Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Beginner Fitness Tips
This Is the Best Type of Weed to Smoke Before Your Favorite Workouts
Fitness Gear
10 Gray Sneakers to Wear If Your Mood Matches the Cloudy, Foggy Weather

Do You Still Like Your Exercise Class If It's Crowded?

Are You OK With Crowded Exercise Classes?

Recently, I took a crowded yoga class, where we all had to situate our mats close to each other to make room for everyone. The closeness meant we all had to be aware of our neighbors (especially during Sun Salutations), but the space issue didn't really bother me until we began a series of poses that required more lateral space, starting with Seated Straddle. That's when my extremely flexible neighbor plopped her lower left leg squarely onto my mat.

I'm not a complete germaphobe, but the idea of having a stranger's foot all over my mat grossed me out. I let the moment pass without saying anything, but afterward I wondered if other people would be as annoyed about having to share space in a crowded class, or I was making a big deal over nothing. After all, my neighbor was fine with it — she seemed completely oblivious to the fact that she was interfering with my personal practice!

I tend to avoid crowded classes since I like my space, but other people probably love the energy of a full class. What about you?

Image Source: Thinkstock
jlwe232 jlwe232 5 years
I love the feeling of all the energy in the room in a crowded  class. However not long ago I attended a class where the lady in front of me was @ the back of her mat and I was @ the very back of the room with no where to go.  Her butt was literally in my face with each downward dog- not very pleasant.
Alliboballi Alliboballi 5 years
Yoga is not "exercise." But when I attend or teach a yoga class, the more the merrier, for sure. The energy increases exponentially with each additional being. Embrace your neighbor and your neighbor's energy. It actually increases yours! Consider practicing in the country that birthed yoga--there are one billion people living there--and then reconsider yourself lucky. No judgments, just Hari om.
Jamtse Jamtse 5 years
I hate feeling like I am going to kick someone behind me.......and vice versa!!  
Gillytree Gillytree 5 years
If the instructor is aware that the class is often crowded and works that factor into the routine it is not so bad. I attend a class regularly on Fridays and it is ALWAYS crowded. The instructor is very sensitive to the fact that we are so close to one another and tends to modify moves or give us a heads up to move around a bit so that we are not bumping each other. I'm not much of a germiphobe, Really if you think about it yoga is very unsanitary. You roll your STICKY mat out onto the floor, walk around barefoot in a room where large numbers of people also walk around barefoot, then you grab your feet over and over, while also smooshing your face into this sticky mat which has certainly collected bacteria.    I also like a full class room because it forces you to bond in little ways with the strangers around you, it forces you to communicate with one other and notice more when you are both struggling with a pose. I guess it's just me, but I don't mind if its crowded or not.
ajkillgore ajkillgore 5 years
I've been in classes and workshops that were so crowded that our mats were touching on all sides.  However in my case at least the instructors managed the classes so well that it was not an issue.  I'm 6'6" 275lb and take up a lot of space but stayed aware of the people around me so as not to cause them discomfort.  The instructors were smart in that they did not do asanas that would cause people to collide and staggered people when our arms had to be extended.
Ann2373012 Ann2373012 5 years
I'm okay with a yoga class being overcrowded - to an extent.   When it becomes dangerous, that's when I draw the line.  Arm balances and inversion are tricky enough without falling on other people in the class.  Somebody put a foot on your mat and you were grossed out?  That's lame.  
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 5 years
My Zumba class is crowded because it's a good one with a great instructor. However, I don't like it because I like to move and I'm surrounded a lot of the time with women leading life with two left feet.
amber512 amber512 5 years
I prefer a crowded class because I feel like I'm on display otherwise. I have taken far too many classes where there were only one or two other people besides the instructor and myself.
smart-blonde smart-blonde 5 years
Living in NYC, I don't get much of a choice. All my classes are crowded, all the time. Yoga is the worst because it's 25 people in a studio that comfortably holds 15, even though my instructor is quite good at working around the space limitations. But New Yorkers tend to be pretty good about behaving well in crowded spaces.
nylorac nylorac 5 years
I think that's unacceptable for the yoga instructor leading the class to have students do poses without saying anything about the limited space. If you're doing poses like that, she should have encouraged everyone to do your Seated Straddle vertically along the mat...
ChachaSanchez ChachaSanchez 5 years
A crowded Yoga class is the worse! I was once in a class so crowded that, I kicked the poor girl behind me in the head so hard..I SAW STARS! She said she was alright, but still.. I felt horrible and couldnt concentrate for the entire class. Never again.
Alternative Exercise to the Gym
Yoga Poses That Tone Your Butt
Naked Yoga Pictures
Essential Post-Workout Stretches
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds