Like anything in life, there are certain unspoken rules and yoga class etiquette. Certain actions and attitudes can vastly shift the energy of a class, throwing off the instructor’s focus or even impact the safety of the class. No one wants to be that person, so be sure to avoid these bad behaviors at your next yoga class.
Bringing and Using Your Cell Phone in Class
There are always circumstances and emergencies where the use of a cell phone in a yoga class can’t be avoided. Maybe you’re on call for work as a nurse or doctor or your wife could go into labor at any moment. In these situations, having your phone next to you on silent would be fine. Generally though, these aren’t the case. Leave your phone outside or in your bag before a yoga class. Even if your phone is on silent, we can all see you scrolling through Instagram over there. The use and presence of cell phones in non-emergency situations can be disturbing and distracting to a class.
Contradicting or Ignoring the Instructor
Even if you’re a professional yoga instructor yourself, you took a class for a reason. Follow the instructor’s advice and instructions unless what they’re asking for would harm you. Completely ignoring or contradicting the yoga teacher can be dangerous, or distracting at minimum. If your bored with a pose or class try concentrating on the subtleties of the pose or asking for a more challenging alternative position, which most instructors usually offer anyway.
Making Fun of Other People
A big reason people don’t start taking yoga classes or are afraid to go is because they’re self-conscious Don’t be the person that reinforces this. Yoga isn’t about comparing people to one another; it’s about accepting your body where it is. Let go of judgment when you enter the class room.
Talking During Class
Talking before and after class is perfectly acceptable as people come in and out. Once the teacher has taken their place and has begun talking though, it’s time to listen, not talk. There might be a few moments during class where everyone is trying new positions where it’s okay to laugh and joke quietly. Read the room though. Being an active listener and not talking is a sign of respect to your instructor and fellow students.
Sometimes leaving early can’t be avoided like if there’s an emergency, but leaving during a cool down position like child’s pose or corpse pose is disruptive and rude. These positions are important to let your body relax and return to normal. You might not feel like you need it but by leaving early you interrupt the relaxation of everyone else in class. You committed to the class, so you should commit to stay the whole time.
Leave Behind Trash
Your yoga instructor isn’t your maid; so don’t leave behind trash that they’ll have to clean up. Make sure you pick up everything on your way out. Amazingly, people often leave behind used tissue, used band aids or empty water bottles. You wouldn’t want to have to clean up after someone else, so why make someone clean up after you?