Yoga is a workout and it sure does break a sweat, but it should do so literally, not metaphorically. If everyone followed these simple yoga etiquette rules, this exercise class would become your place of refuge.
Be on time. As you maintain your downward dog”muscles straining”a pair of salt-stained boots enter your vision. Your classmate tries to unpack quietly but her mat makes a loud PLOP! as it hits the ground and her jacket announces her presence as she undoes her the zipper. Yoga teaches us to achieve a state of calm and inner poise; we learn to remain in the present and acknowledge worries, then let them slide as we continue our practice. Would you like to have your state of calm interrupted by a latecomer?
Don’t stare. When we bend over, our butts stick out and our front is on display”but we don’t mean to show you the goods, so please don’t look. You’re often asked to look a few feet in front of you when you perform certain poses, and that is exactly where you should look. Try not to stare at others and make them feel uncomfortable. How would you like to feel watched? (There are Facebook feeds for that.)
Take cover. There’s a lot of bending in yoga. That means a lot of pants dragging down and shirts riding up. Please don’t make this an occasion to show off your new La Senza thong, sport your lovely lululemon underwear or, worse, show off some skin that we really shouldn’t be seeing. On the other hand, don’t forget that underwear lines show through your workout pants. But then, perhaps yoga is not the place for the fashion police?
Don’t chat during class. This almost never happens in yoga, but in case you get any ideas about striking up a conversation, reconsider.
Thank your instructor. At the end of a yoga session, the instructor will often thank those participating for sharing their energy. Clap with your fellow yogis and let your instructor know you appreciate them. You’ll feel all the benefits in return!