A few things you should or shouldn’t do in a yoga studio…
Be on time
Those first moments on the mat are very important. They sometimes define the rest of your practice and how much you can let go of your day/week and tune into the presence. Being a few minutes late to a class and walking in while everybody’s sitting (or standing) still, disturbs your peace as well as everybody else’s. But, being on time doesn’t only mean not being latte. It also means being too early. 20 minutes is plenty time to sign in, change, roll out your mat and prepare for your class. Arriving 30 min early means you will either disturb the class before and their Shavasana time, or you will disturb the teacher while he/she is changing, lighting candles, incense and generally preparing for the class.
Respect the sacred space
Leave your shoes at the space provided and turn off your phone. Yoga studios are a clean, quiet, sacred space where people come to unwind and find an hour of peace. If you talk loudly, on the phone or with someone, if you gossip, talk about negative things like politics etc. understand that this will disturb someone. One thing is if you do that at a bar, another in the yoga space.
Never walk on other people’s mats unless there is no space between them at all. And that is usually not the case. One’s yoga mat is one’s sacred space, not to mention the fact it’s a space where you lie down or put your face down at times.
Nobody smells nice in a yoga class when all that sweat and toxins are coming out. But, a few easy tricks can help:). And no, they do not include using lots of perfume (another no-no).
So… Shower before the class if you can, use a deodorant before the practice and wear cotton. Wearing those special technology sports materials that keep you dry while all the sweat stays on the surface, can make you go from fresh smelling yogi to that person that nobody wants to practice next to, in ten minutes.
Put the mats/props away
Nowadays yoga mats are not such a rear find, and are not so expensive considering you will use them for a years to come, so getting your own mat just seems like a right thing to do. However, if you do decide to use the studio’s mat or props (brick, strap, pillow, blankie..), wipe the mat and put everything back same way you found it.
Respect the silence
Yoga studio is not a church, so, you don’t need to be completely silent or whisper. Chatting in changing rooms or at the desk is normal and a part of socialising, but keep the subjects light and positive. And ones you sit down on your mat, it’s time for silence and inner reflection. Try to just sit and listen to your breath before the class starts. You can chat with your friends in the changing room latter. After Shavasana, try to stay peaceful and quiet. Perhaps you could even take that peaceful feeling home with you, perhaps leave your phone off for an hour or two, smile and hum your favourite mantra on the way home…
Unless, of course, you’re afraid people will think you’re crazy. Which they probably will, but, who cares?:)