If there is one thing in this world I am not a big fan of, it’s going to the gym. I don’t have a problem with the getting fit part, it’s the rest of it that bothers me. Scary machines, people posing, and a high chance you will either hurt yourself or make an idiot of yourself. The only thing I enjoy about being there is the different classes, like yoga or spinning. Most gyms around the country offer classes as part of their membership, so you don’t always have to hit the treadmill. For the last few weeks I have been doing a weekly Les Mills Body Balance session with a group of lovely ladies at my local gym.
Here are some helpful hints to consider if you fancy trying out a yoga or pilates class.
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1) Bring your own yoga mat
A lot of gyms will have mats on hand for you to use but it is better to bring your own from the beginning. Just imagine using a mat that has countless bare feet there before yours. What’s even worse is when you go into downward dog and have the whiff of these feet shooting up your nostrils. That’s just nasty. Yoga mats are cheap and you can get them pretty much anywhere these days so it’s worth investing £10 on a cheap one to save you from wondering if some beast has sweated into the mat you are using. Most people bring their own mats with them anyway, so don’t worry if you think that you will be the odd one out having your own mat. If the only time you plan on using the mat is at the class, leave it in the boot of your car so that you never forget it. I like this one- Kabalo – 183cm long x 61cm wide – Non-Slip Yoga Mat with carry strap, also for Exercise / Gym / Camping, etc (Pink) – which is only £5.99 from Amazon.
2) Wear the right clothes
Yoga requires a lot of twisting and moving body parts into strange positions so don’t forget to wear something that you can move in. Leggings and a long vest top are the best as they move with your body without getting in the way and flashing your lady parts at a fellow participant. Please, do not wear booty shorts as the person behind you has no desire to see your bum poking up in the air at them. A sports bra should be wore as well because the “girls” still need to be kept under control to prevent nipple slips during Sun Salutation. Some classes do a guided meditation at the end of the session so it’s best to bring a hoodie and socks with you so that you don’t get cold. The best rules to follow for dressing for yoga are be comfortable and be covered. Here is a nice 3 piece set to get you started if you are stuck for something to wear- GENUINE 95% Modal Sports Clothes Soft Yoga Wear (3 Pieces) Woman Running (Black, L)
3) Sort your feet out
I never realised how disguising my feet were until I was forced to look at them during yoga. Feet are gross, and if you like to keep yours tucked away in socks all the time, then yours are probably as gross as mine. The night before yoga, give your feet a good seeing too. Scrub away that hard skin, cover them in moisturiser, and paint them a pretty colour. Not only will you feel better after a mini pamper session but you feel better during yoga looking at your pretty pinkies. And remember, other people in the class have to look at your feet too, and you see theirs. Here is a footcare kit- Burt’s Bees Tips and Toes Kit – sorry, I hate feet now!
4) Never worry
The first class can be scary if you have never done yoga before but don’t worry, everyone has to start somewhere. The movements and poses will come in time, and the only way you can learn is to go to the classes. If you feel really nervous, then pick a spot off to the side so you can see what is happening but not have eyes on you. Yoga will tone your body but if you relax and breathe it will do wonders for your mind.