Please arrive a few minutes before class time. This gives you time to roll out your mat and settle in with a little stretching or a quiet moment to yourself. It is best to wear loose clothing that you can move easily in. Please refrain from eating for an hour before class, as a full stomach can make you uncomfortable, especially during inverted postures.
Though the pace of our practices is generally slow, they can still be challenging, both physically and mentally. Please respect your limitations. If something doesn't feel right, or is too strenuous, back off a little. You have complete permission to come out of a pose at any time to rest. The purpose of hatha yoga practice is to establish a keen connection to your body, your mind and emotions, and your inner grace. Use practice time to treat yourself kindly.
Every class ends with a period of rest (sivasana) during which you will be lying down on your mat and will be guided into a deeply relaxed state. When the weather is cool, it is a good idea to bring a blanket to cover up with during this time--when you are cold, your body releases adrenaline, the hormone involved in the "fight or flight" response. Adrenaline interferes with the relaxation response, so it's best to stay warm. Many yoga practitioners say sivasana is their favorite part of class!
Your muscles are likely to feel a little sore when you first begin to practice. A warm bath or shower, as well as drinking some extra water, eases this discomfort. As you gain experience, muscular soreness diminishes (hint: you will probably be more flexible later in the day as opposed to first thing in the morning).
Please feel free, always, to ask questions or raise any concerns you may have.