The First Class is a series of posts where I discuss what to bring, what to wear and what to expect when you go to class. While this is aimed mostly at newbies, this is certainly applicable for people looking for tips on how to improve their yoga experience.
Bring a towel.
Not necessarily a yoga towel to lay over your mat, although that can be important if you prefer to add that layer. I’m talking about a plain towel meant to absorb liquid. An old hand towel is the perfect size.
When you leave beautiful smears of sweat art on your mat like this…
… you’re probably also dripping some sweat around your mat that ends up on the floor. It’s a courtesy to the class after yours that you wipe up your little puddles of yoga sweat and leave it as dry as possible.
We ashtangis are notorious for leaving a class completely balmy after we’re done. It’s like the steam just pours out of the doorway onto the unsuspecting yogis waiting to enter the room. Sorry! We had a lot of toxins to release! But it’s simply polite to bring a towel and clean up after yourself.
Other uses for a towel include: wiping the sweat off your brow before re-entering the normal world, adding a little cushion under your knee or hip if you forgot to grab a blanket before class, wiping your hands dry in preparation for headstand, and a makeshift strap for behind-the-back binds.
It’s amazing how a simple piece of cloth plays such an important function in yoga.