If you are new to yoga, walking into a studio packed with yoga mats, unfamiliar props, and an entire group of individuals quietly meditating before class can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. Learning yoga etiquette in advance will help you feel more comfortable and confident in the studio.
Keep the following in mind:
1. Be punctual. Nothing is more disruptive to class than a late arrival. Plan to arrive 10 minutes early to every class; this way, if you’re running late, you’ll still be on time for class. Some classes may also have a “no admittance” policy once class begins. Plan to stay for the entire class, rather than leaving early. An early exit is just as disruptive as a late arrival.
2. Personal hygiene matters. Practicing good personal hygiene is especially important for yoga class, where there may be many bodies positioned closely together in a small studio space. Wear clean clothes, use deodorant, and practice with a clean yoga mat. On the flip side, go easy on the perfume and cologne. Since we breathe deeply during class, the smell of your perfume or cologne could come across very strongly to another person.
3. Keep conversations to a minimum. Some classes have a strict “no talking” policy before class, and there’s a good reason for this! Leave the gossip, drama, and cell phones outside the studio. If you arrive early for class, take this time to meditate or quietly stretch.
4. Do not wear shoes inside the studio. While the “no-shoe” policy can vary , in general, it is never a good idea to enter the practice space wearing shoes or socks. If needed, ask for a cubby space or a designated place to leave shoes and other items.
5. Don’t eat before class. Even gentle yoga classes typically involve twists, inversions and forward bends. Eating less than two hours before class can lead to nausea, cramps or even vomiting – yikes! Digesting food also requires energy, which can leave you feeling lethargic. Plan to bring a light snack, like a piece of fresh fruit, to enjoy after class.
6. Talk to your teacher about injuries before class. If you are working through an injury, take a few moments to discuss your injury with the teacher before the class begins. This way your teacher can offer modifications and be prepared to assist you during class, as necessary.
Noworyta, Tim. “Yoga Classes Dos and Don’ts.” Yoga Journal. 2014.