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Coming to your first few yoga classes can be quite intimidating, and once we’ve been coming for a while its good to have a little reminder of class etiquette every now and then to keep us in good practices. On this page we’ve put together a few helpful tips to help you feel right at home and comfortable in class.
What to Wear??
Wear snug-fitting exercise clothing in which you can sweat. Your attire should not be too tight or too loose. We practice in bare feet, so no special footwear is required.
What to Bring??
Please bring a bottle of water (no ice), a towel and a mat if you have one. A limited number of mats are available for borrowing and for purchase at the studio.
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Etiquette Tips For Yoga Newbies
- Arriving on time for class is a statement of respect for your fellow students and teachers. Class begins by centering and dropping the congestion of the outside world from our awareness. Arriving late for class can be quite disruptive to the centering time as students around you may have to shift and move mats to make space for you, your teacher has to talk over your set up noise to keep the rest of the students relaxed and calm, and class may not be able to start on time if students are running in the door at the last minute and need to take care of payments and setting up.
- If you do arrive late for class, please enter and set up as quietly as possible to avoid disrupting your fellow students as much as possible. If you find yourself chronically late for class due to traffic or other reasons, please make arrangements to leave earlier and arrive 5 to 10 minutes before class time. The extra time before class to relax will help you focus and have a better practice!
Typically we do not wear shoes for our yoga practice, and we remove our shoes before entering any practice space. We have 3 main reasons for this:
- Cultural: A yoga space is a dedicated space and therefore considered a sacred space. In many cultures throughout the world shoes are NOT worn indoors, and NEVER worn into a sacred space. In the yogic culture we practice keeping our practice space clear of outside distractions and the practice of removing your shoes before entering the room is symbolic of leaving outside distractions behind, focusing on your practice and moving toward your goals.
- Cleanliness: Since we do not wear shoes for our yoga practice it is necessary to keep the floor clear of small particles, such as rocks and debris, which can be carried on our shoes from the outside world into the practice space. If we wear our shoes into the room we track in whatever we have stepped on into the room (i.e. gas from filling the car up, oil from the parking lot, animal feces/urine from the yard). These things are deposited onto the floor for one of your fellow students, or yourself, to breathe in or to face plant into when working on inverted poses.
- Restructuring the Feet: Part of our yoga practice involves restructuring the bones and muscles of the foot so we can have better balance, and stand more efficiently without back or knee pain. Not wearing shoes in for practice is essential for proper alignment and control in the poses. **Note: Students with Plantar Fasciitis may need to wear some type of protective footwear to avoid injury, please discuss your condition with your teacher before class.
- Please refrain from bringing your cell phone to class with you. Even when phones are on silent they can create a mental distraction which keeps you from focusing fully on your practice. Phones that are set to vibrate create a distraction for your fellow students as everyone in the quiet space of practice can hear the “buzz, buzz” of your phone.
- Sometimes during class a student will forget and their cell phone will ring or buzz, and either everyone loses focus and looks around for the owner to silence the phone, or the student quickly jumps off their mat and rushes over to their phone. Both of these situations create the potential for serious injury to yourself or others. Many postures require concentration and focus to practice without injury and cell phones create a recipe for broken concentration which can lead to falls or pulled muscles. If you are required to have your cell phone for work “on-calls”, or a serious need, please notify your teacher before class starts.
- Although that new cologne, perfume, or essential oil smells great for a night on the town, in class it can be a big distraction or cause an allergic reaction for someone in class. We practice many breathing techniques which can make us hyper-sensitive to even the mildest of smells. Please avoid wearing fragrances to class.
- On the flip side, not everyone appreciates that “natural smell” so it is best to make sure our bodies are clean and fragrance free before coming to class. During class we may begin to sweat, but if we have practiced good personal hygiene before class we should have nothing to worry about.
- We do have a few loaner mats available to borrow in case a student forgets their mat, or for new students who have not purchased a mat yet. We ask that after class you please wipe your loaner mat down before putting it away. This helps stop the spread of germs and bacteria from student to student.
- Lobby chatter can be heard through the studio walls, so please be courteous to your fellow students by talking softly while waiting for the previous class to finish. Before and after class are times of meditation and centering for most students, avoiding gossipy or negative chatter about the hardships of your day are suggested to help create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for practice.
- You may have practiced once or hundreds of times, but there is always something more to learn and new ways to evolve your practice. Each teacher and style of yoga has their own unique twist on each posture, flow for class, and approach to modifications. Your teacher is trained to observe your body as it is in a given pose or breath work and then offer suggestions to help you get to the next level. You may be familiar with a particular teacher or studio’s methodology and create a mental bias to new information or suggestions offered to you when attending a new class or studio, this can stunt your own growth by resisting change. Our suggestion is to experiment and practice the suggested methods for a period of time and if it really doesn’t work for you, discuss it with your teacher before or after class for further clarification or guidance.