The nature of yoga is intimate especially in many of the smaller classrooms and venues. Whether taught in a group setting or in an intimate teacher to student private, the importance of yoga etiquette cannot be overstated. Among the most common complaints of instructors and students alike, is the presence of cell-phones or other electronic devices. Yoga requires tremendous focus of the mind and body, and such focus is difficult to achieve when one is startled by unnecessary and disruptive noises. Electronic devices are particularly disruptive during meditation periods. Meditation offers yoga students an opportunity to reach into themselves and find a place of peace and reflection. Nothing shatters this peace more quickly than ringtones, beeps, or jingles from cell phones!
Poor Hygiene is another common complaint in yoga classes. Yoga opens the senses and heavy perfumes, colognes, or other body odors can be overpowering to other yoga students. While perfumes and colognes may smell wonderful in many settings, a yoga studio isn’t one of them because people are breathing deep and this can affect their practice. One should limit the use of these heavily scented items to after their practice. Deodorant use is certainly welcome of course, but this doesn’t mask other body odors. Remember, feet stench, bad breath, and a host of other offensive body odors make it difficult for others to enjoy their yoga experience. One should also remember to keep one’s yoga mat clean. A dirty, smelly, yoga mat is as offensive as body odor.
Yoga instructors are trained to lead many types of classes, and as such the teacher should be respected. Even if one doesn’t agree with the instructor’s methods, one shouldn’t correct the teacher during the class. A good yoga instructor welcomes feedback, but keep criticism and negative comments until after other students have left. One may think their methods are better than the teacher, but during the actual class is not the time to voice these opinions. The yoga instructor and other students will appreciate the restraint. More importantly it does not disrupt the flow of class for others who may not feel the same as you do.
Yoga clothing should be decent and not revealing. It is offensive to the yoga instructor and other students, especially when one wears clothing that exposes the most intimate body parts. Yoga postures require open and closed leg and arm positions, not to mention headstands and positions that somewhat resemble a pretzel.
Savasana is the last pose and is just as important in yoga as the other postures. Leaving during Savasana is a time of quiet. If one must leave the yoga class earlier, do so prior to Savasana and as quietly as possible. Good yoga etiquette helps everyone feel comfortable and get the most out of their yoga session.
About The Author
Shannon Bradley is an editor at Yoga Training Guide where she supports students interested in taking a yoga teacher training and becoming a yoga instructor. She has been studying and practicing this ancient art for over twelve years and is excited to see how much it has evolved here in the US.
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