Yoga Class Etiquette
One of the most common questions associated with new yogis, is how to come to class! What exactly are the dos and don'ts of yoga and should you really just show up? Here’s a short guide to help all you newbies out!
Arrival and Departure
When arriving for class, make sure to get there at least 10-minutes before the start of class. Especially if you are new to the studio! At Llamaste, we require you to fill out a sign-in sheet and a registration form. You will need time to complete the form, store your belongings, introduce yourself to the instructor, and pick a place for your mat. If you’re coming from work or another obligation, you also might want to consider time to change as well. When leaving class, make sure to leave before or after Savasana. Never leave class when Savasana has already been qued. It’s extremely rude to your fellow classmates and instructor. Always arrive and leave without disruption to those around you.
Personal hygiene is huge in yoga! Most people tend to associate yogis with free-flowing hippies who don’t shave, wear deoderant, or shower. Please do not show up for class without having showered! The same courtesy applies as if you are going out in public as to a yoga class. Shower, wear deoderant, and don’t over-spray yourself with perfumes and lotions. In fact, for yoga we prefer you to not wear any additional aromas.
Just as if you were heading to the gym, a pilates class, or going out for a jog, wear clothes that you can MOVE in. We suggest flexible and breathable fabrics like spandex, linen, and waterproof or sweat resistant materials. Of course, all private body areas must be appropriately covered and try to avoid holes, inappropriate wording and vulgar lingo. To read more about clothing suggestions, check out our blog post on what to expect in your first yoga sesh here.
It’s perfectly okay to not have your own yoga mat! Especially as a beginner, we don’t expect you come to class with a designer brand yoga mat and high-tech gear! Yoga studios will almost always have mats, straps, and props for you to rent or borrow. At Llamaste, we offer all mats and props for FREE to our students to use during our classes.
Leave all of our cell phones, iPads, tablets, and other electronic devices at home or in your bag! The use of any electronic device during class is prohibited at Llamaste and disrespectful in any other yoga studio or ashram. It’s also common courtesy to silence or power off all devices before the start of class, to prevent any disturbances during classes.
Typically, yoga studios will lock their front door during classes to limit disruptions and also to keep all of your belongings safe during the practice! At Llamaste, we offer cubbies to hold all of your bags, shoes, and jewelry during class. You’ll be able to collect them after the class has finished, or in case of an emergency during the class!
Hydration is of course recommended before, during, and after yoga! At Llamaste, we welcome you to bring a water bottle with you to class to place beside your mat. Or, we have free water bottles to give out either before or at the end of class, in the event that you don’t have your own. Most studios will also follow this structure, however if practicing Ashtanga yoga, water is prohibited until the end of class.
Before the beginning of any yoga class, it’s very important that you introduce yourself to the instructor and communicate any injuries or illnesses. This way, the instructor can prepare modifications for any injuries, or be aware of any possible interruptions as far as sneezing, coughing, or tissue runs.
Restroom Breaks, Bandaid Emergencies, Etc…
If at any time you feel that you need to leave the class for any reason, there’s no need to publicly inform the instructor. Politely wait for him/her to finish queuing their current sequence and then quietly make your exit and return when you are ready. If you are in need of a first aid kit or emergency services, gently communicate your concerns and wait to be assisted when the instructor has finished guiding their current posture. Or, if there is a full-staff reception area, no need to inform the instructor at all. Quietly exit the class and return when you are ready!
Certified instructors are always prepared for ALL levels to come into their class! Do not feel intimidated or stressed about attending an open level class. The instructor’s job is to make the class accessible to everyone! During the class, if you feel there are poses or sequences you cannot attempt, you can always rest in child’s pose or savasana! If there hasn’t been a modification offered that resonates with you, feel free to take your own modification, or rest! As teachers, when we see student’s take their own path we are thrilled! A mature practice is one where you make choices! Choices that fit best with your body, your mind, and your spirit. Do not be afraid or discouraged to rest or choose a different option. We welcome and celebrate this in yoga!
In yoga, we prefer bare feet! It’s the best way to keep our floors clean, our room cleansed, and to prevent slippage on your mats! It’s also a yogic tradition that goes way back to ancient times of India! However, if going barefoot makes you uncomfortable, you’re welcome to wear non-slip socks or pilates socks to class. Please, no shoes of any kind!
That’s it! You are officially prepped and ready for your first yoga class! If you follow this short guide, you’ll be one step ahead of the newbie beside you! Be excited for your first class! Throw your nerves out the door and just come as you are! Well-you’re showered and deodorant-applied version of yourself! Llamaste!