yoga studio etiquette tips for newbies

yoga studio etiquette tips for newbies

Oh, January – “new year, new you” mantras mean there are more people than usual at your neighbourhood yoga studio. IAYB has been quietly avoiding the studio this month, in favour of a home practice. Guest blogger Adriana Palanca, however,  kept on showing up. Here, she offers some basic etiquette tips for those who are new to the studio.

I was packing my bag at the yoga studio the other day when another regular sidled up next to me and quietly asked, “What’s going on in here?” I knew what she meant immediately. Between the January resolution makers and those seeking warmth from the cold snap outside, our hot yoga studio has become unbearably crowded. In the evenings, the changing room is thronged, with the 30 women who just finished a class struggling against a wave of 30 other women coming in for the next class. No free lockers, clothes everywhere, line-up for the showers… It’s no wonder why some regulars choose not to practice at all in January.

I’m genuinely happy to see the practice growing. I really don’t have issues with the idea of newbies. What drives me crazy, as a regular, is the inconsiderate behaviour they often bring with them. As a result, and with a little help from my Facebook pals, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help newbies better adapt to the yoga studio vibe.

In the reception area:

  • This area is already a zoo, so don’t be pushy. Also, stow your coat and boots neatly. You may be excited to get started, but elbowing people and being messy will not endear you to anyone. Especially if they’re tripping over your stuff.
  • Turn off your mobile and stow it in your bag right away. Taking in into the studio is a huge no-no. Answering it during savasana will get you murdered.

In the studio:

  • Line up your mat in the rows already being established. Taking up three spaces with your mat so you can get a better view of yourself in the mirror makes you look like an asshole. You’re not an asshole, so don’t behave like one.
  • If you come to yoga with your friend or honey, keep it quiet while waiting for class to start. Some people arrive early to relax or meditate. If you want to chat, take it outside. If you need to make out, definitely take it outside.
  • Listen to what your instructor is saying. Instructions help protect your alignment during practice. Squinting, muscling and grunting through the practice could lead to injury. Also, just take a block already. Watching you flail is distracting.
  • When you get up from savasana, do so quietly. You may think you are being quiet, but to those of us still in savasana, you sound like a herd of clumsy water buffalo. Imagine being asleep at home and people are in your room, dropping water bottles on the floor and giggle-whispering. You get my meaning?

In the changing room:

  • Don’t immediately get on your phone and start hollering to your friend about how drunk you’re getting tonight or loudly asking your kid if he still has diarrhea. Many of us come to the studio to have some quiet. Being loud and obnoxious shows disrespect towards others who are trying to escape the loud and obnoxious people they live/work with/are married to.
  • Don’t sprawl your stuff everywhere. This isn’t your bedroom. This is a shared space. Try to be considerate and give others ample space for their belongings.

This is a quick list of recommendations based on personal observations. What else would you add?

  1. Great tips. I had a particularly noisy lot attend today. Would have been good for them to read this before class.

  2. Praise, girl!

    I will print this out and nail it to the door.

    The revolution has begun.

  3. great list! this may be a nitpicky point, but i would include “don’t step on other people’s mats” ! a person’s practice mat is their space and should be respected.

  4. I’m with Julia about the mats….so very disrespectful….

    My other main pet peeve is people new to the studio complaining loudly about the teacher after class…yes, we are all entitled to our opinion but there’s really no need for nastiness…just because a teacher isn’t for you doesn’t mean she/he isn’t the fave of a regular…hence the reason we are regulars!

  5. The whipping of yoga mats as if one was throwing down their red carpet and heralding their entrance. Gently unroll your mat like the sacred space that it is. That’s all.

  6. I wonder if studios are aware of how disgruntled their regulars are?
    It’s surprising to see the wide variety of peeves that are coming up!

  7. Kindly remember to turn your cell phone on silent when it is stowed away. Hearing alert tones of “it’s so fluffy” may be cute to you but very distracting when someone is standing on their head.

  8. If you bring cheese, bring enough to share with everyone.

  9. Some of these suggestions are kinda bitchy. Maybe you should meditate on it. Sorry nubbies are annoying to you. Most of your complaints are just that. What about asking questions during practice? I mean shouldn’t you make sure your doing it correctly so you don’t hurt yourself or even possibly improve. Or would that throw you off your per verbal block.

    • Allison, I think that’s the best part of writing this – it helped me to question why I have such a bitchy reaction to having my space and quiet impinged upon. All part of it!