align the body in a healthy way, and slowly we attempt more complex postures. Over time, through this practice we build a new, closer relationship with ourselves. However, it does take some classes to learn the basics before your start to flow through the classes. 
Also to be mentioned is that you are actually supposed to feel challenged - in each and every class! You can always expect some ineasy momenst which will push you beyond your body & mind limits. We want you to safely leave your comfort zone and try something new. This is what makes you conquer your self-doubts and rise above what you thought was possible for you. This is an integrative part of the practice, and we will keep including challenging aspects in every class so that you can keep growing beyond your doubts and fears.

What you can do about it?
Be patient, keep practicing regularly and listen to the cues the teacher gives. Always come back to your breath (it’s the most important part of the practice!), ask the teacher if you have a specific doubt about your abilities, give yourself empathy for feeling not perfect, and motivate yourself to try again tomorrow - trust in the process of working on yourself!


3. You are struck by the depth of shavasana

The reason for feeling this way: our Yoga classes combine the effects of physical exercise, they are working with the breath and mentally creating a peaceful relaxed state inside of your body. All the practices done properly and combined in the right way trigger the nervous system throughout the class in various ways, so that when it’s time to lay down and relax at the end of class, you don’t just 'rest a bit'. Instead you are ready to completely release and let go into the amazingly deep, overflowing experience of shavasana. 

What you can do about it?
Nothing, let yourself go and enjoy it, and come back for more :)


4. You want to yell at people - or just want to hug everyone

The reason for feeling this way: Yoga asanas or postures are opening each part of the body. While, for example, forward folds might make your feel grounded and stable, postures that bend the body backwards open the chest and heart area, and make you feel excited, energetic open, and at times vulnerable. Depending on your emotional state of the day and the postures practiced on the class, you might experience a sweet and soft emotional release which might make you feel overwhelmingly friendly with people, or finally let everything out that you felt like you couldn’t express throughout the day(s). 

What you can do about it?
Sit down, feel your emotions, give yourself some self-empathy, breathe fully. Everything will pass and it’s extremely valuable to connect to everything that is going on inside of you. Take as much time as you need. If possible, make it a healthy habit to re-connect to yourself like that regularly.


5. You might feel awkwardly close to the people you considered total strangers just an hour ago

The reason for feeling this way: Yoga is about cultivating a better, more loving relationship with ourselves. It’s also about uniting us as a group of people that love to create a better community by being a better part of a community (the word yoga actually means to unite).
What one realizes when practicing yoga for some time is: while we are all sweating on our own mats to meet ourselves, it’s amazing to do this practice in a room together, creating the energy of a group that supports, motivates and inspires each one to give their best. And while each one in a yoga class is challenged individually and in completely different ways, at the end we realize that we are all uniquely beautiful and worth it.

What you can do about it?
Say quietly thank you to yourself for giving yourself the gift of being present with yourself for the past hour. Give your classmates a smile as you leave. Until we all meet again next time!


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