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myles golden
March 19, 2012
Yoga Etiquette 101

Yoga Etiquette 101

Be on time-ish.  Of course, being on time is best for all, but if you are a few minutes late, it’s the manner in which you enter the room that is important.   Remove your shoes before you enter and roll out your mat quietly in the back of the room.  Try not to bring any unnecessary attention to yourself.

Leave on time-ish.  If you are leaving early, LEAVE BEFORE SAVASANA.  Clanging and banging and bumping and thumping is rude.  Be considerate.  Close the door quietly behind you.

Don’t be stanky.  I’m talkin’ about you, your mat and your $50 yoga towel that you roll up in your mat and somehow think for some reason that you never have to wash it.  And by stanky I don’t just mean of the BO variety.  Don’t douse yourself in cologne or perfume either.  The best call is to just not smell like anything.  Don’t smell bad and don’t bother trying to smell good either.

Easy on the Ujjayi.  Yoga breathing is auditory but only so you can hear it.  If you are in a packed class and there isn’t any music, you’re going to hear other people breathing but don’t breathe louder than those around you; It’s distracting. 

Remove your shoes.  I can’t believe I have to point this out, but people do this all the time.  Take your shoes off before you enter the practice room.  Duh. 

Roll your mat out quietly.  Try not to roll the mat out with a loud whipping sound.  Place it on the earth quietly. 

Turn your cell phone off.  Obviously.  If you forget, no big deal; It’s okay, we’ve all done it.  Get up and turn it off.  Don’t be the person who pretends that it’s not their phone so that it rings again creating even more distraction.  Also, don’t run like a maniac towards your bag to turn it off.  Just get up, walk over quietly and turn it off.   

Don’t do your own thing.  It’s fine to take a pose to a deeper variation within the context of the pose or series you are in.  It’s also encouraged to modify postures to suit your needs and resting is always appropriate.  Don’t be the person doing something completely different from the rest of the class.  If I’m teaching a standing pose sequence and you are doing handstands, it’s very distracting to those around you and takes away from their experience.  And besides, nobody likes a show-off.  

Always be willing to move.  Okay, so you got to class really early to get your favorite spot.  The room is filling up, and two minutes before the class starts, three more people walk in and the teacher asks you to move to accommodate them.  Be gracious about it and don’t huff and puff.  Try not to be rigidly attached to where you put your mat and learn to be okay with practicing in a crowded room.  Use the energy in the room to feed your practice rather than detract from it.

Clean up your puddlesIf you got all sweaty and made puddles – use your towel to clean them up during and after class.

Keep your cold to yourself.  If you’re sick, please stay home.  We are in close quarters and the person next to you can easily catch your cold.   

When you come to yoga, try to be respectful of the teacher and the other students.  We like to keep the peace and avoid conflict at yoga studios.   As teachers, owners and managers, it is very difficult to let someone know when they are doing something inconsiderate because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  People come to yoga to feel good, not to be criticized.  Try to be aware of your actions and how they affect those around you so that everyone has a peaceful and positive experience at yoga.

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