What to Expect at Your First Yoga Class at Tone

by Clare Moore – Yoga Team Leader

Welcome yogis and yoginis (the names for the male and female yoga practitioners, respectively). Congratulations, because, as of today, you are now practicing yoga. Showing up for your first yoga class is all that is required for you to now say proudly to your friends, “I am doing yoga!” This is an exciting day, and you may be full of questions, and possibly even have some fear as you begin your yoga adventure. So I’ll do what I can to assuage your fears with the following FAQs about attending your first yoga class. I’ll cover everything from what to expect to what gear to wear to what you can do.

Q) When do I show up?

A) It’s a good rule of thumb to show up ten minutes early to your yoga class. Not only does this ensure that you will get signed in on time, but it gives you the chance to change gears even before you get on your yoga mat. I like to say that sitting dowyoga_classn on your mat is the first step in the transition turning you from a “human-doing to a human being,” and not feeling rushed on your way in to class helps ease that transition. If you do find yourself late for your yoga class, it is generally OK to come in quietly so as not to disturb the other students as they are transitioning as well. If you come in late set your mat up as simply and quietly as possible, and know that you can ask for all of the other props as needed. If you are later than 15 minutes, it is a good idea to just come back at another time, as the class is now warmed up, but you are not. At Tone, we know your life is busy, and many of our yoga classes start at 10 minutes after the hour, just so we can get you in there on time! Check out our schedule so you can plan ahead.

Q) What do I wear?

A) As yoga clothes go, form follows function. You want to be in comfortable clothes that move with you. Sweatpants, yoga pants, T-shirts, and tanks made of breathable material will support your practice. Yoginis, it is really helpful to have a comfortable sports bra in your wardrobe. You will most likely be lying on your back at some point, and getting poked by a hook or bra clasp is not relaxing, to say the least. Many of our male yogis are comfortable wearing compression shorts underneath their sweatpants or workout shorts. Bare feet are optimal for stability, blucyBLACKSPACEDYEut if you have orthopedic issues, you are welcome to wear whatever supports your feet to their comfort. It never hurts to have a few really nice “yoga outfits” in your closet. Fun and comfortable yoga gear can even inspire you to get yourself into class. Tone is a licensed Lucy Athletic wear retailer, so if you want to treat yourself to some new yoga duds, check out our yoga apparel and gear collection.

Q) What do I bring?

A) An open mind, a willing body… oh wait, you mean literally, don’t you? As you are just starting out on your yoga journey, you may not have your own mat, blocks, straps, and so on. No worries! Tone is fully equipped with lovely mats, byogamatlocks, straps, eye bags, bolsters, and much more to keep you equipped throughout your class. We do not charge a rental fee, all that we ask is that you clean the mat (we provide mat wipes) when you are finished with it. That said, it is very satisfying to have your own yoga accessories. I have found this to be true in my practice. I have fallen in love with my Jade yoga mat. It is the perfect density and material for me. There is something very comforting about having your own little rectangle of yogic joy and safety wherever your travels take you. Tone is a licensed Jade retailer, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. We also have all of the other accoutrements, blocks, straps, eye pillows, and more in our Yoga Apparel and Gear page and you’ll find all of these products are especially helpful in establishing a home practice.

Q) I’m afraid I won’t be able to understand the directions. Are they in a different language? (I thought Vinyasa was a winery….)

A) Have no fear, Tone yoga teachers all speak English (and some of us also speak some Spanish and ASL) and we’re also able to pronounce the Sanskrit names of the Asansas (definition: a pose comfortably held). Although we may say “Utkatasana to Uttanasana,” we will also explain that what we’re saying means Chair Pose to Forward Fold. We are more than happy to explain or repeat the name of the Asana. None of the other yogis in the room were born speaking Sanskrit, so enjoy the learning process. You will be surprised how quickly you begin to understand the lovely lyrical Sanskrit words. Let us know when you tweet #justbreathinginsavasana.

