Please, please, please switch off that mobile phone, says Lexie Williamson
Yogis, by nature, are not sticklers for the rules. But in order for a class to run swimmingly there must be some dos and don’ts. Each yoga studio has its own list of polite requests, but here are my own random rules:
A mobile phone on ‘vibrate’ is not on ‘silent.’ A vibrating phone in a handbag or deep in the pocket of a puffa jacket is hardly noticeable. A buzzing phone coming sharply to life and juddering across a wooden floor while you are all deep in the land of Savasana is a different matter. It’s a recipe for a heart attack or at the very least a severe case of bad vibes.
Wherever you lay your mat, that’s your home (at least for the next 75 minutes). If you are a studio newcomer you may well have inadvertently pinched someone’s ‘spot’. But however much they give you the evil eye or huff and puff do not move. It is un-yogic to have a ‘spot’ in the first place. Embracing change is all part of the higher plan so you are actually doing them a favour.
Play nice with the cover teacher. It’s not her fault that your instructor is away sunning herself in Goa for two weeks. Rather than snarling under your breath like a terrier as she enters, welcome her with open arms. Help her fathom the cryptic heating control panel or guide her gently to the dimmer switch. I speak from experience. Stepping into the space of a treasured teacher is nerve racking at the best of times.
Avoid wearing see-through leggings. Put all the lights on and do the bend over test in a full-length mirror to check. The person behind you does not want to see your pants in down dog. Men wearing running shorts: ensure that the crown jewels are safely housed to avoid doing an Alan Partridge in cobbler’s pose.
Never acknowledge a fart in class. Yoga involves a fair bit of contortion and the resulting occasional trump is perfectly normal and nothing to snigger about. We do, after all, have a posture called ‘wind relieving pose’ (Apanasana). The protocol if you or your neighbour does break wind – however loudly – is to simply stare stoically ahead (or up at the ceiling if in shoulder stand). Keep calm and carry on.
Lexie Williamson is a yoga teacher and health and fitness writer (pulseyoga.co.uk)