Doing vinyasa flow yoga at home has no rules. You can practice in your underwear day or night, veer off the teacher’s sequence, welcome family interruptions, or pause the video to take a call. Doing vinyasa flow yoga in the studio is a little different. To avoid some embarrassing moments, sit back, read on, and take some mental notes.
1. Stay Off Your Phone Once You Enter the Practice Room
There’s no bigger pet peeve than walking into the practice room to find that one person on the phone chatting loudly without a care in the world. Going into a yoga studio is the perfect opportunity for disconnecting electronically. Leave your phone in the boutique, set your mat down, and try having a conversation with the person next to you before class begins. You might make a new friend, encounter a smile, and start off class on a positive note. Another option is to take a few blocks and explore doing some restorative stretches before the teacher begins instructing. If you happen to be at our studio, Buddhi Yoga, you can also hang out in the check-in area, do some shopping at Shade, or enjoy a little sun on the patio.
2. Don’t Do Your Own Thing in Vinyasa Flow Yoga
There’s nothing wrong with modifying or skipping poses in class. However, doing something completely different than what the teacher is working on is both rude and distracting. We’ve been in classes where a student does’t follow any instructions at all and it’s as if they’re doing their own class altogether. If this is you, you might as well stay home and do your own practice. Every teacher has something of value to offer and doing your own thing says, “I don’t care what you say. I know better.” It’s also extremely distracting for the other students to see you doing your own thing, especially for beginners. Students who are’t familiar with yoga will often look around and take cues from more “advanced” students. Leave your ego at home, be open to learning from others and refrain from veering off the program too much.
3. Arrive On Time and Stay for the Whole Class
Sometimes being late is out of our control, but if being late and/or leaving early is your bad habit, try your best to change it. Not respecting the schedule says that you don’t care about other people’s time and experience. Most teachers always start and end class on time for that very reason. If you do arrive late, do your best to be as quiet as a mouse, be conscious about not slamming your mat down when you get to your spot, and jump right into whatever the teacher is doing. On the contrary, leaving the room while people are in savasana is also extremely annoying. If you have to leave early, do it before savasana. Start your final resting pose before everyone else and make your way out before everyone is on their backs. We often see people who leave two minutes before we end class and we wonder, “did those two minutes really make a difference? Couldn’t you just wait until we took everyone out of savasana?” Think about how disruptive and loud it is for you to walk out while everyone is in their last meditative pose and make better choices with the other students in mind.
4. Don’t Compete
There is no competition in vinyasa flow yoga, or any type of yoga for that matter. We’ve personally seen people try to jam themselves into poses their bodies aren’t ready for, all in the name of the ego. This is how injuries happen. This is the root of suffering and feelings of inadequacy. Take the time to move slowly, listen to your body, and don’t compare or compete with yourself or others. Follow this simple rule and yoga will become more enjoyable. This is also a foolproof way to avoid injury.
5. Don’t Chat or Instruct Your Friend/Partner During Class
We love when students come to class with their partners, friends and family. It’s the best way to introduce a beginner to the practice of yoga. However, it becomes a problem when the more knowledgeable student begins chatting with, instructing, and/or adjusting the newer student they came with. The teacher works hard to create a calm, peaceful and supportive environment in the studio. It’s inconsiderate to have someone else talking while the teacher is instructing. It’s also not your job to correct someone else or to give them pointers. Yoga is a personal experience and your focus should remain solely on yourself. Let everyone else have their own experience and refrain from trying to control what someone else is doing. It’s ok if they don’t know what they’re doing. Allow the teacher to do their job, and if you simply can’t control yourself, don’t place your mat directly next to your guest. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t practice next to each other. This will keep you in your experience and them in theirs.
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