We each have a direct impact on the collective yoga experience we share in class. If you are new to yoga, there are a few unspoken norms that all yogis should abide by when entering class. Here are a few things to consider:
1. Leave your phone outside
These days our phones are attached to our hips. I know it’s difficult to leave your phone outside, but this is your time to disconnect from the world and strengthen the connection with yourself. Even putting it on vibrate can be a distraction during deep relaxation. Too many times have I seen people falling into deep, blissful sleep only to be disturbed by the unpleasant sound of someone’s phone vibrating against the floor. You can survive without your phone for one hour, I promise!
2. If the teacher is talking, you are not
Just as you should be respectful of your peers by leaving your phone outside, the yoga instructor deserves the same amount of respect when class has started. Talking and sharing stories with friends is encouraged, but everyone should become silent and attentive when the teacher is teaching. You’ll have plenty of time for yogi tea and socializing when class is finished.
3. Wipe your mat
If you don’t have a yoga mat, most studios typically have mats for free or for rent. And depending on the yoga studio, you may have to clean your yoga mat after use. There’s nothing very zen about coming to class and using someone else’s yoga mat covered with foul-smelling, sticky sweat. Cleaning your mat doesn’t require a full hour wash, usually just a light scrub with a paper towel and cleaning spray. If your peers are wiping down their mats after class, follow the herd and wipe yours too!
4. Be on time
I know life gets in the way sometimes– work ran late, you had an important phone call, there was traffic, etc. I understand the need to be flexible! But being on time is more for your benefit than anyone else’s. You don’t want to miss an important part of the warm up, or for a kundalini class, an important part of the lecture. If you must come in late, do so as quietly as a mouse and sit in the back.
5. Easy on the Febreeze
It is inevitable that you will sweat doing yoga. If you’re doing hot yoga, then you will sweat A LOT. You may feel the need to conceal your radiating odors by lathering on the body spray or Febreeze, but more often than not it just makes matters worse. Sweat mixed with perfume does not equate to sweet smelling sweat, it ends up being sweaty smelling perfume. And that is not a pleasant breath when the teacher tells you to “take a deep inhale.” Just remember– one spray is fine, two is over the line.
Remember we are all sharing in this great experience! Let’s keep it clean and conscious. Sat nam & have a great class!
(Photo cred: Wikimedia)