Even if you’ve never taken a yoga class before, you probably have some kind of idea of what to expect. Yoga has gained immense popularity over the past decade to the point where yoga classes are often depicted in movies and TV shows. So as far as you know, you’re probably expecting close quarter yoga in a room full of students. However, before showing up for your first class, it’s important to understand the following yoga class etiquette:
- Show up early – You’re going to need a little bit of time in order to get yourself ready, such as removing your jacket, taking off your socks and shoes, signing in and getting set up on your mat. If you show up right when class starts, all of these actions will distract the other students. Try to show up between ten and 15 minutes early.
- Turn off your electronics – Make sure that any electronics you might have on you, such as your smartphone, your tablet or your wrist watch, are all turned off or set on mute. You don’t want to be that person that has to jump up in the middle of class to go turn off that incredibly disruptive ringing sound.
- Stagger your mat – When setting up your mat, stagger it from the person behind you so that you don’t block their view of the instructor.
- Get rid of all odors before coming to class – Make sure you’re not wearing stinky socks that cause an odor to spread through the class. Wear clean, appropriate clothing. You should also avoid wearing strong perfume or lotion that could bother others.
- Don’t get chatty during class – If you want to chat to someone after class, that’s okay. But during the actual class, refrain from speaking to anyone. Yoga is supposed to be a very reflective and meditative practice – by speaking you are not only disrupting the practice of the person you are speaking to, but also of everyone else in the class.
- Clean up afterwards – If you’ve borrowed a mat from the yoga instructor, make sure that you wipe it down afterwards. You should also carefully put away any props that you borrowed during the practice, such as blocks or blankets, the way that you found them.
- Face your head to the instructor during shavasana – At the end of every yoga class, students do what’s called “shavasana.” This consists of laying flat on your back in brief respite to let your body take everything in. When you get into shavasana position, make sure your head is facing the instructor – this is a sign of respect.
- Respond with namaste – Once the practice ends, the instructor will bow their head and say “namaste.” Namaste is the term used to honor the divinity within you. It is respectful to respond in kind.
Because yoga practice is so meditative, it’s extremely important that you follow basic yoga class etiquette in order to show respect to your instructor and to your fellow students