I remember 4 years ago when I entered a yoga studio for the very first time, I felt completely out of my element. Fortunately, a list of yoga do’s and don’ts hung on the wall, which helped me understand how to make the best of my experience at the studio and in the classes.
So when I stumbled upon an article titled “Bad etiquette from beginners sparks yoga rage” it made me giggle because it reminded me of how I was when I was still green to yoga. Also, the article incited me to post the following yoga etiquette guidelines. Although most of you have these rules ingrained already, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on them:
Arrive at least 15 minutes before the class is scheduled to start. And if you’re new to the studio, arrive 20 minutes early as you’ll need to fill out forms, make payments, etc. One of the benefits of coming early is you can secure your favorite spot in the studio room.
Take Your Shoes Off
Many yoga studios require you to take off your shoes when you enter – there’s usually a dedicated area by the front door where you can place your shoes. Since we walk around the studio barefoot most of the time, it is most hygienic if everyone takes off their shoes first thing.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
Make a habit out of this even before you enter the studio. A ringing cell phone during asana really grates on people.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Select the most appropriate clothing based on the style of yoga that you’re doing, the temperature of the room and what will be most comfortable for you, as classes can be as long as 90 minutes. But please people, wearing ‘tighty-withey’ shorts with no underwear in a Bikram class is a total breach of yoga etiquette – enough said. 🙂
Leave Your Belongings in the Change Room
Don’t be carting your bag of belongings into class. Yoga classes can get very full so floor space is crucial.
Yoga is a time of inviting stillness and presence, so please respect others’ practice by keeping silent as soon as you enter class.
Respect the Yoga Instructor
Follow the teacher’s instructions. If you’re an advanced student taking a beginners/intermediate class, stick to the basic versions of the postures so you don’t throw off the other students. The instructor will give you the opportunity to take a more advanced variation when it’s appropriate. On the flip side, if you’re in an advanced class and you’re finding some of the poses difficult then it’s okay to do a more basic variation – the teacher will provide you this option.
There is Space for Everyone
Based on human instinct, we tend to mark our territory and we don’t like it when people and things intrude our space. In a yoga class, be mindful of the space around you especially when it’s a full class. If you know it’ll be a busy class, place your yoga mat closely to your neighbor so that everyone can practice comfortably.
Don’t Wear Perfume
Because some people may have sensitivity to perfumes and strong scents, please make sure that you you don’t squirt before class. As well, your yoga towel should be washed in unscented laundry detergent and fabric softener. You may enjoy the smell of your sweet smelling towel, however, your fellow yogis around you may get nauseous of the smell.
Go to the Bathroom in Between Asanas
If you have to go to the bathroom wait until there is a period of rest, such as the child’s pose, or in between asanas.
Savasana or the final relaxation is an important part of your yoga practice. Incorporate the time in savasana into your schedule – don’t plan to leave class early.
Does anyone else want to add to this??