Things to keep in mind when attending a Yoga class
Yoga Practice is a practice, not a performance, so take the pressure off yourself, enjoy the class and have fun!
Be sure not to wear any scented lotions or sprays (clean has no scent).
Arrive 10 – 15 minutes early so that you do not disturb others and can settle yourself before class without feeling rushed. This way, your yoga begins even before you arrive.
If you have any challenges or limitations discuss them with the instructor before class.
Remove shoes before stepping into the practice space.
Keep your space tidy by stacking blocks, folding blankets or sweatshirts, and arranging straps or water bottles neatly next to your mat.
Be sure that what you bring into the practice room is clean, such as yourself, your mat, your clothing, and any personal props; and remember, clean has no scent.
Walk carefully around other students’ mats to get to the prop storage so as not to step directly on their practice space.
If you borrow an eye pillow, keep things sanitary by placing a fresh tissue between your closed eyes and the eye pillow.
Turn off your cell phone (unless you’ve asked special permission from the instructor for extenuating circumstances). If you have a smart watch, consider leaving it in a secure place so that you are truly free from external distractions.
Honor yourself and others by keeping your awareness focused on your own mat. This way no one feels awkward and you don’t feel compelled to make comparisons between yourself and anyone else.
Remember that you and your experience are your own best teacher, so pay close attention to your own body’s cues and move with self-compassion.
Always respect your limits and choose modifications or take breaks in mountain pose or child’s pose, even (or especially) during vigorous sequences. Resist forcing yourself to stay in a pose or even try a pose that simply doesn’t feel right, for any reason. Substitute or modify; ask the instructor for advice or suggestions.
Even though all instruction must be viewed as a suggestion rather than a command, respect the teacher’s sequencing, timing, and guiding unless encouraged to move and explore at your own pace, or you feel the instruction is unsafe or unwise for you. Feel free to challenge yourself within the poses and sequences, but resist the urge to add in fancy or wild moves you learned in different classes and traditions, as this might distract you from some really awesome stuff unfolding right in front of you, without the extra embellishments. Additionally, moving into completely unrelated postures or sequences could be unsafe if you are not properly warmed up for them, can be distracting to the teacher and the other students, and can completely shift the energy of the practice away from the group and directly toward you. Remember that you attend class to learn, practice, and take part in the supportive energy of other yogis, not to perform.
Be sure to stay for the entire relaxation at the end of class so that you receive the benefits of the practice and do not disturb others. If you must leave early, inform the teacher prior to class and exit silently before final relaxation begins.
Be sure to maintain a respectful sense of quiet and calm before, during, and after class so that all can benefit from the quiet, calm energy of the practice space. Socializing is great (recommended and encouraged) in the lobby.