All the yoga classes I’ve been to have been pretty laid-back and almost anything goes. There aren’t a lot of yoga class don’ts, unless you go to a super-strict, super-serious studio. But there are some common courtesy things to do, whether it’s a beginner’s class, a class at the CrossFit box, or a free community class.
- Come in late and set up in front of the room loudly. This pretty much goes for any yoga class and is one of the biggest yoga class don’ts. Life happens, and we all run late. Don’t be that person that causes a ruckus by bursting into the room, slapping down your mat, and being a nuisance. Sneak in, gently unroll your mat, and join us in our practice.
- Do your own practice in the front of the room. Yes, I’ve seen this: one woman in my YMCA class just decided to disregard everything the teacher was doing and do her own practice. We all have modifications we’re going to do so that the poses work with our bodies. Those are cool. What’s not cool is when you decide to do your own poses and your own flow. Follow the class. Do your modifications. Or set up in the back of the room.
- Wear perfume. This one’s very obvious. Just don’t. Your fellow yogis might be allergic or just not like the scent.
- Leave your phone’s ringer/text alert on. This is probably second on the list of highly annoying yoga class don’ts. Just as you’re getting into a pose, “DING!” Please, for all that is sacred in class, turn flip it over to vibrate.*
- Ignore your body’s cues. If your body is telling you it’s not getting into wheel pose, listen. There’s no shame in modifying and doing bridge pose or supported bridge pose instead, for example.
- Compete with the yogi in the front of the room. There is always that one yogi that can get into any combination of pretzel-y poses. This goes with listening to your body: this is your practice. Do what works for you.
- Step on someone else’s mat. Yoga mats are a sacred space for most (or, your fellow yogi is a germophobe). Do everything you can to stay off someone else’s mat.
*If you take yoga on Thursday nights at a CrossFit gym during the Open, please put your phone on vibrate – and feel free to watch the Open announcement with the volume off. That’s totally okay. Otherwise, please leave your phone in your bag.
Do you have any yoga class don’ts? Share in the comments.