14 Feb the yogi in me respects the yogi in you
There is no right or wrong when it comes to what yoga means to you. The reason why people come to yoga and what they desire to gain from their practice varies from individual to individual. It can be a mental break and time for self-love, a workout or time to stretch and loosen muscles, or even a way to connect with yourself and your community. Whatever the reason may be, there a few common courtesies to keep in mind to respect your fellow yogis while practicing your yoga.
Be a good yogi.
The yoga studio is a sacred space for a lot of yogis and yoginis. It’s the only 60 minutes or so that they have to relax and reflect in a stress-free environment. Bringing your cellphone into class is a big no-no. If you’re on call and need your cell, let the teacher know before class and keep it hidden under a towel/blanket.
Leave the socializing in the lobby. Yoga friends make the best of friends. And it’s always a treat to be able to catch up with a pal you haven’t seen in class in a while. Just take the talk outside so you can give your other friends the quiet time that they’re hoping for.
Be cognizant of how much noise you are making before, during, and after your practice. Roll your mat out gently, tiptoe from your mat to the door, and notice if you are huffing and puffing or fidgety in savasana. Chances are if you’re being disruptive in the yoga studio you’re probably doing the same in other areas of your life as well.
Keep your eyes on your own paper.
What I mean by that is don’t compare your yoga practice to anyone else’s. If you’re comparing yourself on your mat, more than likely you are comparing and judging yourself the moment you step off the mat too. Every body, size, and shape is designed differently. Just because the person next to you can touch their toes doesn’t mean that you were made to. Don’t worry about what they are doing or where their practice is leading them. Focus on yourself and your alignment. Focus on your breath and where your mind is wandering. Be proud of simply giving yourself the love and yoga that you deserve.
Before you head out take a look at your surroundings and the space that you’re leaving. Put the blocks and straps back the way you found them. Wipe down the area where you practiced (especially if you’re leaving a swimming pool of sweat behind!). And keep it quiet. Some people enjoy longer savasanas and some days they are totally needed. Be respectful and considerate to your yoga family and treat your yoga space just like you would the one at home.
The yogi in me honors and respects the yogi in you.