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Yoga Etiquette: Top 5 Must Do’s

September 27, 2011

I know you’re thinking to yourself “Yoga Etiquette? Isn’t yoga supposed to be all-embracing and wonderful and people frolicking on the lawn?” Well, yes, it is but there are some things we might do that will irritate the hell out of our fellow yogis and yoginis.

Behave or else this llama will give you the stink eye!

Here is my top 5 must do’s in yoga class:

  1. Avoid stepping on someone else’s mat – with or without shoes, it’s not cool. Someone is laying his cheek on that mat you’re stepping on and no one knows where your feet have been.
  2. Show up to class on time. Coming late is disruptive. Sure, things happen but if you’re consistently late, you should consider taking a different class that fits your schedule better.
  3. If you’re late for class or if you have to leave early, enter and leave the room quickly and as quietly as possible. Do your best imitation of a ninja and skedaddle out of there.
  4. Save your questions for the end of class. Yoga classes have a certain flow, though it doesn’t have to be done in stone cold silence, conversations or sharing commentary with the instructor or fellow yogis should be saved for last.
  5. Lay off the perfume. In class, a lot of really deep breaths are taken. Don’t choke your neighbor by spritzing on a little too much eau-de-whatever. You’ll need that more AFTER the class.

They seem so basic, don’t they? But you’d be surprised how often one or two of these things happen in class – usually by the same offender! Everyone has had their yoga class horror stories… If you haven’t, you just might be the problem. πŸ˜‰

Do you have other “must do” advice for yogis? Share your top 5 or add to mine here!

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From → Yoga

19 Comments
  1. An occasional non-verbal expression of relief/joy is fine, but try to avoid the “I’m having a totally sexual experience” moaning and groaning.

    • LOL Oh my God, Lorin, so true! I’ve also had people breathing so hard that I had to pause and make sure he was okay! I swear I thought he was having a heart attack!

    • I agree. Yes, yes, YESSSSSS!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  2. Corollary to #5. PLEASE wear deodorant.

    • Oh yes… A very important corollary not just in yoga studios but in gyms nationwide. πŸ™‚

    • I occasionally dance with hard-core hippies who are clearly anti-deodorant, and it bugs the crap out of me (and my nose)! Yes, BO is natural, but so is farting and burping. Maybe next time I should eat a giant cabbage & onion salad before class and contribute to the “eau de naturale.” If you want to skip the deodorant, just please don’t do it in a small, enclosed, windowless, un-air-conditioned studio, thxplsok.

      • I have to wonder on what parallel universe others come from… You know the people who take cell phone calls in the middle of movie theaters… The people who don’t give up their seat on the bus to the elderly or pregnant… Surely there must still be an island where we can put them? πŸ˜‰

        Sometimes my gym gives away free deodorant samples… Hint! Hint, people!!

  3. NO CELL PHONES! Its one thing when your cell phone goes off in class, and even if it is on vibrate we can still hear it, but take the conversation outside! I’ve seen people continue conversations even when the instructor is welcoming everyone and class is about to start.

    • Gaaaaah! That’s a great one, Laura! Cell phones are both a gift and a curse to our society! But, yes, PLEASE PLEASE silence your cell phones! You don’t want to see a yogi get angry! πŸ˜‰

  4. How about, thank your instructor at the end of the class!

    The comment about the revenge “giant cabbage & onion salad” made me laugh pretty hard.

  5. These are great tips!! You wrote what I think as someone who goes to yoga and someone who works part-time at a yoga studio… so important to stay off my mat and be on time!! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! These tips are definitely based on my experience which is probably why I missed the tip about turning off your cell phone! So far I’ve been lucky enough to not have had any of those “incidents!”

  6. These are good – I cannot stand when people step on my mat! I feel offended, though I try not to be. It’s like someone entering your home without knocking first or being invited in. It’s my own private space, and I like to keep it that way. Plus, I really don’t want to share my sweat πŸ™‚

    • I know! I just have a complete visceral reaction when someone steps on my mat! I often feel like saying, “Hey! You just stepped on my home!”

      Hubs made that mistake of stepping on my mat once. After the tongue lashing it has never happened again. πŸ˜‰

  7. Hi,

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  8. Lovey this list….it sometimes interesting what you will see as a teacher…I have asked my students to not bring their cell phone into the room..the fact that I have to remind them is interesting enough. peace & love : )

    • The fact that I even have to put this list up is “interesting.” I worry that people are so out of teach with other humans that common courtesy has just completely fallen by the wayside… And then a lady tapped me on the shoulder the other day to tell me that I dropped my debit card and suddenly all is well in the world again. Thank you for the comments. Please feel free to get long-winded all the time! πŸ™‚

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