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Are you finally ready to use those yoga pants for an actual class? Congrats, you're about to embark on a meditative and healthy adventure. But what exactly should you expect from your first yoga class?

Remember, yoga is a practice. As I tell my students, it's not about nailing a pose or having perfect form. It's truly all about breathing deep, letting go, and feeling good.

All of that is easier said than done, though. Here are 10 tips for surviving your first yoga class.

1. Bring a towel.

Bring a towel
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Regardless if you are taking a heated yoga class or not, chances are you will sweat, whether from actual physical exertion or the anxiety of the unknown — and a slippery mat does not a happy yogi make. Be sure to have something to pat it (and yourself) down with, just in case the studio or gym does not have towels available for your use.

2. Wear moisture-wicking clothing that gives you freedom to move.

yoga clothes
photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

We've established that sweat will happen, so it's best to wear clothing that is breathable and won't weigh you down. I suggest a Supplex legging with a higher rise so your concern can be on the yoga itself, and not whether your bum is exposed in downward dog!

3. Avoid eating anything heavy less than an hour before.

heavy eating
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This is not a hard and fast rule as every body is different, but in general, it's a good idea to go into your first yoga class having fully digested whatever you've eaten that day.  I'd also suggest avoiding anything that makes you feel gassy... for obvious reasons.

4. Invest in a quality mat.

best yoga mat
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A good mat doesn't come cheap, but it's so worth it. Not only will it last you a very long time, there is no pricetag you can put on comfort. When you are new to yoga, it takes a few classes to build up enough strength in your wrists to support your body weight; a good mat provides cushioning and prevents your wrists from aching like crazy. So if you foresee yoga being a regular part of your life, it's a worthwhile investment.

5. Review basic yoga poses online.

pose review
photo: iStock/Christopher Futcher

Because the level of detailed instruction will vary depending on where and with whom you take class, it's a good idea to have some working knowledge of the fundamental yoga poses before stepping onto the mat. Even better if you pull up a YouTube video on "Yoga for Beginners" or "Basic Yoga Poses" and try out some of the shapes.

6. Inform your teacher of any injuries or sensitivities.

yoga teacher
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Tell your teacher if you are working with an injury (new or old), because they will likely be able to offer you pose modifications to make your practice better. They may even be more mindful of how they offer you hands-on assists during class. It's also a good idea to let your teacher know it's your very first class so they can keep a caring and watchful eye over you. Hey, even the most experienced yogi was a beginner once.

7. You may be touched.

you'll get touched
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As mentioned, your yoga teacher may put their hands on you to either help you into a pose or correct your form. If that's not something you're OK with, you should tell your teacher BEFORE class begins. They may not ask participants prior to that opening "OHM."

8. Try to arrive early.

arrive early
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This is always a good idea. On your first visit to a new yoga studio (or gym, or trainer), you will most likely have to set up an account and fill out a waiver. This takes a few minutes. Also, depending on what day and time you are taking class, there may be a long line at the desk for check-in. Remember, you are going to yoga to DESTRESS, so best not to feel rushed. Arriving early also offers the opportunity to talk to the instructor before class, which will surely help put you at ease.

9. Grab props.

yoga gear
photo: iStock/belchonok

If you are lucky enough to practice in a space that has yoga accessories — like blocks, straps, blankets, olsters, etc. — take them ALL! That's not to say be a hoarder, but in general I recommend two blocks, a blanket, and a strap for your first class. If straps or blankets aren't available, the towel you so wisely have in tow will make a great backup prop when you need to pad up under your knees, or close the circuit in a shoulder opener. You may also want to pull up some videos on how to use props in yoga before your first class — that way you'll know what to do with all the gear you grabbed.

10. Set up your mat in middle of the room.

middle of the room mat
photo: iStock/VM

While it's tempting as a new yogi to head to the back, that's actually one of the most uncomfortable places to start out. Why? You will often be in poses like downward dog where you are facing the back of the room, so if you can't see around you, you may have a hard time following along. On that note, I often tell my new students to do their best to listen with their ears, not their eyes. I was a new yogi once too, and while it was very tempting to scan the room and compare myself to others, the poses truly started to makes sense when I felt them in my own body.

Do you do yoga?

What tips do you have for beginners?