So a few years ago a girlfriend of mine asked me to join her in one her yoga classes. Really, me I asked? I have issues just slowing down at a stop sign let along slowing down in precise movements and holding positions. She loaned me her yoga mat, I brought a towel and water and off we skipped to class. On the way she was offering suggestions that might help and guide me through this practice that I was about to take on. My head a whirling, I continued walking pretending I totally understood everything that she was saying. Then out of the clear blue sky she started explaining the yoga etiquette. Not only do I have to remember all the names of the yoga positions but now the etiquette? For all who would like to start yoga, but you don’t want to look like a beginner, here are some of the pearls she passed along to me. Read and remember.
1~Let’s be Punctual to Every Class
When it comes to being on time, you are either on time or your not. Everything else is an excuse. Nothing disrupts a class mood like the late comer! Get into a habit of arriving 5 to 10 minutes in advance. Experience a new perspective by holding yourself accountable and by respecting everyone by never arriving after class has started.
2~Wear Decent Yoga Clothes
By decent, I really mean non-revealing and clean clothes that fit properly. There always seems to be that one person who likes to reveal what he or she is hiding underneath their clothing. Yogi’s twist, turn, go upside down and they always are sweating. Showing your glory to all is a big no-no. Please remember that attracting this type of “hey look at me” attention is most definitely frowned upon, no matter how attractive you may be.
3~Remove Shoes Outside
Yoga classes are usually on a hardwood or parquet floors and every one does yoga with bare feet. That means one thing: No shoes inside the studio. Keeping the floors clean (no shoe goo!) is important to everyone including yourself. All studios have a place to “park” shoes. Just look for the pile of shoes.
4~Mind Your Personal Hygiene
Yoga class is a very intimate setting and you may practice yoga closer to your fellow yogi than you prefer due to lack of space or a crowded room. Please mind your personal hygiene. This one is common sense! Use Deodorant. Use toothpaste or mouthwash. Brush your hair. Wear clean clothes. Bring a clean mat and clean towel. These suggestions are no different than if you were out and about doing errands or at work. In a nut shell—look your best and smell your best.
5~Go Easy on Perfume
First please note this does NOT mean skipping your deodorant. It just means going easy on perfumes or better yet don’t wear any. Yoga is all about breathing through all your different planes of motions/movements. These lovely smells might just create issues for your neighbors. Observe good general hygiene but save the perfume for your post-yoga after-shower celebration!
Most yoga classes are a social setting before class starts. This particular class when I startred was a bit more subdued and quiet. Most yogi’s focused inward sitting on their mat preparing for their daily practice. Finding a spot, laying your mat out and having water and a towel close by are preparations not to forget. The few minutes before class are ideal for a short meditation and for setting an intention, so refraining from chit-chat is not just good etiquette but also beneficial for your state of mind.
4 ~ Turn Off Your Electronics but Turn It On from Within
Please, please, please remember this one Girls. Exit the world of constant communication and step onto your mat with intentions of a great practice.. Remember that others have done the same and interrupting the yoga zone with a ring tone (any ring tone!) is rather unforgiving, regardless of the calm reaction you may receive.
5~Follow Your Teacher
As she leads you into your mindful practice of the day follow her lead. That’s why you are there. If you do your own thing, it can cause the whole class to be thrown off. So let’s always give thanks and respect to the teacher who is helping us through that day’s journey.
7 ~ Observe Silence during Savasana
Enjoy this piece of heaven after your practice is done. This last pose seals your practice with a good omen and prepares you for the next phase. If you must (really must!) leave before the end, leave before people settle into savasana and be as quiet as a church mouse! If you put all your intentions forth to bring together mind, body and soul, why would you want to interrupt that and forget to thank yourself for the wonderful feelings you just experienced.
13 ~ Clean Your Immediate Area
If you borrowed a yoga mat from the studio, wipe it down. You may or may not need to put it away depending on their policy. If you created a puddle of sweat, clean it up. If you used props, put them back. Take all your stuff with you. It takes only seconds at most but shows respect to the studio and to the people who will be coming in after you. You want to leave your special place how you found it—CLEAN!
What an experience that was. Walking out after this pretzel like practice, I felt great and everyone else walked with a bounce in their step.
How did I feel after this experience? My mind was now free of clutter, my body felt loose and my soul was cleansed. I felt ready for anything!.
Turn It On and Look Fab