Yoga Class Etiquette

Yoga class etiquette:

1. Begin your mindfulness before you come to class. Give yourself a buffer so you don't feel panicked on the way and have time to greet friends, gather the props the teacher has set out by their mat in preparation for class (this will make class so much smoother). You can remove your shoes, stow your stuff, use the loo and sign in before starting your own preparatory stretching (think cat-dog or sacral pumps) or just sitting and watching your breath. While it's always best to be on time, not at the expense of added tension, rushing or panic! If you occasionally find you arrive after we've begun, enter mindfully and in a meditative mind set. This is not the time to catch up with other yogis.

2. Practice non-attachment to places, poses and perfection. We have small classes and it's not possible to guarantee even the most regular student the same place in every class. Enjoy your unique vantage point every class.

3. Likewise, don't push into the most complicated version of any pose. Ask questions, stay connected to your breath and find your most elegant expression of any pose.

4. Respect the effort you've taken to create this space and time. While there's nothing sacred about a hunk of sticky mat (well, more sacred than any other floor covering!), it is a mobile space that marks out a certain activity and a certain commitment. Respect this and don't walk on other people's mats.

5. Likewise, quiet your phone for this short time out.

7. "Saucha" is a Sanskrit word meaning cleanliness and is one of the guidelines for practice mentioned in the Sutras. Saucha includes mind and body and is less about absolute purity than about attention to order. Clearly in group settings, a clean body is a plus. Also think about finishing your meal before class at least an hour prior so your digestive system has room for movement. Consider how you store your yoga props and put them away in a manner reflecting your inner alignment.

8. Savasana, or final resting pose, also affectionately known as adult nap time, is the single most important part of class. That's why we do it every time. Treat yourself: savor it, plan for it, take it.

9. Always remember to breathe, and if laughter is the best way to break out of a restrictive pattern or acknowledge how much you're learning and integrating then treat yourself to a big ol' belly laugh! Laughter is allowed :)

10. Your body is fine just the way it is. Whether you're mind grips onto too skinny or too padded, too tall or too short, too weak or too broken or you just farted in Happy Baby or snored in Savasana, all attachment to perfection - read: worry about what others think - is a waste of your effort. Snoring, farting, laughing and crying are part of life and they're part of yoga, too.