We have all had the first class fears. That feeling when you’re about to walk into a new fitness class for the first time. Even if we are a seasoned pro at the exercise (maybe you’ve been attending body balance classes for years in different gyms), walking in that first time can be so nerve-wracking for many reasons. A fear of being the newbie, a worry that we haven’t worn the correct attire, not being good or fit enough (the irony) or even not wanting to stand in someone else’s spot in class. If you have ever had any of these run through your head then read on for some tips on how to feel relaxed and confident when walking into a brand new class.

  1. Contact the teacher ahead of the class

This one only really works if it isn’t a gym class but it is a great way to break the ice to introduce yourself. You could simply say hi or ask a question you have about the class – maybe where you can park or what to wear. This initial communication can make you feel much more confident on entering the class as the teacher will hopefully remember your interaction and welcome you to the class. If you are unable to contact the teacher ahead of the class, you can introduce yourself when you arrive. Just say hi and you could include if you have attended any similar classes in the past or if you’re a complete newbie. This is also a great time to tell the teacher of any ailments that they should be aware of prior to the class starting. 

  1. Arrive early (but not too early)

Now this one might depend on the class you are taking. I have been to yoga classes so cramped you need to arrive 15 minutes early to secure a ‘good’ spot! But not every class is like this, especially if you are attending a gym class as there is likely to be another class running before yours. I personally try to arrive between 5-10 minutes early. This way you arrive early enough to speak to the teacher, get any equipment set up and gauge what time most of the other attendees arrive. You can also ensure you don’t get left with that undesirable spot (right at the front as a newbie can be pretty daunting). That said, if it is a yoga class, I would aim to be ten minutes early as it gives you time to settle on your mat and have a bit of ‘you time’ to forget the day’s stresses.

  1. Ask other class members advice

This is a great ice breaker to start bonding with your fellow classmates if you intend to return each week. An easy way to initiate conversation is to ask a question, maybe which way the yoga mats face, or which set of dumbbells they recommend based on previous class experience. If walking up to a group of obvious regulars chatting away is an intimidating thought, seek out another lone attendee. 

4. Take a friend

I am lucky enough to have an equally curious friend when it comes to trying new fitness crazes. I have dragged her along to a running club, Clubercise, Zumba and Totally Shredded. Having her to walk into class with always makes me feel more confident (it helps that she can chat to literally anyone and always manages to strike up a conversation with others). If we get things wrong, which we often do, we can have a laugh about it and you don’t feel as silly when two of you have made the mistake. So ask people in your friendship group, you never know, they might have been dying to try something new but are just as nervous as you!

5. Laugh at yourself if you make a mistake

This is just a general rule I have in life. If you make a mistake in your first class, just laugh it off. I am sure that everyone in the room has made a mistake at some point. I know I have made many, especially in Zumba classes – you won’t meet someone with a dance degree with a worse sense of left and right! If you can laugh at yourself, it may just be another way of breaking the ice with your fellow classmates. Exercise should be enjoyable and with all those endorphins that are being released you might find it easier to laugh than you thought.

6. Leave your ego at the door

It is really important you don’t compare yourself to others. They may have been attending the class for years or may lift weight in the gym everyday. The key in any fitness class is to listen to your own body. If something is too heavy, be humble and lighten the load. If you need to have a rest between yoga asanas, then do. You are only going to injure yourself if you attempt to keep up with others. There is no shame in listening to your body and going at a slower pace – so long as it is your body talking and not your mind, the mind is very good at convincing us to quit when we have more in us!

7. Have fun

Working out is supposed to release endorphins which makes us feel better. This great feeling can last long after the workout has finished. If you go into class with the mindset that you are going to enjoy it, you’re much more likely to. If you go in full of dread, it is not going to be the most enjoyable experience. Giving new things a go is liberating and you will be so glad you tried!

Look out for and save my Instagram post that highlights these tips for the next time you start a new class..

At Strength-Power-Yoga, every class is welcoming and has a friendly environment. Click here to say hi and ask any questions before your first class.

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