July marks the start of a new chapter in my yoga life – moving to a bigger venue! This time last year I was still working towards qualifying as a teacher so I feel blessed and grateful that I have as many amazing students as I do and I get to spend a few hours a week teaching something I adore and am so passionate about!
I wanted to write a quick post about general yoga class etiquette and some points I feel are important to respect in a class environment, so here they are:
Enter the space quietly & respectfully
I try to enter every class I attend in a quiet, peaceful manner and treat the room with respect. Yes, sometimes I understand that you got stuck behind someone slow in the car on the way, you had an argument with your wife/husband/boss and you are just so fed up but leave the negativity at the door please. You have made the choice to come to class and take time for yourself to do something you enjoy – so make a conscious effort to enjoy it and bring a positive attitude to class.
Try to limit what you bring with you to class
The space in class is often limited – try to bring with you as little as possible.
Please don’t step on anyone else’s mat
My pet hate! It’s downright rude to step on anyone else’s belongings full stop. If I started trampling all over your handbag and phone you’d lose your cool with me in minutes. Just because it’s an inch-thick yoga mat which is stepped on with bare feet anyway doesn’t make it anymore OK.
Arrive on time, allowing enough time to be sat and ready on your mat when class starts
Please be punctual for class. Yoga classes are planned and it is important you participate in each section. Not only is it a little rude to arrive late, you also disrupt the class and the teacher.
Treat your teacher with kindness and respect his or her teaching
We all have poses we dislike. We all have poses that are uncomfortable. FYI – do those poses more and please stop telling your teacher how much you dislike Utkatasana/Ardha Chandrasana/Ardha Muka Svanasana. I don’t come into your work and tell you how much I don’t enjoy the work you do.
Practise loving silence during class time
I was taught the lesson “Are your words greater than silence?” by my teacher, Coby Kozlowski and it is brilliant to apply this to a yoga class. It’s unfair to chat during a class, not only is it distracting and disrespectful to those around you and your teacher, but you are losing a valuable opportunity for yourself to turn inwards and concentrate on your own practice. If you find you are wanting to chat and distract others during a difficult pose, this may be a personal inquiry for you to study.
Turn your phone onto silent and off vibrate
Or leave it at home? To me, it seems nonsensical to turn a phone onto silent, yet to place it on a table where the vibrate is going to reverberate around the room every 10 minutes. This is just as distracting and again, effects the energy of the space.