Before the first yoga class
Yoga helps to reduce stress and stay flexible. So that there is no stress before attending a yoga class for the first time, it is worth knowing the following rules of yoga etiquette.
Yoga studios, yoga retreats and the respective yoga teachers are very different. It is therefore worth studying the homepage intensively and even having an initial personal meeting to get to know each other so that you can really feel comfortable later on in the course.
There are different rules here too. Some yoga teachers insist that their students wear tight-fitting clothing with shorts, as this makes it easier for them to observe their students’ practices in detail. White clothing is required for some yoga classes.
At other studios, the classes consist of a completely eclectic mix of fitness clothing styles. Check beforehand if your class has specific dress codes. Shoes have no place in the yoga practice room; they stay out front in every yoga studio.
It is best to bring your own mat. Investing in a good yoga mat is worth it. Most studios have mats to rent, but some studios will expect you to bring a towel and/or clean the mats with a special spray after the yoga class.
As a beginner, the individual exercises are complicated enough. Make it easy for yourself with your own mat and enjoy the luxury of being able to practice on your own mat at home at any time.
Some yoga teachers do not allow the wearing of glasses. In this case, you have no choice but to switch to contact lenses or show up to the yoga class on time to get a seat with a good view as far as possible in the front of the room.
If you enter the practice room, where students are already waiting, you lay out the mat at the same distance as the previous mats and make sure that you do not block the view of the yoga teacher from those who are already behind you.
Throwing the mat on the floor with a loud bang is considered bad manners. Experienced yogis then like to point out Brahmacharya, which in a figurative sense means that one should not waste one’s energy on useless things and should also be mindful of fellow students so that they do not have to invest their energy in anger about your volume.
When you enter the yoga practice room, you greet the yoga teacher with a short nod. Speaking is taboo throughout the yoga class. Speaking in the practice room is reserved for the yoga teacher alone.
Bringing a cell phone into the practice room is one of the biggest mistakes one can make. Even when the phone is switched off, the sight alone reminds all other participants of everyday topics that should actually be left alone for an hour.
The academic quarter does not apply here. Some yoga classes even close the practice room at the beginning. In your own interest, you should be in the room about 15 minutes before the start of the yoga class and use the silence in the room to shake off the hectic everyday life and mentally prepare for the class.
Even if the door is not locked, one does not enter a yoga practice room where the class has already started.
In some classes, an opening mantra is chanted at the beginning or at least the syllable Om, a universal mantra, is intoned. As a beginner, you don’t know the words or melodies or you’re afraid to sing along. No problem. Just absorb the energy from the singing of your classmates. After a few hours you may or may not be singing along. That’s up to you.
Drinks and food have no place in the yoga room. Try to leave at least two hours between a large meal and yoga class. Intensive breathing is an important part of the exercise in many yoga forms, so dishes with too much garlic are not recommended. The otherwise ubiquitous water bottle should also not be taken into the yoga room.
The teacher specifies the sequence of exercises (asanas). If an exercise makes you uncomfortable or too strenuous, pause. Simply remain in a resting position on your mat and get back on at an appropriate point.
However, you should refrain from doing your own exercise routine as a freestyle.
Even if you have already mastered far more complex asanas, keep them to yourself during the class. Also, do not try to interfere with other practitioners or give them good advice. Only the yoga teacher is entitled to this role and it is forbidden due to the desired silence in the yoga room.
If someone is desperate for a seat before the class starts, offer to move a little to the side. The yoga room is more like a community than a competitive arena. You also show mindfulness if you do not enter the yoga studio with a cold. The tightness that prevails in many yoga studios and the intensive breathing are the best breeding ground for passing on colds.
At the end of each yoga class there is a relaxation phase, sometimes with a meditative character. Out of respect for the teacher, you change your position in the room in this part and lie down on the mat with your head towards the teacher. If no one does this in your class, then you’re more likely to end up in a sporty yoga studio that doesn’t have much knowledge of Asian culture.
You should never consider rolling up your mat and walking before or during this relaxation period. Very bad manners, indeed. No matter how urgent your next appointment, stay until the end of the yoga class if you plan to come back next week.
The same applies to the farewell greeting Namaste, with which one says goodbye to the yoga teacher at the end of the lesson.