We have all been to our first yoga class and had no idea what to do! Here’s your guide:
1. No Shoes!
General rule of thumb is no shoes on the yoga floor. There are of course medical exceptions but those have to be discussed with the teacher prior to walking on the floor.
This rule is partially out of respect, and mostly about cleanlines. No one wants to put their face in the stuff on the bottom of your shoes. There is also more stability in placing the foot flat on the ground.
2. Sign in and pay.
Any place that you take a class, it is customary to sign in and pay before class. This avoids the awkward situation after if you don’t have money to pay for a service that you’ve already received. This is especially true of donation classes.
3. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!
It is just common courtesy to turn off your phone. It can be a distraction from the meditative experience for yourself and others. There are emergency situations in which it is necessary to have your phone nearby but please put it on silent and don’t answer the phone in the room. This is akin to answering a phone in a movie or library. Be polite.
4. Enjoy Quiet Time.
Yoga is not the time to have conversations and play catch up with your friends. It is the time for quiet meditative reflection. I’m not implying that you shouldn’t have fun and enjoy yourself, but remember that you are not the only person that paid for the class.
5. Respect the teacher.
You may be a very talented yogi but you paid to have someone trained to teach show you a sequence. Respect the sequence and follow the instruction. If there are medical reasons not to do poses, try to let your instructor know prior to class. Your instr is trained to teach you modifications.
6. Enjoy Savasana!
This final pose is an opportunity to relax. Sometimes we have trouble calming our bodies and minds but this is the time to practice with a professional assisting.
7. Honor Your Body!
This is the most important of the rules. Your body is the only one you get and only you know it’s limitations and abilities. If you have an injury, pain, or other issue, don’t continue to do what’s causing the issue. Never try to do a more challenging pose because your neighbor is doing that pose. Do the version that’s right for your body. Love and respect your body.
Remember that yoga is a journey not a destination. Enjoy the journey!