Let's face it -- yoga looks absolutely terrifying unless you've tried it! It comes with a lot of preconceived notions and ideas, all of which tend to terrify people (me included).
Here's what terrified me the most (and how I got over it!)
1. The community is pretty tight-knit
The instructor is probably big in the community in the area, and probably already knows that you are new to the class. Usually they know other yogis in the city, and they know all big yoga names. Joining a tight-knit group is pretty tough when you don't know anyone, but I found that with time I got to know a few people and felt a little more at ease. Even with not knowing everyone.
2. The instructor (and sometimes the whole class) was WAY bendier than me.
Yup, let's just say I was struggling to even touch my toes. I thought I wouldn't be able to do ANYTHING. But luckily, I learned that the instructor usually provided a few alternate poses for you to do if things get too tough. Even after a few weeks I was feeling ready to try the real poses!
I don't know this language, but yogi's speak lots of words in this language. Just like when you show up to a party hosted by your German neighbors, you tend to feel really out of place hearing weird phrases, until you get used to the words and their meanings. Pretty sure I got Namaste down ;)
4. I thought the yoga class came with the lifestyle
This is totally a common misconception about yoga, but yogis are really depicted as vegetarian/vegan hippies that rub crystal amethysts. I'm pretty dang healthy, and I do enjoy a vegan meal every now and then, but I didn't buy into ALL of it. And not all yogis do!
5. Their yoga clothes were cuter than my actual real-people clothes.
Like seriously, colored, printed yoga pants. Crop-tops. Maybe this is just a girl thing, but I felt weird showing up in a less-then-on-par clothing. But once I figured out it really doesn't matter what you wear, it became a little less stressful.
Here's an accurate depiction of how I felt intimidated by my first yoga experience.