Q) I am: Injured, osteoporotic, nervous, stiff, elderly, a teen, brand new to yoga… and more. Can I still practice yoga?

A) Yep. Yes. Si. Mmm-hmm. You can practice yoga. Tone Studio is unique in that all of our yoga teachers possess a wealth of knowledge about the human body and its myriad of complications, functions, and issues. yoga_expectIn fact, all of our Tone yoga teachers are also Pilates teachers, and have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours studying the human body. It is strongly recommended that you voice your concerns to the Administrative Consultants at the front desk regarding your specific issues. They can then inform your teacher, or they may suggest that a private yoga session would be the best way to assess and address your specific needs. Click here or speak to the front desk if you are interested in a Private Yoga Session. Do know that if you have an acute injury or serious condition, you should follow your health care provider’s advice for your activity-level guidelines. Your yoga teacher will most likely ask if anyone in class has an injury or condition so that she may help you modify your practice. Arriving early to your class will also give you the opportunity to talk to your teacher about any of your concerns. Your yoga class meets you where you are, with your needs at the center of your practice. At Tone, we strive to support you in your unique yoga journey.

If you have any other questions regarding your yoga practice, please contact me at clare@tonefitness.com, and you can also check our FAQ’s page for more information.

To schedule your yoga class, click here, stop by the front desk, call (707)526-3100, or email admin@tonefitness.com

We look forward to doing yoga with YOU!

2 replies
  1. Amity Hotchkiss
    Amity Hotchkiss says:

    Hi ladies at Tone —

    I have been taking yoga classes for 18 years, but haven’t had a class at Tone before.
    Which is the most “spiritually” grounded teacher would you say? My yoga is my spiritual process,
    which I combine with meditation. As well I am quite familiar with the asanas, and I have an aversion to teachers who talk the entire time of the class (and I’m not into the ones who don’t practice w/their students).

    Please advise! I’ve been looking for a good teacher in santa rosa for some time!

    Amity Hotchkiss

    • monica
      monica says:

      Hi Amity,
      Thank you for your inquiry about Yoga in Santa Rosa. The following thoughts are my own, based on my past and current studies. I am a yoga teacher at Tone.

      Yoga has many faces and iterations from its roots back more than 2500 years ago from the authoritative reference accepted by most yoga masters, Patanjali’s Sutra. Paraphrasing Sri Krishnamacharya (http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/465) , if it not mentioned in the Sutra, it probably is not yoga.
      I understand about yoga being a spiritual journey. It is for me as well. The root word of “spirit” is the same root as “breath” in several key languages. Therefore, I contend if your practice is breath-centered, your practice is spiritual. What does “spiritual” mean to you. I always encourage my students to practice and meditate on clarity. When this process happens, it becomes easier for my students to clarify and communicate their requests.
      There are so many teaching styles and modalities in yoga. Some teachers demonstrate; some teachers verbally cue; some teachers practice with their students. I was taught from ALL of my teachers, not to practice with my students. I was taught that my responsibility was to create a safe and rich environment for yogins to practice. Each yogin has choices. My recommendation is to experience teachers until you find one that resonates with you–yoga is a lovely personal individualized journey. It took me 2 years and many courses to finally choose one teacher. A teacher, a practice, a sangha (community of like-minded folks) creates a yogic environment for growth, self awareness. Ultimately yoga is a process to reduce “dukha” or suffering. What is dukha for one person may or not be the same for another.
      Originally yoga was taught one on one, one teacher to one student. Teaching classes is an evolution and each teacher hopefully brings “what their teacher taught them, filtered through their experiences, as appropriate to the student” TKV Desikachar (Sri Krishnamacharya’s son).
      I hope this was helpful. As a teacher, anytime I have the opportunity to explain or clarify or talk yoga, I’m breathing deeper and smiling.
      Blessings and breath and happy yoga seeking,


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