Every yoga studio has a set of guidelines to create an atmosphere where people can relax and enjoy their yoga practice without distractions.
Here are 10 tips for making it an enjoyable experience for yourself and other students.
1. Arrive on Time
We suggest arriving 10-15 minutes ahead of the class start time. This gives you time to get centered, let go of stress, and to relax. We know that sometimes something happens that prevents you from coming in on time. Just be aware though that arriving late can be disruptive for the teacher and students (especially if they are centering in the beginning).
2. Enter and Unroll Your Mat Quietly
Some people may be lying on their backs, in a pose called Savasana, trying to release tension or get ready for class. If you come in, in a hurry and fling your mat open on the floor, it can be very jarring for the person in Savasana. Try to come in quietly and unroll your mat slowly.
3. Be Aware of Your Scent
This includes body odour and fragrances. Remember you’re practicing yoga in a room full of other people. The yoga practice can get sweaty. You may not notice how you smell, but others will so put on antiperspirant or deodorant (there’s a wide selection of natural ones if you’re worried about toxins). Some people are allergic or sensitive to perfumes, essential oils, and other fragrances, so refrain from wearing them.
4. Turn Cell Phones and Electronic Devices Off
The worst thing is for a cell phone to start ringing while everyone is trying to relax or focus on his or her practice. It immediately makes us tense. Turn your cell phone off and avoid texting or answering emails and calls before, during or after class in the practice rooms. If you need to be reached, give the person the studio number so someone can come and get you.
5. Be Aware of Your Space
Make space for people arriving last minute (especially if the room is busy). We know you may have arrived early to set your mat down, but other people will be coming in and need space too. Some classes may be small and intimate, and some may be mat to mat. Be mindful to wipe down your sweat (if it drips on the floor) to avoid any accidents.
6. Keep Conversations Low
Every studio has a different policy. Some studios ask for silence. We believe this discourages people from getting to know each other. One of our core values is Community, and we’ve had many friendships form during a yoga class just by engaging in conversations. Keep conversations low and if it’s too loud or you can see someone is resting right next to you, then perhaps go in the hallway to catch up.
7. Stay for Savasana
Savasana is the pose done at the end of a yoga practice (where you lie on your back). For an hour class, the teacher will usually give a 5-8 minute Savasana. It’s disruptive to hear someone pick up their stuff when the entire class is quiet. So try to stay until the end. If you HAVE to leave, let the teacher know and do so quietly, before Savasana.
8. Clean Up After Practice
Usually the teacher will place the props needed for class at the top of their mat, so you know what props to get. Once you’re done your class, put the props away neatly.
9. Loud Breathing
In some places, you may have heard to breathe so loudly that the person on the other side of the room can hear you. This can aggravate your nervous system. If implementing Ujjayi breathing (where you slightly constrict the base of your throat), it needs to be loud enough for you to hear and perhaps your neighbour. When you come into Savasana, let go of your breathing as this can disturb others around you.
10. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
It can be challenging not to look at others in the practice and then let your mind go down a road. Some people may have been practicing for years to get to a certain point. Have compassion with yourself; acknowledge your achievements in your yoga journey and progress at your pace.
WARNING – If you see someone not doing some of these tips, avoid becoming the yoga police. Practice patience, flexibility, and compassion, and set the example yourself for others.