You don’t move mountains, reschedule carpools, and cancel happy hours to get to yoga and struggle through class, right?

To get the most out of your practice—regardless of how you woke up this morning, what studio you are attending, or who the teacher is—set yourself up for a great experience with these guidelines.

1. Arrive early.
⏰We all know what it’s like to scramble to yoga at the last minute. It will absolutely affect your class OR cause you to miss class. Most yoga studios do not keep full-time front desk staff to keep costs down so the doors get locked as soon as the teacher heads in to start class. Even if you get there “on time,” you have missed the opportunity to get settled and calm. Getting to class 10-15 minutes early will help you set up to get the most out of class.

2. Hydrate your body and your mind. 🚰
Hydration is not just for your body—it benefits your mind as well. Don’t wait until an hour before class! Make hydration a habit, whether you are coming to yoga that day or not. If you are coming to yoga, try to hydrate with electrolytes to help replenish what you will sweat out! What counts? Water and that’s about it. Tea, coffee, juice, or sodas are not on the hydrating list.

3. Nourish. 🥗
You won’t have the energy to have a good class without proper nutrition. Fast carbs (bread, pasta, sweets) cause you to crash and are highly likely to cause you to skip yoga all together for lack of energy. Eat lean, clean proteins, lots of vegetables, whole grains and beans. Remember: if you’ve never tooted at yoga class, you’re probably not doing it right. 😜

4. Sleep. 😴
We should have put this at no. 1 because it really is that important. How well rested you are will affect absolutely everything about your day, not just your yoga class. Your mindset, your energy, and your commitment to come to class will all be seriously compromised on anything less than 7 hours a night. Since yoga helps you sleep better get to class so you can sleep well, have a great day and get back to class!

5. Keep an open mind and leave expectations at the door. 👌🏼
If the teacher asks you try something you’ve never tried before, give it a shot! Be open to new poses, using props, and whatever else pops up in class. Never come to class expecting something from your mind, your body, or your teacher. Go with the flow and be grateful for the outcome.

6. Let go of your favorite spot. 😬
We’ve all been there. You walk in and “your” spot is taken. Where do you go now? Your practice won’t be the same! Who does he/she think they are?!? This is not yoga. It’s just a habit. Find a space, set your mat down and enjoy a different view.

7. Set an intention. 🙏🏼
Setting an intention will help bring your focus back when times get tough. In a difficult pose, if you’ve lost the rhythm of your breath…use your intention to gently guide you toward inner calm. It can be as simple as “honor my body,” “relax my mind,” or “smile more.” Your intention can be about you, the community or a specific person or thing. Whatever moves you that day!

8. Breathe and smile. 😁
Putting a smile on your face in a difficult or challenging pose really works to alleviate the difficulty and the challenge. Give it a shot! And always, always, always remember to breathe. Your breath will get you through anything. Holding it only holds you back.

Your yoga practice and what you get out of it is completely up to you. Take control and make it the best!