Hi everyone! Lately I’ve been taking quite a few yoga classes in the studio, and it’s definitely a different experience than doing yoga at home. I love the feeling of being in a room with so many people who chose to work on their practice today, the calming and affirming messages the teachers give us throughout class, and the way that I’m pushed harder than I am at home and can do some poses in class that I couldn’t do before! And even though I hate being in a heated room, it definitely helps stretch me out after a long week of running. The most awkward part of doing yoga in a studio is that you’re doing it with lots of other people…and not everyone practices yoga the same way. I’m noticing this a lot at my new studio, which is usually absolutely packed with people in every class. For me, yoga should be a very calming and personal event, and I take the time before class to really get myself into a relaxed mindset after a long day and to prepare for the class ahead. When I get to yoga I do the following:
- Quietly check in to class. If I have any injuries or pains that I think the instructor should know about, I let her know before going inside the classroom. This helps her give me modifications when necessary so that I can participate in every pose.
- Silently enter the classroom and choose a spot either against the back wall or against a side wall if possible. I like to have a little bit of private space.
- Roll out my mat as quietly as possible and get situated in my space. I try really hard to take up as little space around me as possible with all of the props we need for class.
- Lay down on my mat with my feet on the floor and my eyes closed, focusing on my breathing until class begins.
- During class I’m very focused on the class itself while being mindful of how I’m taking up space (if I’m moving beyond my mat space, where my props are, etc.).
- After class I clean up my area and leave. I don’t want those calming vibes to go away anytime soon!
Most of the other people in the class are doing the same thing…but not everyone. Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve already witnessed people doing in yoga class, AKA things that you should definitely not do during yoga class:
- Be loud before class. I know that people like to do yoga with their friends, but once you’re in the classroom you’re expected to stay pretty quiet and not disrupt others. I’ve been to quite a few studios and I feel like it’s Yoga Code or something. The room is silent so I can hear everything you’re saying and I don’t really need that when I’m trying to forget about my own stressful day, you know?
- This one is usually banned at all fitness studios, but just in case you didn’t know: using cell phones in the classroom! Watching people scroll through their Facebook feed or text people when we’re supposed to be disconnecting from all that stuff seems so counterproductive.
- Come in late. People who come in late are a flustered mess and have to climb over everyone else to get to that one spot left at the front of the room. Most studios actually have a cutoff point where they won’t let you in the studio if you’re late past a certain point because it distracts from the class.
- Wear perfume. You’re in a tiny room with other people working out, please don’t do this!
- The opposite of wearing perfume – which is not wearing enough deodorant. In my heated flow class the smell is pretty crazy by the end of class. I understand that we’re all working really hard and things happen sometimes, but I can definitely tell that some people are slacking in the deodorant/fresh shower department.
- Put your mat too close to other people. It’s pretty easy to keep your mat in line with others (and my studio has lines on the floor to help guide people), but some people seem to enjoy breaking the straight lines and do whatever they want. I got kicked in the face today by a guy who was way too close to my mat.
- Put your props and stuff all over the place. Yesterday I had the pleasure of dealing with some guy’s sweat towel on the edge of my mat the whole time, and then he somehow stole my yoga block and it was in his giant pile of stuff.
- Adding this one because I didn’t remember it until I went to bed: sleep in class. Someone in my Deep Stretch classes always falls asleep towards the end and is snoring loudly. It makes me feel like I’m on an airplane.
- Leave early. Savasana is my favorite pose, and when people are cleaning up their stuff and walking around while I’m trying to relax it totally ruins the moment. This one drives me crazy! Why would you miss the relaxation at the end of class?
I honestly have to say that I’m noticing these things a lot more now that I’m going to the super crowded and popular studio here in Anchorage, and lots of these things can be avoided by finding one that doesn’t have full classes of 50 people. I’m not sure that this studio is for me, even though I’m loving the actual classes and instructors. But I think that no matter where you go you’ll probably run into some of this. If you’ve never been to yoga class before, don’t worry about being “that guy”! If you’re ever unsure of what to do you can always ask someone at the front desk before taking a class, and many of these things are mentioned on yoga studio websites – especially not being late, not wearing perfume, and being quiet/not using cell phones in the classrooms. And if you’ve been taking classes for a while, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of these things before!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in yoga class? What’s you’re number one yoga class rule that you don’t ever break?