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What Not to Do in Your Next Yoga Class

I've been teaching yoga for over 11 years, which means that I've experienced a lot in the hundreds of classes I've taught. Of course classes usually go smoothly and students are usually very polite and conscientious, but there are a few people whose inappropriate behavior ruined the class for the rest of us. I have witnessed all 10 of these, so here's a friendly reminder of what not to do in a yoga class.

  1. Wear the same sweaty outfit you wore to the class the day before, use the same sweaty towel or stinky mat, or forget to wear deodorant. Same goes for overly scented perfumes or oils — save them for your home practice.
  2. Talk out loud to your neighbor during class about how awful your date was last night, the funny thing your co-worker said, how much you want a glass of wine right now, (or about anything for that matter).
  3. Get up and assist someone in the class you don't know.
  4. Answer your cell phone and scream to the person on the other end, "I'm in f***king yoga. Why are you calling me?" (Yes, this seriously happened during one of my classes. I was stunned).
  5. Make oddly loud noises like groaning, humming, hot breathy exhalations, or overly thunderous Oms.
  6. Laugh at someone in the class for falling.
  7. Make a pass at someone in class, and try to get a date by inviting them to a "private chanting session at your place."
  8. Openly talk about another yoga class taught at a different studio that is "so much nicer than this one."
  9. Leave your snotty tissues or used band-aids on the floor after you leave class.
  10. Get up in the middle of Savasana, loudly drop your aluminum water bottle on the floor, step on the hand of a relaxing yogi, and slam the door as you leave.

Tell me, what inappropriate or disruptive things have you witnessed in yoga classes?

beautifulRain beautifulRain 7 years
There is this woman who always comes in late (in street clothes still, clomping around in her heels!), lays down her mat, goes to the locker room and changes, and comes back in. And she of course lays her mat in a spot where she has to maneuver through everyone else to get to it. Be on time and be dressed for class when class begins! And there's another woman who does a variation of #10 on this list: she rolls up her mat and then bangs it on the floor to even it out while the rest of us are relaxing in Savasana. It's very jarring to hear her bang on the floor while we're laying down (sometimes on our sides so one ear is literally to the floor!). So rude, you can't wait another 2 minutes for class to be officially over? And finally there is this clique-y group of ladies that always chatters loudly before class, and they continue after the instructor has come in and begun addressing everyone to start the class. Again, so rude. The light within me has a really hard time saluting the light within these people! Namaste!
alexask alexask 7 years
you guys are cracking me up!!!! especially nikkiruby's story, i just spat out my drink! i get really annoyed by thunderous oms. i laugh easily too so anything too crazy is an added huge challenge in control for me.
ChachaSanchez ChachaSanchez 7 years
My pet peeves are the groaning, heavy breathing and horrible body odor. I only encounter these issues when there are men in the class.
Spartygirl03 Spartygirl03 7 years
It makes me sad that people actually do these things, but what's even more sad is that I'm not surprised.
Barefoot-Chick Barefoot-Chick 7 years
Oh wow, those are like amazing stories and some outrageous behavior. How about someone bringing in a samll boom box so they can listen to "their music" in class.
Blue24 Blue24 7 years
Wow, I've never seen any of these in my yoga class! But oops, I'm guilty of the laughing part... Maybe I shouldn't go there with my sister. I wouldn't laugh at strangers though :D
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 7 years
This is why I go to hot bikram yoga... everyone is silent, belongings are in the other room, and I've never seen someone leave class.
Asche Asche 7 years
LMAO @idanceinmycar! What sound does she make during warrior poses?!
idanceinmycar idanceinmycar 7 years
There is the most annoying woman in my yoga class who literally acts like a 5 year old. Whenever we do a pose that's an animal name (frog, cow, cat, etc.), she makes the noise of that animal and then laughs to herself for minutes afterward. Seriously?! I wish she would be banned from class.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
This is list is hilarious! I hate it when people talk in class or leave early during savasana. I've also witnessed a man showing up to yoga wearing nothing but a pair of tiny cut-off jean shorts with no underwear underneath.
kristints kristints 7 years
I practice at home in order to avoid all these things!
Asche Asche 7 years
I know it's a natural part of yoga, but I never get used to the various, umm, winds being passed during class.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I've never attended a yoga class (I practice at home) but I really want to. Is it weird going to a yoga class by yourself?
nikkisoda nikkisoda 7 years
An older gentleman came into my yoga class. He let the instructor know that this was his first time and put his mat right in front of mine. Every time we changed poses he let out a groan and said, "Oh sh*t." It was hilarious! It was so hard to concentrate. Especially because the instructor was my Aunt and I new she wanted to bust out laughing. She just kept telling him to take it easy and to have a break when need be. He never came back.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
LOL. Some of these transgressions happened in my yoga classes. Personally, I particularly dislike it when someone makes a pass at me, and watches me during those revealing poses. One time, a man kept making borderline inappropriate comments ("You're really flexible"). Very uncomfortable for me! These days, when it comes to yoga, I'm a solo practitioner. I don't attend classes anymore.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
I agree--turn off your g.d. cell phone!!! And no, whispering into it doesn't help--we can all hear you. Also, if you are late, don't snap your mat open!
thatgirljj thatgirljj 7 years
OMG... if I had heard someone pick up their cell phone and say that I woulda busted out laughing. And so would the rest of my class. At least in the studios I go to, cell phones are banned. Turn the ringer off when you stash your bag & shoes and don't turn it back on until you're in the car.
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