No matter where you are when you enjoy your yoga practice, that area is a sacred space. Yoga requires concentration and mindfulness. Reducing distractions to yourself and to others is crucial to having a healthy and enjoyable time on the mat. Yoga is also about community, so it is very important to respect yoga etiquette when practicing in group environments. Here are a few tips to make sure that your behavior and your presence is positive, productive, and polite towards your fellow yogis.
Turn Off the Phone
While cell phones have become indispensable to daily life, using your phone in class or keeping the volume on is always a breach of yoga etiquette. Practice is about your connection with your body and mind, not about your connection with your email or social media networks. Even as you are waiting for class to begin, be sure to turn the volume off and tuck your phone away for the duration of class. Leaving your phone in the car is the best option.
Remove Your Shoes
If you’re new to yoga, this tradition might seem odd, but before you enter a yoga studio, you should take care to remove your shoes. Not only is this essential to keeping floors clean, but you may find it helps “prime” your mind by marking your arrival to your practice space. The idea of taking off your shoes means that you can leave your worries and worldly concerns outside of the room.
Do Your Best to Arrive Early
Preparing for your yoga practice means getting the props you need, finding a
space in the room, and allowing yourself to let go and enter a space where you can heal and rejuvenate yourself. Arriving 15 minutes before the class begins is the best practice. It can be disruptive to enter a class, gather your blocks and straps, and find a place for your mat if the session has already began. If you find yourself arriving to class a few minutes late, be mindful of yoga etiquette and find a space quickly and quietly.
Stay Through the Whole Class
Even if staying still through savasana is difficult, respect yoga etiquette by staying put for the duration of the class. If certain aspects of the practice are difficult or unappealing to you, know that they may be the most important aspects of another’s practice. Respect everyone’s experience and don’t disrupt it by leaving class early.
The final component of yoga etiquette is one of the most important: take care of your sacred space by putting away all props and, if borrowed or rented from the studio, cleaning off your mat. A studio or classroom should be a happy, clean space for all who use it throughout the day.