Are You an Inconsiderate Yogi?


You may have mastered Crow's Pose, but how about something more basic—like yoga class manners? There's nothing worse than having your favorite class disrupted by a rude yogi. But could you be the one unintentionally causing angst among your mat mates? Here are a few of the missteps I see most often.

If the class has already started when you arrive, look to see if the group is meditating or maintaining a peaceful silence. If this is the case, then wait until the asana portion of the class begins before you enter. Try not to make a drama of being late. There's no need to apologize and draw more attention to your tardiness. Quickly find a spot, place your mat down, and join the class wherever they are in the sequence. And if you need to ask someone to move, a brief “May I squeeze in here please?” and “Thank you” once they have moved will do. Moving over for a late person is good karma, and, although you may feel cramped, someday someone will do it for you.

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The same thing goes if you have to leave the class early. Unless there is an emergency, please do not leave in the middle of savasana or mediation. It doesnt matter how quiet you are—everyone can hear you, and it disturbs the peace. If you know that you must leave early, it is nice to inform the teacher beforehand. Also, before you go, allow yourself time for at least a few minutes of savasana, one of the few postures that every teacher of every style agrees is important. Please dont think you're the exception to this and skip it; if you want the benefits of your practice to soak in, you must take a few minutes. Finally, make sure your props are put away and you exit the room before everyone begins to climb in to their relaxation so they are not waiting for you.

But the most important thing? Relax. As long as you're being considerate to those around you, you have nothing to worry about.