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Yoga Studio Etiquette

Etiquette is acceptable social behavior in a particular setting.  It relies on common courtesy, the hallmark of good manners, and goes a long way in supporting an environment conducive to the many benefits of yoga practice.  For some, the yoga class setting may be new, and it is a bit different than many other exercise experiences.  So here are some basic pointers on yoga class etiquette.


Arrive on Time or Early: Give yourself the time you need to enter and get set.  It shows respect for others, including the teacher and the teachings.  If you have a few minutes before class, relax in savasana, sit quietly, focus on your breath, tune in or do a few gentle stretches. 

Take Care of Business Beforehand: Sign in and pay without a reminder or make arrangements to do so after class.  Don't take up class time for this.

Remove your Shoes:  Yoga is practiced with bare feet, and most yoga studios prefer shoes to be kept in the lobby, in an area close to the entrance, or at the sides of the room.

Tell the Teacher about Injuries and Concerns Beforehand:  If you are sore, injured, don't feel like being touched, or plan to take it super easy, tell your teacher before class.

Respect Others' Mat Spaces: Do your best to avoid stepping on other students' mats as you make your way through the room.

Check your Ego at the Door:  Allow the practice of yoga to be a safe space for personal growth and development.  There are many other arenas for showing off and competition; let this practice be for you!

Device-Free Zone: Turn it off or leave it outside the yoga studio.

Be Courteous with Space Use: Be willing to move your mat to make room for other students as they enter.  If space is tight, staggering mats can be helpful.

Mind your Personal Hygiene: Mind both ends of this spectrum - too much perfume and also body odor.

Wear Decent Yoga Clothes: i.e. not too revealing in various positions.  The culprits: too short shorts, tops that don't cover (think upside down), fabric that become see-thru with sweat, etc...

Keep it Light: Yoga class is not the best place for gossiping, complaining, negative talk, and political discourse.  And once class begins, minimize conversation.

Respect the Teacher:  Do not do your own series in the middle of a guided class if you are bored or uninterested in the current pose.  Respect the teacher enough to follow instructions and try to do so with an open mind.  You may choose another teacher in the future.  You may even wish to thank the teacher at the end as a gesture of good will (and a sign of good manners.)

Can't Stay for Savasana? Leave before it begins:  Scoot out before you disrupt everyone else.  Let your teacher know this before class begins and position yourself close to the door.

Clean Up:  If you borrowed props, be sure to return them to their proper place upon leaving.  If you borrowed a mat, please wipe down and then return it to it's rightful place. 

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