I know I’m just asking for trouble with that title. Can you imagine the kinds of searches this is going to pop up in? Some people are about to be sorely disappointed and my spam blocker is about to be working overtime.
Anyway, today I’m going to discuss yoga class etiquette. (Sorry, creepers.)
In the multitude of classes that I have attended I’ve encountered some people who were occasionally disgusting, like this woman who insisted on repeatedly blowing her nose on her pant leg while in downward dog (and yet there were tissues like RIGHT THERE). People that don’t do a lot of yoga might also assume that I’ve heard a lot of random flatulence, but I haven’t. I can count on one hand the amount of times broken wind in class and it was never, ever me. I swear. Neither of these things are against the rules of course, as is not wearing deodorant although sometimes I wish it was.
However here is a short list of things that are generally considered to be standard and obvious for a yoga class:
- No shoes in the room.
- Try to arrive a little early. Obviously stuff happens, but it’s distracting when people are still coming in when class has already started. Some studios will lock you out if you’re late.
- Things you may need: a mat, a towel if you think you might sweat a lot (one guy in my Bikram class used to bring a Shamwow), something to drink (preferably non-alcoholic), blocks, straps, or both. A studio can often provide many of these things for you if you don’t have them. Things you definitely don’t need: your iPad.
- For hot classes, when you enter the room don’t leave the door hanging open unless otherwise instructed. It lets all the hotness out.
- Don’t shout. Talking in a low volume is okay – unless you’re at Bikram and then they don’t really like you talking or making any kind of eye contact at all – but a lot of people get there early so they can get into their zone and it kind of kills the relaxing vibe when you are yelling at Melissa about the chai you just bought at Whole Foods.
- No cell phones. Or at the very least turn it off. In my regular studio they have generously provided space at the back of the room where we can put our bags if we like, but nothing will kill Savasana faster than someone’s obnoxious phone.
- No gum.
- If you normally bathe in perfume or cologne, please don’t that day. In a heated room the smell gets exponentially magnified and it can be really nauseating.
- Don’t eat in the room. You would think this would be a given. But no, I was in a class once where this girl next to me was eating what looked like the remainder of her lunch with a duffel bag full of garbage piled up practically on my mat. My head almost exploded. I wish I could have gotten up and moved, but I really liked my spot right next to the heater and I was there first. I also know I probably sound like a huge snob, but frankly I just don’t care. She could have finished that sandwich in the lobby. Which leads me to…
- Be mindful of your fellow yogis. Everyone deserves to have at least a little of their own space regardless of how crowded it gets.
These things all seem pretty reasonable right? Well recently, I got to add something new to the list. This may not be widely considered to be an actual studio rule, but in my opinion IT SHOULD BE.
- NO PDA. For the sake of everyone else around you just don’t. Please.
I’m not kidding…people were making out in the studio. I’m not big on public displays of affection as it is and maybe I’m a big ol’ prude, but the last thing I want to see when I’m waiting for a class to start are sweaty people whispering sweet nothings to each other or whatever they were saying because I was trying desperately to NOT hear or look directly at them. I love my husband to the ends of the Earth, but it was wicked hot in that room, never mind the fact that there are also 30 other people in there. There’s a time and a place and this, in my opinion, was neither of those things.
It’s probably my bad for putting my mat next to the two mats that were practically on top of each other when there was plenty of space to spread out, but frankly this was just not on my radar of things I would ever see in an innocent yoga class. I’m not talking about a high school or college-aged couple either. These people were at least 15-20 years my senior so now I’m wondering if when I reach a certain age, I’m just going to quit caring what other people think and do whatever I want in public. Maybe one day I’ll start going out without pants because I can and who cares if it’s offensive.
Who knows. Anyway I’m sure they are probably very nice and I’m happy for them that they are so in love, but the rest of us could have been spared the show. That’s not what I paid my $16 for.
Have you ever seen anything odd/funny/offensive in a yoga or group fitness class? Does PDA gross you out?