New Students

New to yoga? Welcome to YogaStream! You are taking a great step toward better physical and mental health that will benefit you in endless ways. Showing up for class is your first step. Don’t worry if you’re “not flexible,” recovering from an injury, bouncing back from pregnancy (and struggling with sleep deprivation!), or haven’t stepped on your yoga mat in years—our teachers will guide and assist you, keeping you safe, as you gradually build your strength, increase your range of motion, and play with us in the Stream!

You will be most comfortable in yoga clothes, or form-fitting shirts, leggings, and/or shorts.  Because you can get sweaty, it is best to try layering if you have not taken a class before, so that you don’t end up being too hot and uncomfortable.  Socks and shoes are not worn in class.
Bring a mat (we sometimes have loaner mats, but we strongly recommend buying your own for hygienic reasons), a hand towel, and a reusable water bottle.  You can fill your bottle up at our water purification station.  We suggest leaving jewelry at home or in a safe place with your other belongings; it can be a distraction and sometimes even an entanglement danger during class.
Avoid eating heavy meals 2-3 hours before practice, and arrive at the studio well hydrated.  If you need a snack before class, eat something light and easily digestible like a banana, nuts and seeds, soy yogurt, or a small bowl of cereal.  After class, you’ll find delicious juices, chia parfaits, fruit cups, and filling wraps at our vegan café.
During class, you may feel challenged physically and mentally. This is normal (and encouraged!). Stay focused, and pay attention to your breath and the sensations in your body. Sip water and rest whenever you need—yes, stop what you’re doing and take a child’s pose or lie down!—no matter what the rest of the class is doing. You will not disturb anyone. Don’t worry that you’re “giving up”; it takes much more mental discipline to listen to your body than trying to push your way through.
After class, you should feel clearer, energized, and more connected to physical, mental, and even emotional perceptions.  In the days following, you may feel muscle soreness in previously dormant areas!  (Did you know you had a serratus anterior?)  We encourage you to jump in the Stream with enthusiasm, but increase your attendance at a pace that feels sustainable—we recommend starting with classes once or twice a week, and building up from there.  One of the goals of YogaStream is to create a sustainably strong practice that you can continue for a lifetime, at any age.
If this is your very first visit, consider creating a YogaStream account online before coming to the studio, or arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to register at the front desk.  Unless you are on call for a potential emergency like a sick child, please leave your cell phone in the reception area.  Even if it never rings, the presence of your phone next to your mat can draw focus from your practice.  (And wouldn’t you like a break from that thing anyway?)  Remove your shoes before entering the studio space—cubbies and hooks in the reception area are available for your bags, coats, and shoes.  There are shelves at the back of the studio if you would prefer to bring in small valuables such as your wallet and keys.  (But preferably not those cell phones…!)
Don’t worry about what the person next to you is doing—they may have been practicing for years.  If they’re in a gravity-defying posture that looks impossible, just remember that they too, once took a class for the first time.  And throw out any preconceptions of yoga poses you may have seen online or in magazines. Trying to force your body into a particular shape, without understanding the muscular, skeletal, and energetic supports within a posture, can often lead to injury.  And please let the teacher know of any injuries, trouble spots, or health concerns so that we can best help you!
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