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Beginning Yoga Studio Tips

10 Essential Etiquette Tips For the Yoga Studio Newbie

I'm no yoga expert, but I do enjoy going to yoga class to keep me feeling relaxed and aligned. Since regularly practicing can add up, I've been doing work trade at my local studio so I can take a free class or two in exchange for manning the front desk once a week. It's made me feel more comfortable with yoga culture as well as helped me learn about the different yoga styles. It's also allowed me to observe many different behaviors from behind the sign-in desk, from the Type A regular to the apprehensive first-timer, so I've compiled some things I've learned that are essential to being a courteous and wise yoga student. You'll want to check out these yoga etiquette tips if you're a yoga studio newbie, but even if you're a yoga buff you may find a few good tips you forgot!

  1. Show up on time. If you are more than a few minutes late to your class, you may not be allowed in because you could disrupt the rest of the students' practice.
  2. If it's your first time at the studio, sign up for the introductory offer. It's cost effective since experiencing more than one class is important in making sure the studio is the right fit for you. If you don't enjoy the first teacher you practice with, ask for recommendations and try another one at the studio.
  3. Make sure the person at the front desk checks you in. When people hurriedly sign into the class roster sheet and walk away while I'm helping someone else, it makes it harder to track them in the online system, which can mean their teacher won't get paid for their attendance.

Read the rest of my list after the break.

  1. If you don't know the class schedules, ask if it's OK to go into your studio room. The class before you may still be in there, and opening the door can disrupt Savasana time.
  2. Most people remember to turn their phones off or put them on silent, but here's an added tip: make sure there are no alarms set to go off during class! A few weeks ago we had quite the time finding out where an incessant chirping noise was coming from in the changing rooms.
  3. Don't be afraid to quietly ask your yoga teacher for help if you don't have enough room to practice or if you are having trouble doing something. A quick mention to the teacher can be the difference between having a horrible time and being comfortable enough to focus on your practice.
  4. If you have to step out during class, make sure you keep the studio door closed to keep the classroom temperature regulated and keep out any outside noise.
  5. If you're using a rental mat, return it to where you found it or ask where it should be put once you're done with it.
  6. Double-check that those are your shoes! This goes for anything else you leave out during class, like sweatshirts or jackets. Taking someone else's stuff unintentionally happens more often than you think. Last week a student with the same brand shoes as another in her class was pretty crestfallen when she found that they had taken her brand-new, differently sized pair.
  7. As always, remember to keep your voices low when you are out in the common area. You may feel invigorated after class, but your voice will travel far in the tranquil environment of the studio.

Yoga regulars, have any other tips to add?

Source: Flickr User TinyTall

Shanda14977693 Shanda14977693 3 years
Very well written and great comments - thank you for posting! I would add that, while teachers *should* be asking newbies of any medical conditions or injuries that could be contraindicated, some times teachers are very busy before class. If you're new to a teacher, it's important that he or she know of any injuries or conditions such as uncontrolled blood pressure, glaucoma, or if you're pregnant; so arrive early enough that you can proactively speak to your teacher.
KristinFuse KristinFuse 6 years
Great etiquette tips! Another "what to expect" tip: teachers won't necessarily correct your posture or form individually. Talk to the instructor beforehand if you'd like extra help, and if you're really not sure about an asana, ask the teacher to demonstrate afterward. Timing is important in yoga, so stopping to correct a student can throw off the "flow." Same goes for Pilates classes, where maneuvering around the machinery can make it difficult to reach students to correct them.
Diego Diego 7 years
Be careful not to plunk down your mat. Roll it out slowly and with a minimum of slapping. Not only it the sound disrupting, the big gust of air displacemnent does not further the relaxation of the people around you. Also, take big heavy shoes off before walking across a studio room to find a place. Again - not relaxing to have heavy footfalls by your head.
Angelica-Marden Angelica-Marden 7 years
These are great tips. It's so intimidating to start out at a new studio, so these guidelines are great.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 7 years
I would add: When you come into the studio and sign in, keep your voice down.. Nothing is more distracting than trying to practice or relax in savasana and hearing the people waiting for the next class talking about how much they hate their jobs Also, unless it is considered a "playful" class, try not to be the class clown and crack jokes, or talk to the instructor about unrelated topics. It is REALLY distracting, at least to me, and throws off the rhythm of the class, especially if it is flow.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
I would also add that if it's your first time, try and talk to the teacher ahead of time about your yoga background so that you know what to expect from the class. A few months ago, I went to what looked to be an open level class (my studio requires permission to attend advanced classes and has other requirements for intermediate level classes listed on its website). I got there only to find that the instructor assumed everyone could easily kick up into handstand. A significant portion of the class was devoted to getting into handstand via more advanced methods, and I was totally lost! And the class continued to get progressively more advanced. Luckily I was in the corner so the person next to me was the only one who saw me struggling. But I still felt really embarrassed and wished I had talked to the instructor ahead of time.
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