“What to bring for my first yoga class?” — FAQs for yoga beginners

What do I need for my first yoga class?
What do I need for my first yoga class?

The most basic answer to your fabulous yoga question is comfortable exercise clothes: tight or loose.

You also need a yoga mat–the good news is almost all studios and health clubs will have a mat for you to use. The use of the mat might be included in the price of the class or it could be an extra fee. You can always call the studio ahead of time and ask any questions before you go.

When it comes to intangible needs, I recommend

  1. Getting there 5 to 10 minutes early
  2. Telling your yoga teacher it’s your first class
  3. Approaching yoga with an open mind

What do I wear for my first yoga class?

In the United States, most people in your yoga class will probably be wearing tight yoga pants and a sports top. Here’s the skinny on yoga pants:

  1. Full-length yoga pants are typically tight at the top, but allow you to bend and stretch without revealing your butt crack. At the bottom, the pants may be flared or fitted.
  2. Capri-length yoga pants should perform as well as the full-length ones and may be flared or fitted at the bottom.
  3. Yoga shorts are commonly tight-fitting.

If you feel uncomfortable in yoga clothes, or don’t feel like making the investment quite yet, you can put on light sweatpants (so you don’t get too sweaty) and a t-shirt that allows a full range of motion.

Do I need my own mat for my first yoga class?
Do I need my own mat for my first yoga class?

Do I need my own mat for my first yoga class?

You likely don’t need your own yoga mat for your first class. Eventually, the type of mat you buy will depend on the style of yoga you do most. For example, a thick mat might make Vinyasa more difficult, but Yin Yoga classes easier. So, you may want to wait until you find a class you like and then consult your instructor.

Frequently, the yoga studio will have mats for sale. Discount box stores are also a great place to score a bargain yoga mat.

Here’s what’s important to me about yoga mats:

  • I prefer to bring my own mat to class. For me, it’s part of my yoga ritual and my mat feels like my friend.
  • I really like having a green or plum color because it takes me to my happy place.
  • I am also picky about wanting a very light yoga mat made from eco-friendly material, so I choose to use the Manduka Superlite Eco Travel Mat made of 100% natural rubber.

As an alternative to bringing your own mat to class, you can enjoy the convenience of doing yoga on the mat from the studio and bring a yoga towel to lay over it.

Do I need a doctor’s approval for my first yoga class?

If you have a health condition, the answer to the question “What do I need for yoga?” is your doctor’s approval. This includes people with a passing illness, as well as chronic diseases or musculoskeletal disorders.

You can explain to your health professional, if she/he is unfamiliar with yoga, that a typical yoga class includes

  • standing forward bends
  • seated forward bends
  • spinal twists
  • back bends
  • balance poses
  • and, sometimes, inverted poses

Keep in mind, some yoga classes are simply breathing exercises and meditation. And again, while yoga offers health benefits to many people, some yoga poses and breathing exercises may be contraindicated for your health condition.

*The information for most articles on TheGeniusOfYoga.com are substantiated by scientific research published in peer-reviewed journals. This article, “What do I need for my first yoga class?”, is my opinion.