Yoga Class Etiquette | What to Do and What to Avoid

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DO:

Arrive a bit early to sign in or sit on your mat. Getting to class about a few minutes early can help you settle in and align your attitude with the purpose of the class. While you’re waiting you can practice a pose, stretch, or meditate quietly, breathe, and get centered. In a heated studio, such as Dynamic Yoga 4 Love Studio it is nice to sit in the Far Infrared Heat and relax.
Let your teacher know about any injuries or conditions that might affect your practice. If you are injured or have a limitation, skip poses you can’t or shouldn’t do, or try a modified version even if the rest of the class is doing something else. Please make note to speak to each new teacher of your injuries or limitation.

Set your intention. An important part of our practice is finding our focus or drishdi. Some find it helpful to dedicate your practice to a certain intention or something higher that ourselves. An example is dedication of our practice to be loving, kind and compassionate, or healthier, stronger,and more powerful. You may dedicate your yoga practice to ones who cannot practice or to a friend, a cause or your Higher Self.

Take time reflect and meditate. This helps us retain what you practiced and extend the sense of bliss we achieve on our mat with a strong asana flow. Review the poses you practiced, note any cues that made sense for you. Even if you remember just one thing from each class, you’ll soon have a lot of information that you can pull from in times of need and this knowledge of your own perseverance will help you in life both on and off the mat.

Please be quiet. It’s great to share a class with a friend, but it is very distracting to yourself and others to have a conversation or be giggly in the back of the studio.

Keep your focal point and your mind and on your mat. It is difficult at first to not have to look around to see how to do a pose. Begin to trust the audio cues from the instructor, and trust your own FEELING in your body to see if the pose feels good for you. Find your focal point and try not to look in the mirror (if you have one) or around the class too much. Yoga is as much about an INTERNAL focus, a moving meditation, as well as a physical practice. After a few short weeks you will be surprised at the changes you already have observed in your body, mind and spirit.

Bring your own hand towel or your own mat if you sweat a lot, and arrive clean and free of scents that might distract or offend others.

Put away any props or mats that you use, neatly the way you found them. Clean any borrowed mats or props thoroughly.

AVOID:

Wearing heavy fragrances, no perfume or use of slippery lotions before practice.

Eating for two or three hours before class. Depending on your metabolism, if you practice yoga before your food is passed through your stomach, you might experience cramps. If you have a full belly you are likely to experience nausea, or vomiting, especially in twists, deep forward bends, and inversions. Digesting food also takes energy that can make you lethargic. Hot classes are much more likely to bring this to the surface.

Bringing cell phones into class. Leave your phone for the practice. Seriously, you will be fine. Do not bring your phone in, avoid any socializing and business until your practice is complete, so the peace of the practice is not disturbed for yourself (or others).

*If you have a reason to keep your phone by you for emergency, please let the instructor know and place it in an inconspicuous place near you, on silent. If you must respond to your phone please do so in the restroom or the lobby, not on your mat.

Going too far past your edge too soon. Instead of trying to go as deeply or completely into a pose as others might be able to do, do what you can without straining or injuring yourself. You’ll go farther faster if you take a loving attitude toward yourself and work from where you are, not from where you think you should be.

Coming into class late or leaving early. If you must leave early please let the instructor know before the practice begins so they may place your mat in a proper place near the door. If you come in late it’s disruptive to others, people are curious and will feel the need to look at the door. Leaving before Savasana (final relaxation) is over is considered very poor yoga etiquette.

Sources: Tim Noworytas