Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, it is always good to know the basic guidelines of what to do in yoga class. The yoga studio is my second home and I know other yogis feel the same way, so always treat the studio like you are a guest in someone else’s home.
1. Be on time. Being fashionably late does not apply to yoga class – the scheduled class time is when class starts. Being late to class not only disrupts your practice but it also is distracting for everyone in the class. Try to get to the studio around 10-15 minutes before class time so you can check in for the class, setup your mat/props and if it is in your practice – allows for a little time to sit and meditate before class.
2. Work on your inner (and outer) silence. Meeting up with friends at yoga class is great, however do not use it as time to catch up on the latest gossip, save the chatting for after class. As mentioned before, some people like to meditate before class, so out of respect for your fellow yogis, keep the talking to a minimum and always at a low whisper.
3. Be mindful of personal space. Always be aware of your surroundings and personal well-being. There are times when your yoga mat will be inches away from you neighbor, try to keep the space between the two mats clear. If you have props or personal items, keep them either in front or behind you.
4. Manage body odor. Personal hygiene is also very important, sweating will happen – make sure you have a towel nearby and deodorant is always good.
5. Mind your breath. Try to avoid eating stinky foods, as there is a lot of deep breathing in yoga.
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6. Communication is key. Yoga instructors are there for you, always keep the line of communication between you and your teacher clear. Let them know if you have any injuries at all, maybe you have a sore neck from sleeping on the wrong side, whatever may be always let your teacher know. Many teachers do hands on adjustments in their classes (myself included), if that makes you uncomfortable let your teacher know, he/she won’t be offended.
7. Be thoughtful. Every teacher wants their students to have the best experience throughout the whole class, but if for any reason you need to leave early, let the teacher know, and be as discreet as possible when packing up and leaving the studio.
Now that you are in the know, you’re ready for yoga class. Always approach class with an open mind and don’t take it too seriously. Just have fun and enjoy your time on the mat!