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Social Courtesy in Yoga Class

Have you ever gone to a yoga class looking forward to that wonderful feeling of relaxation? Do you expect a certain level of social courtesy in your yoga class? Most people are frustrated when others don’t share their desire to unwind quietly. Keep in mind that you should have manners and consideration for those who share your class. Here are some things “not” to do in yoga class.

•Don’t monopolize the teacher’s time, especially before class. She is probably preparing for the class and won’t be able to give you her full attention. After class is a much better time to discuss questions with her. However, there may be other students waiting to speak to her also so keep your conversation direct, to the point and towards yoga. She is probably really not interested in your new parakeet.

•Don’t cram other student’s space. Unless the room is very small make sure there is plenty of space between you and other students. Some poses require reaching beyond your mat, so extend your arms in a T to test the closeness factor.

•Another part of sharing appropriate space is don’t spread your stuff all over. Pick a place behind you or out of the way to put your mat bag, shoes, jackets, and anything else you bring along.

•A definite “no, no” don’t not bring your cell phone to class. The best thing would be to leave it in your car. You may forget it is turned on and it will cause a disturbance, even if it is set to vibrate.

•Some people like to use the time before class to relax and get into the mood for yoga. If you are having a conversation with someone keep your voice low. Don’t yell across the room to say “hi” just wave or leave it be. You may enjoy the before class talk, but just don't make it a disturbance for others.

•Do not wear revealing clothing. It can be a distraction to other students if you have to keep stopping to adjust your clothing. Appropriate clothing is yoga pants (not too tight), or sweat pants, not so big they interrupt your ability to do the poses. Sports bras should have a t-shirt over them. There is plenty of suitable sportswear to choose from that is not too revealing, fits right, and makes you feel good.

•Don’t be a show off. If you can do a headstand and the majority of the class can’t, then keep your headstands for home practice. Unless of course it is a pose that the teacher includes in her lesson. Don’t make others uncomfortable by comparing theirselves to your expertise.

•Don’t try to teach someone a new pose or correct a pose. You are not the teacher and do not have the training or insight needed to keep people safe.

•Don’t follow your own flow. You can do that at home. Be respectful and do the sequence the teacher has prepared. It’s okay to do modifications but doing a completely different pose may interrupt the flow of the class for everyone, including the teacher.

•Don't be unrespectle but some students don’t always appreciate adjustments by the teacher. If this is your case let your teacher know. Your teacher should always be professional and ask before she touches you. She should also ask if you would like an adjustment or not. You want to always make your teacher aware of any physical limitations you have, she may not know that your knees are made of titanium and you can’t do a pose exactly as she shows it.

•Last of all, and probably the most disturbing of all, is to get up and walk out of the class during relaxation. If you know you have to leave a little early gather up your things and leave before relaxation begins. Don’t spoil everyone else’s experience by “tip toeing” around them.

Keep these things in mind so that your class is enjoyable and pleasant for others too. Always check with a medical professional before starting yoga or any exercise routine. Live well, practice yoga.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Terri Johansen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Terri Johansen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown for details.

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