Yoga Etiquette For New Students

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Written By Boss

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Congratulations! You’ve started taking yoga classes at your local studio!

Yoga is a great way to energize the body and keep the mind focused and alert. Regular practice can really be life changing.

Let’s face it, a yoga class can be a little overwhelming for beginners, especially if it gets sweaty, crowded, or difficult. Plus, being surrounded by lots of submissive people who seem to know exactly what’s coming next can be pretty intimidating.

If you’re worried about feeling out of place, it’s a good idea to learn a thing or two about basic yoga etiquette. Knowing some do’s and don’ts can relax you, make your teacher’s job easier, and help everyone in the room get the most out of their practice.

Before class

Before class

There are many different types of yoga classes.

Some are vigorous exercise workouts, while others involve very little movement. Some are based on traditional methods dating back at least a hundred years, and some are modern fusions of yoga with other physical disciplines and training modalities.

It is important to understand the basic format of the lessons so that you don’t expect Yin lessons while taking Power Vinyasa lessons and vice versa.

Make sure the curriculum matches the level. Many studios pay attention to which classes are suitable for beginners and which ones for advanced students.

Teachers are often happy to provide revision for lower-achieving students in these classes, but this is not always possible when dealing with large groups. There’s no real standardization between studios, so if in doubt, just ask.

It is also important to pay attention to classroom temperature. Many studios offer classes in rooms heated to 40 degrees Celsius. Best to avoid these classes if it’s not your thing.

Arrive early

All yoga studios require you to complete an enrollment and waiver form when you attend your first class. If you are a new student, make sure to allow about 20 minutes for this.

Otherwise, it is best to arrive 5-10 minutes early so that the class can start on time without interruption.

Most teachers will let you in if you are a little late. within reason. Best to ask at reception.

Come prepared

Come prepared

The best way to have a successful class is to prepare for a successful class! Be sure to wear clothes that allow you to move and make you sweat.

Instead of buying expensive yoga pants, a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt will do.

It’s a good idea to stay hydrated, even on slower courses. So bring a bottle of water. If it’s a popular course, bring a towel.

Do you have your own yoga mat? Most studios have pads for rent or lease, but it’s always a good idea to check.

Make sure your mat is right for your yoga style. People sometimes come to class with large foam mats an inch or more thick, which are about the size of a yoga mat. These may be fine for seated stretches, but not for yoga classes that involve standing positions or dynamic movements.

A good yoga mat should be no thicker than half an inch.

Valuable objects

If the studio does not have suitable lockers, they may allow personal items into the studio to help students secure their valuables. If this is the case, keep your stuff away from other students and make sure the teacher has a clear path in the classroom.

Most importantly; if your phone, tablet or computer is in the room, turn it off.

don’t wear socks

don’t wear socks

Yoga teachers are obsessed with feet. You might be thinking about burning pain in your glutes or hamstrings, but your teacher might be looking at your feet.

Does the big toe hill dig down? Are you pushing from the inside or outside of your heel? Are you having a meltdown?

Standing poses are all about foundations, meaning there’s no limit to the connection between your feet and the ground. Believe me. A competent yoga teacher wants to see your feet. So don’t wear socks.

Additionally, socks are slippery, making any standing positions more difficult and unsafe.


It’s totally fine to wear glasses during yoga class. However, if clothes start to sweat or get slippery and you want to take them off, make sure you put them on a block or ledge somewhere, not directly on the floor.

When I first started, a yoga teacher stepped on my glasses. This is the most expensive yoga class I have ever taken.

Do not wear perfume/cologne

don’t wear cologne

Yoga studios can get sweaty, which means they can also get a little smelly at times.

Understandably, you might want to use fragrance to cover it up. However, many people find perfumes and colognes distracting or irritating when they try to breathe deeply through their nose.

Some people even have severe sensitivities or allergies.

Small amounts of natural essential oils probably won’t bother anyone, but be careful.

Please inform the teacher if you have any injuries or limited mobility

First, if you’ve been injured or have limited mobility, make sure to get clearance from your healthcare provider before starting a yoga class.

If you are approved, please let the teacher know about your problem during your first class. Depending on the problem, certain poses and setups that are normally very safe can become very dangerous.


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