By Dawna Matthews
As both a yoga practitioner and a yoga teacher, I have learned a few essentials when it comes to ensuring that your class is enjoyable. When you keep these things in mind, you honor your class and your practice, as well as the practice of the other students.
· Do Be Mindful of Class Start Time
Please honor the start time of each class and arrive early enough to sign in and get settled. If you are running late, find a moment to walk in with the least disruption.
Try to avoid drinking during class. It is also best to avoid eating two hours before practice. The main reason for this is that a full stomach interferes with the postures and your breathing by restricting the space in the abdomen.
For maximum movement and flexibility, you need clothes that give you room to move and provide space for your body to breathe.
Yoga is usually practiced barefoot on a “sticky” mat. Remove your shoes before going into the studio.
Some people have very sensitive noses and strong scents can be distracting.
Please turn off cell phones and leave business outside the class. This is your time for yourself. Give the gift of no distraction to yourself and to the other students.
· Don’t Skip Savasana
You can have a safer, more positive, and more enjoyable class if you leave your ego behind. Listen to your body, relax, and go at your own pace. Remember that yoga is not a competition with other students or with yourself.
Yoga etiquette is not set in stone, but it is basically common courtesy for others and yourself. A big part of yoga is your sangha or kula (community), and going to a class is a wonderful gift and time to practice interconnectedness as you grow together and as individuals. Keep in mind why you are going to a yoga class and let go of any expectations; there is no ideal perfect class. Just be courteous and kind to yourself and others, exhale the stuff that distracts you (a great practice itself), and enjoy!