New to yoga?
First off: Yay, you! Nothing makes me happier than introducing new people to yoga, so I am so excited and honored that you want to practice with me! For the seasoned student, I hope practicing with me will help you make a deeper connection with that awesome and beautiful body you have. I know that trying anything new can sometimes be a bit intimidating, though, so I want to walk you through the experience a bit before you even get here so you can feel confident in knowing what to expect.
Beginners are welcome at any of my classes — truly. What I love most is introducing people to yoga.
In fact, I’m so excited about helping you find what works best for you that I offer a yoga concierge service. I’ll do a 20-minute call with you at any time to talk through your needs and help you determine what classes might work best. So if you have any question(s) at all about where to start, whether you’re new to yoga or not, please contact me.
From there, I’ll show you where to leave your shoes. In yoga, we typically do not wear shoes so that we can better feel our feet on the ground, which helps with balance and stability. You may keep your other belongings with you if you choose.
Finally, you will find a place to set up your yoga mat or towel.
From there, the really good stuff happens — class begins! During my classes, you can expect to be led through poses at a moderate pace with the use of props. I will show you how and why to use the props, and you will be allowed to ask questions when you’d like.
All of my classes end with a final relaxation portion of the class called Savasana. This is a time of rest that typically lasts for 5-10 minutes, depending on the length of your class. Most of my students look forward to this time with great anticipation. After all, when else does someone tell you it’s okay to just lie down and rest during your day?!
After the final relaxation, most classes will wrap-up with some breath work and end by the teacher saying “Namaste,” which means “The light in me honors the light in you.” After the teacher says Namaste to the students, the students will usually say it back to the teacher, and you can join in on that if you’d like. After the final Namaste, the class is complete and you can begin to gather your things.
What to Bring
All you need to bring is yourself with an open mind and heart. If you have your own mat, we encourage you to bring it, especially if you love it. If not, mats are available for rental for $2.
What to Wear
The most important criteria for what you wear to yoga is feeling comfortable. You want to choose something that allows you to move with ease and that you won’t have to fidget with. We typically don’t wear socks or shoes during yoga, so it’s also nice to wear shoes that you can get on/off relatively easily. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is “Okay, I’m ready to go to a yoga class. But what do I wear?!”
While on the surface this might seem like a funny, or even somewhat silly, question, it’s actually the complete opposite. I believe that in order for people to try yoga, they have to feel safe — and not just physically. Nope, it’s also imperative that people feel safe emotionally, and part of what contributes to that is feeling like you’re not alone and you know what’s going on.
And yep, clothes are part of that — especially for bigger bodied folks like me, who often have an even harder time finding clothes at all, much less ones that fit well, that we like and that don’t cost a fortune.
What to Do
The only things I really want you to do are to be present and listen to your body. These two things are what help you practice safely and sustainably over time.
To keep a peaceful community with your fellow classmates, you might also like to do (or not do) the following: Yoga mats are sacred space for most people. Please do not step on anyone’s mat except your own without permission. And, of course, please turn your cell phone off or to silent. If they ask you to do it at the movies, I pretty much have to ask you to do it here, too.
Notice yourself thinking about what you should be able to do? Take heed from Amber from Body Positive Yoga. Stop that. Your yoga class is an awesome opportunity to just celebrate what’s possible today. Each day offers us a different body to work with. Let go of your expectations about what the pose should look like, feel like, how limber you were yesterday, how tight your neck feels today. Let each pose be brand new. Let go of your past experiences. Be curious! Explore and play within a pose. Let go of the word “should.” If you’re a competitive comparer, that is to say, you tend to push yourself too far to try to keep up with those around you, it’s time to go back to your breath. Come back to the breath, come back into the body, and listen for a moment. What are you feeling? Do you feel pain? A stretch is fine, a little discomfort is even okay, but if you feel pain, if you can’t breathe in a pose, if your breath is ragged or getting away from you, it’s time to check your ego. Just because the person next to you is taking the optional vinyasa when she could be holding down dog or resting in child’s pose doesn’t mean you should be doing the same. What is your body or breath telling you? It’s time to listen.
Have some questions? I got answers.
What is Body Love Yoga?
Body Love Yoga is body positive yoga for people of all shapes and size.
Who is this Jenna gal?
Jenna is a Curvy Yoga (www.curvyyoga.com) certified yoga teacher, registered with the Yoga Alliance. After many years of dieting, disordered eating and just putting off life she realized it was time to start embracing the body she had. She found yoga, which lead to her accepting her body as a friend rather than an enemy. She wants to help others realize their worth, feel good in their bodies and find relaxation no matter what type of body they live in.
Body Love Yoga creates a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive studio environment for yogis of every size, shape, age & ability. As a body positive yoga class, all bodies are good no matter size or ability. With this, yoga pose options are offered for each pose, along with guided gratitude for the body that brings you along your journey every day. Classes will give you a chance to connect with your body with kindness. One of the goals of Body Love Yoga intends on offering yoga instruction for those on the margins of most yoga communities, and to be a place where students can bring their full selves, without closeting any part of their identity or experience that they don’t want to hide. We focus on breathing, mindfulness, and strength-building in an intentional, supportive, and body-positive environment.
Do I have to have a specific body shape/size to attend?
Nope! Since Jenna’s very first class, people of all shapes, sizes, ages, races, gender identities and expressions and more have attended. We quickly found that many people are looking for body positive classes that allow students to practice comfortably in a way that works for their body, no matter their personal shape or size. Jenna’s mission is to bring yoga to anyone who wants to invite it into their life as a tool to connect with their body.
I’m not flexible. Is yoga really for me, or are you just saying that?
This is one of our favorite questions because YES yoga is definitely for you! You don’t have to be flexible to come to yoga; it will help you become more flexible over time — physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s pretty great that way. And nothing makes me more excited than helping you figure out how to make a yoga pose work for you. Promise!