Yoga classes have their own set of rules of Etiquette with a purpose of courtesy, respect and ease for everyone. These rules are a combination of traditional Yoga Etiquette and modern expectations.
LATE ARRIVAL Aim to arrive at class with enough time to sign in, pay, set up your mat and relax for a few moments before the class begins. The class starting time should not be your arrival time and it is disruptive to the teacher and your fellow participants to arrive late. If unforseen circumstances do cause you to be delayed quietly enter the class. Apologize to the Teacher at the end of the class.
SHOES OFF We remove our shoes at the door. Anything that is not actually needed for the class is not taken into the Yoga space eg. handbags.
MOBILE PHONES Phones should be turned onto silent or off before the class commences and left in your bag. If there is an emergency situation you are waiting to hear about let the Teacher know before class and an arrangement can be made to take the call.
HYGIENE Out of respect for your fellow students it is best to have showered before class. Keep perfumes to a minimum. Bring a towel to place on borrowed studio mats. Use the spray cleanser and wipe studio mats after use.
INFORMATION Inform your teacher of any injuries or medical issues you may have. There is an onus in Yoga practice for participants to take self-responsibility for their own body and its limits. Do not go into or stay in any pose that causes pain or discomfort. Be aware of unfairly monopolising your Teacher's time to the exclusion of others. Schedule a private session with your Teacher to fine tune the asanas to suit your particular condition.
QUIETEN DOWN As the class begins to settle down cease chatter and come into silence known as 'coming into grace'. Unless elicited by the Teacher audible sounds, moans and groans are not appropriate in class.
MAT MATTERS When walking around the studio never walk on someone else's mat. When doing Partner Yoga always check that it is ok with your buddy to stand or sit on their mat. It is best to acquire your own mat as it will gradually build and hold your yogic energy. Borrowed mats should always have a towel placed on top and wiped down at the end of class with a cleanser.
KID STUFF Unless the class is specifically for children it is not the place for kids. It is too distracting for a parent to be present to the class if they have brought their child along. Also, please be respectful of other participants whose class time may be their designated 'Kid Free Zone'.
MAKE ROOM In some Yoga studios there is less than an inch space between mats or walls. When setting up your mat consider that many others may need to share the space. This may mean moving mats closer together.
MEDITATION MATTERS If you are the active type the last part of the class involving Relaxation and/or Meditation can be difficult. However, leaving early at this time is discourteous and disruptive to your Teacher and your fellow participants. Instead, turn your excess energy towards meetings the 'demands' of the relaxation process. If you need to leave class early for an appointment let your Teacher know before class and he/she will advise when is the best time to leave.
MONEY MATTERS Yoga Teachers have a right to charge a fee for their services. They have invested money and time to achieve their Certification. They may be paying rent, insurance, utilities, equipment costs etc., They are not Nuns or Priests who have undertaken a vow of poverty. Their expertise and time has a value and they have a right to pursue making a living from their profession, as do other health and care professionals. Always pay for your class at the beginning of class. Do not argue over the cost of the class or attempt to negotiate a better deal for yourself. Do not ask for credit. Try to have as close to the class amount as possible. Go to the ATM before you come to class. If you have invested in a Class-pass ensure you have it with you or you may be expected to pay the Casual rate for your class.
NAMASTE This traditional greeting is offered at the beginning and end of the class. It means 'The divine in me recognises the divine in you'. Touch your fingers to your lips with hands in prayer position and return the greeting. Classes often end with the chanting of the mantra 'Om'. This traditional Yogic mantra is regarded as the 'sound of creation'. If you prefer to not chant 'Om' you may stay silent, chant 'amen' or 'calm'. Yoga is not a religion and does not dishonour any faith practice but is able to be practiced by followers of all religions.
We hope you have found these rules of Yoga Etiquette helpful.