Tips & Etiquette

Beginning a new yoga practice is exciting. Be safe, be happy and enjoy! Review some yoga etiquette tips before arriving to class to engage in pre-mat mindfulness.

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  • Always take your shoes and socks off and leave them in the front room before entering the studio.
  • Turn OFF your cell phone.  Yes, even the vibrate option can disturb the class.
  • Pull your card from the file box BEFORE entering the studio.
  • If you arrive late, enter the studio AFTER the class has finished centering.  Slip in quietly and take your place. If the room is crowded, catch the teacher’s eye and he/she will be happy to make room for you.
  • Don’t give late-comers the evil-eye. It can happen to anyone but a practice of lateness is inconsiderate to your teacher and classmates.
  • Make room for others. Everyone should feel welcome.

  • Props are your friend. Grab the props you need at the beginning of class and keep them placed neatly near your mat and out of the way of others. Props that you use often should be placed strategically where you can access them. It’s your practice, so own it. Use your props to support where your body is today. Don’t be too cool for props. It’s a sign of an advanced practitioner to use props when needed.
  • Always think about your drishti, gaze or focus point. Where we look affects our balance and alignment, and can transform the pose. There’s no need to follow the teacher with your eyes. It’s natural to want to watch the person who’s speaking to you, but unlike other types of movement classes, unless a teacher specifically asks you to watch a demonstration, you don’t need to watch him/her. In yoga classes, teachers are usually walking around, assisting students verbally and manually.
  • Try to be present at all times. Some days, class is too much for us or maybe we accidentally go to a higher level class than we’re ready for or to a style that we’re unfamiliar with. If you need to rest, come to child’s pose or some other very simple, restful pose that you know. Close your eyes, breathe, listen to everyone else’s breath. Just being in the room, breathing and practicing being present is highly therapeutic. Rejoin the class when you’re ready.
  • Don’t get frustrated. You can be serious about your practice without taking yourself too seriously. Maintain your sense of humor. Smile if you wobble or even fall. Be happy that you are brave enough to try!
  • Be mindful of practicing “watchasana”. Sometimes we see people doing really beautiful things in yoga class. Remember that your practice and experience are for you. Try to stay rooted in your own space and practice. If you are taking a class for the first time, place your mat in the center of the room so you can easily glimpse what’s going on without straining to look ahead or behind.
  • Careful not to drink too much water. Most of us will get enough to drink ahead of time to make it through a full-length class. If your throat is dry or your mouth feels gummy, take a small sip, but you don’t want a stomach full of water while you’re twisting, forward bending, inverting, etc. And, certainly rehydrate as much as you need to after class.
  • Try not to eat a full meal before class. Give yourself time to digest. Everyone’s different, but 2 hours for a light-to-medium meal is good, 3+ hours for really heavy meals. If you have low blood sugar and need a little snack beforehand, have a handful of nuts, some yogurt or a little fruit.
  • Practice non-attachment to the poses. Enjoy the journey! Let yourself fall in love with the process! You might work on a particular pose for years before coming into what some would consider the full expression of the pose. Some poses might not ever come. Or some come today, but not tomorrow. And that is fine!  Practice with patience without being attached to a goal or end result.  Life is simpler that way.

Beginning a new yoga practice is so exciting. Be safe, be happy, and enjoy!