You are all siked up and looking forward to going to yoga class. It is definitely what your mind and your body needs. You get there, find your space, and try to put yourself in your “Yoga Essence.” Some days you are successful, class was wonderful, you got your Zen on, and your body feels wonderful. And then there are those other days where it isn’t so easy to gain that satisfaction.
Maybe too much stuff is going on in your life that you can’t really pull away and truly be present on your mat. Your mind just won’t shut off because there is excessive mental chit chat or screaming going on inside. OR…maybe there there are too many distractions going on in the room that keep interrupting your attempts at being in your YOGA MINDSET or your ZONE.
I know all of us have a lot going on in our lives. Who doesn’t? But I’m willing to bet that it is the latter thats messing with your ability to zen out. Most of the time, usually it is actually the distractions that prevent many of us from totally experiencing that YOGA WELLBEING or satisfaction we often get after class.
So lets talk about those distractions…
As a yoga regular and instructor, I’ve seen as well as experienced a lot of disruptive behaviors both in the yoga studio and the aerobics studio where yoga might be held so I thought I’d write about them in the hopes that it might enlighten some of those violators or newbies who just don’t know. (Or at the very least, minimize them in my classes since my clients know about my blog).
1. Arrive early! (10-15minutes): This is not a general aerobics class where you can sneak in during the warm up. Its different! Typically, people are sitting or lying on their mats in an attempt to place themselves in their yoga mindset/de stress or maybe they are pursuing some pre-stretching. You are most likely to see people in their zone if classes aren’t back to back. Overall, it is very disruptive to come in at the moment class begins or worse after it has began and expect people who have their eyes shut and engaged in yogic breathing or in a pose to have to stop and shift their mats over to make room for the late comer!
2. Don’t ever, ever, ever, step on someone’s mat! The yoga mat is a person’s space and its kind of scared. Please, go out of your way to zig zag around the room and definitely pay attention to where you are walking. I guarantee, you’ll piss someone off if you step on their mat and especially with shoes on! Just don’t do it.
3. Shoes: They don’t belong in a studio yoga class! Yoga is practiced barefoot. You are grounding and strengthening your plantar muscles being barefoot and that is the point! I know you noticed all the shoes outside the studio when you arrived. Hum… Don’t bring them in the studio. If at a gym, just take them off and place them out of the way.
4. Talking: See number 1. Lower your voice to a whisper while in the studio and definately don’t keep talking as the instructor is trying to present opening comments. That’s extremely rude plus I guarantee the rest of the class actually wants to hear what the instructor has to say. Better yet, be courteous and have your conversation in the hallway! You just might not realize how loud you actually are. (You can set up your mat prior to class, go out in the hall, talk away, and then come back in a moment before class begins).
5. Cell Phones: See number 1. Leave them outside the studio. No one wants to hear your beeps, rings, or see your LED light up in a dimly lit yoga room or for you to actually take a call. It is both annoying and disruptive. If you can’t truly part ways with your cell phone, do us all a favor and don’t come to class.
6. Leaving Early: Well if you have to, let the instructor know up front. It’s courteous. Set up close to the door, pack up as quietly as possible, and don’t let the door slam because chances are you are leaving during the most important pose…Savasana (Final Relaxation). Just an FYI, the whole class is about getting to this pose and the class will end on time. Trust me, the instructor is doing time keeping so you can relax.
Now if you Google yoga etiquette, you’ll find what I presented and much more. These are just my personal pet peeves.
All in all, maybe you aren’t guilty of doing these DON’TS, but as we all know someone is or it wouldn’t be a topic on the web and I wouldn’t be writing about it. The good news is that I don’t see these violations a lot and thank goodness, but when I do “whew” the violator is very distracting and annoying.