Starting yoga can be a bit much to take in all at once, especially when you are anywhere between day 1 and year 1. There are kinds of videos dedicated to what should be done when it comes to the right postures for target areas. Videos that go through the beginners courtesy in class are far and in between. Most people don’t research what they should do in class before each class. That could simply be because each class is different, but there are a few “rules” that are universal and should be known by all, beginners to advanced yoga students: dont eat or drink before class, try not to come into class late but if you do be quite and find a spot in the back, leave your phone in the car or even turn it off. Do, arrive early, take a shower before class but leave out all the perfumes and/or body spray, come in ready to push yourself farther than you have before.
No one wants to be the center of attention in a new environment. When you have never done yoga or have only done it a few times in a group setting , either in a studio or outside, being late can affect your entire practice. Being early allows you time to talk to the yoga teacher the way you may need to or even the students around you just to get a little more comfortable and familiar with the space. This is especially true for those who have ailments which need to be taken into account throughout the practice. When the teacher doesn’t know, they are not able to better assist that student thus leading to preventable injuries.
Natural Body Odors Only:
This is no way means to come to class smelling like trash. Yes, full out trash smells are not permitted. Not only is it distracting to those around you, but it is plain out rude. Seriously though, wearing perfume and/or body spray should be eliminated for a yoga class. Although you may think you smell wonderful and maybe you do, but those around you may be highly sensitive to certain odors so its best to leave it to regular old soap and water until after class. Lets not go overboard with the super scented soap either. It can have the same effects as strong perfume.
Come As You Are:
You are not in class to impress ANYONE! Literally, no one cares about what is going with you while you are on your mat. The yoga teacher is only to there to help guide you, never to critique your level. Everyone is a on a different level. Just because someone is beginner, intermediate or even advance doesn’t mean they are the same as the person next to them, even if they are on the same “level.” It is best to pay attention to you and YOUR practice. Come into each class ready to go a little farther than the last class, mentally, physically and spiritually. With each class you are going to grow and that can be compared to no one.
No Eating Or Drinking Before Class:
This one is hard for people to grasp when they are first starting yoga, and sometimes even for the more advanced students. Eating or drinking before a yoga class can cause harm and is a big No No. It can severely obstruct you from moving freely. That alone puts you at a higher risk for injury. Also, there are certain postures that cause different bodily organs to shift and that can cause the moving of gas throughout the body.
Farting, or passing gas is normal. What’s not normal is letting it out after you’ve eaten something that doesn’t agree with your stomach and now everyone is completely repelled by the horrendous smell. Gas is definitely normal and can kill you of you don’t let it out, but don’t punish everyone around you because you weren’t mindful of what you were doing prior to class that can effect the entire class. Also, when you drink before class, the liquid just swirls around as you move from posture to posture making it somewhat uncomfortable to enjoy your practice. No one wants to stop for a bathroom break when you’re only 15 minutes into a 30 or 60 minute session.
Be Quiet When Your Late:
Just like when you come in late to work, a meeting or even church, be quiet. You have already missed your chance to mingle or talk to the yoga teacher. The best thing to do now is find a nice spot in the back and get in where you fit in. There is no reason for you be make it known why you’re late during a group session. The truth is, no one cares, everyone is in their own zone and that’s where they deserve to stay. A critical part of yoga is to find that peaceful place within and when someone is loud and late, its distracting and can ruin an entire practice for some.
Leave your electronic devices in the car on off:
Granted, people make mistakes when it comes to things like cell phones, teachers and students alike. There are many reasons as to why they may have been low on the priority list but they can take a practice from being super tranquil to total chaos. The phone ringing, pinging from a notification, or even vibrating can transition someone from achieving their higher consciousness. Yes, you’ll be embarrassed but those around you will most like be super annoyed because they paid their hard earned money to take a class to help them find some form of peace. Lets not even get on the people who had to find a babysitter just to get a moment of peace to themselves. Those are the ones who you do not want to see after class for sure. They WILL come for you!!! To eliminate all of that extra confusion, its just easier to leave your phone in the car or turn it off. That way there can be no mishaps during class.
There are other yoga class courtesies that could be mentioned here but as a beginner, here is a great place to start. These are like the cornerstone of yoga class. When you are just starting yoga and it seems a little intimidating, having some simple do’s and don’ts can make all the world of difference especially that very first time. This way, you can better enjoy your experience versus creating a crazy weird experience. Different yoga classes have different conditions and that should always be taken into account when thinking of yoga class courtesy so there may be more to take into consideration. Knowing how to prepare for a class is a half of the battle.
Don’t be afraid to mess up. Yoga class is going to be full of mess up no matter what level you’re on. It’s how you handle the mess up that can change your experience. Don’t let small issues become huge ones because you want to do your own thing, that’s way out of the way for the class. Remember, yoga is a traditional practice not just another fitness class, so treat it as such and move accordingly. Lastly, if you don’t know, simply ask. No one thinks your dumb if you have questions just make sure you are asking them during a reasonable time. A question is only dumb when it’s not asked. Now get out that mat, start that new class and enjoy your practice!