What to expect when you come to a yoga studio for the first time

You have taken a courageous step in just coming to a yoga studio. I recall being quite intimated when I visited a yoga space for the first time. I want to set out what you can expect so that you can relax and enjoy the experience. I wished I had someone explain things when I first started practicing five years ago.

My wife convinced me to try a men’s only yoga class. I had fallen off my horse and injured my ankle. I hobbling around in pain for a year. Perhaps yoga could help me.

During my first class we did a pose called “Tree Pose”. It involves standing on one foot. I couldn’t keep my weight on my ankle for more than two seconds. Because of yoga, my ankle has steadily improved to the point now where I have no issues with it. This was my first evidence that yoga could help me.

Walking into a yoga studio demonstrates an intention, a first step in your journey. There are people in unfamiliar clothing, lots of people going to and from class, and phrases and words that are new.

One of the yoga principles is that you need to be kind to yourself and know where you are. There are different types of yoga to suit everyone’s preference and current situation. Therefore, yoga is not something you try once – you explore yoga.

I’ve tried many yoga studios and PranaShanti Yoga Centre is my ‘home’ studio. I found PranaShanti to be an oasis in the city of Ottawa and truly a home that heals your body, calms the mind and strengthens the spirit.

When you enter the studio, you will immediately notice a common yoga practice. People take off their shoes and hang their coats next to the entrance – just like you probably do at home. This shows respect for the space and fellow practitioners. You want to keep the studio clean and free of debris for all fellow yogis walking around barefoot.

If this is your first time, you can next check in with the attendant. You will fill out a standard enrollment form. You can choose a single class drop in fee or the special 30 day unlimited  package for new students.

After registering for a class, you will be given an attendance card and are able to enter the change rooms. They have lockers and showers. Yoga attire is anything that is loose fitting that allows free body movement.

Changed into your workout clothes, you can enjoy a free cup of tea while waiting. You can fill up your water bottle with UV filtered water and browse the bookstore in a peaceful environment.

Class changeover can be a bit hectic. So be prepared for bursts of traffic before you head to your class.

Now carrying your yoga mat, you are ready to start your exploration of the journey that is waiting for you.

Byline: Alan Viau

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