Yoga studio etiquette
How to be a great yogi in your class. A few simple tips by Linda Gyecsek
Wear appropriate clothing
You actually do not have to impress anyone on your mat. Just wear comfortable clothes where you can move freely.
Avoid scented lotions and perfumes
It helps your fellow yoga students to be more focused and present. Also, some people are sensitive to fragrances or even allergic.
Get there early
This will help you to get in the right emotional and psychological state. You’re more likely to be relaxed and ready for class. If you are late, be respectful of the meditative states of the rest of the class who showed up on time: open and close the door quietly, tiptoe in, open and lay down your mat delicately.
Do not tread on others’ mats
This should go without saying (but I am saying it anyway because it happens all the time!). After a while, we can all feel that our mat carries so much energy; experiences from our yoga journey. To me, someone else stepping on my mat is like someone treading on my sofa with shoes, so please treat other people’s mats with respect and walk around them.
Check your ego and judgements before you enter the room
Do not forget the final purpose of being in a yoga class. It’s not the time for an afternoon tea catch up. Your fellow yogis may have had a stressful day and may be meditating or simply relaxing to prepare for the practice. Yoga is a time for a journey inward, so embrace it.
While the most important thing is to simply show up, your teacher cannot do the practice for you. To fully participate in the class you have to be present, pay attention, and concentrate.
Respect for everyone in the room (including yourself) will help you to get the most out of your practice.
It is all about you
The one thing students should never do is compare themselves to others. This is not a competition. If you still think it is, I’d recommend choosing another form of practice.
Do not leave early
You deserve Savasana, the final relaxation. If you have to leave early try to let your teacher know in advance and do not make any noise on your way out.
Wiping off your mat, especially if you are using one that belongs to the studio, is a nice thing to do. Put away your props nicely, too.
Enjoy your practice and being part of a new community. Welcome to yoga!
Written by Linda Gyecsek (lindagyecsek.com)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.