The New Year always brings lots of new people to yoga. That’s great! I want you in class! Once you get a taste of the magic of yoga, I know you’ll keep coming back. But before you come to class, there are some things you need to know. Here’s a little run down on basic yoga etiquette to make the start of your yoga obsession a smooth one.
Remove your Shoes (and your socks)
The yoga classroom is a sacred space. Make sure you remove your shoes before entering. If your toes are cold, you can keep your socks on, but you’ll want to remove them before class begins (unless they are yoga-specific socks). Why remove your socks? You’ll slip, it’s that simple. I had a yoga teacher who used to say, “You can remove your socks now or they will let you know when they want to come off on their own.” You will slowly work your feet out of your socks as class progresses, why not take them off before class.
You should aim to be 10 to 15 minutes early for class. This gives you time to fill out any waivers and get ready and centered for class. If the classroom is open, you can go in and lay out your mat. If the classroom is already crowded with mats, you can ask others to shift their mats over to make room for one more. You truly only need the space of your mat to do yoga. If there’s plenty of room, you’ll want to give the person beside you a foot or so of space. Oh, and don’t step on other people’s mats. It’s just not cool. Remember the no socks thing?
Generally, there is no talking while you are practicing yoga. Unless the instructor asks you a question or you need to state a concern. Once the class starts, most students remain silent. This allows everyone in the class to get into a meditative state and get the most out of the class. It’s a good rule of thumb to be quiet upon entering the classroom, too.
With so many people with allergies and sensitivities, it’s best to come to class without wearing perfumes or strongly scented lotions. No matter how lovely you find the scent, it may give someone else a headache.
Leave Your Phone With Your Shoes
You won’t need your phone inside the yoga classroom. It’s best to put it on silent and leave it with your shoes.
Don’t Come With a Full Belly
It’s recommended that you not eat for 3 hours before class to allow your belly to be empty. Personally, I just advise you not to come with a full belly. Any exercise is harder with a full belly. You should come ready for movement, but with enough sustenance that you have energy for the class.
While yoga is definitely peaceful and you should leave feeling relaxed and refreshed, it’s also hard work. You can and should bring a bottle of water, especially if you are taking a heated class.
This is probably the most important piece of yoga etiquette. Don’t take yourself, or the class, too seriously. The yoga studio is a welcoming and open space for you to explore the practice of yoga. Enjoy yourself!