Most of us that practice yoga on a regular basis are no strangers to the general rules of yoga etiquette.
In fact, most studios have a poster on the wall somewhere, or the list of do’s and don’ts, on their website.
No offensive odors, arrive to class on time, don’t step on other people’s mats, no cell phones, wear appropriate attire.
No one really ever talks about the pre-class atmosphere and the impact this has on our practice.
I know every one has different needs when it comes to preparing for their daily practice; some like to arrive 15 minutes early, lay flat on their back in a meditative state, others can sneak in at the last second, throw their mat down and are ready to go.
Some people like to go to yoga alone, others like to go with friends and treat it in a slightly more social manner.
Now, I am a pretty laid back person when it comes to practicing—I don’t care who I’m next to, how close I am to other people, whether I’m in the front or the back or how much time I have to prepare for practice.
What I have noticed, as an incessant issue in yoga studios, is people forgetting that they are in a public, shared space—if you do choose to conversate before class, be courteous to those surrounding you.
If you do see fellow yogi’s relaxing before class, think twice before shouting over 10 mat lengths about how you found out your husband was sleeping with his receptionist, how so-and-so has terrible parenting skills and how the Thursday night teacher is awful.
The toxic chatter that goes on before class is sometimes enough to ruin anyones positive vibe.
I get it though; maybe this is the only moment you have all week to catch up with your friends, so yoga also becomes coffee talk/gossip circle.
To each his own—I’m not trying to be overly critical and judgemental here.
So, I think I have come up with a solution: I have decided it would be wise to implement a 12-inch rule.
If you decide to partake in pre-class conversation within the studio, no one more than 12 inches from you should be able to hear you.
Lean in, whisper, using your inside voices.
I think this is a reasonable request and a fair compromise between those who want silence and those who want social hour.
Now sit your ass down and namaste!
Angela Melissa Diaz is a self-proclaimed ecofashionista and thrift store/vintage clothing junkie with Pittsburgh as her stomping ground. She’s writing for the ecofashion and wellness sections of elephant as well as bringing her social butterfly skills to the social media team. If you cannot get in touch with her via any forms of technology, she’s teaching, or on her yoga mat flowing through vinyasas at 90 plus degrees. She’s studying for her certification in health and wellness counseling and hopes to save the world from bad food choices and stagnant lifestyles while reminding everyone to breathe and laugh as much as possible. You can reach her at Fragilead@gmail.com or find her on facebook.
Like elephant yoga on Facebook.