A few answers to frequently asked questions about etiquette.
Get there a little before class is scheduled to begin. This will help you to set your yoga mat in a comfortable place in the room without disrupting everyone else. Also, you won’t miss the specific instructions that teachers give at the beginning of the class for first timers. If for some reason you are late, be respectful of your fellow classmates and place your mat down gently so you don’t disturb the class.
Eat light before yoga class: Keep the day of your first yoga class light and simple by having healthy food at least two and half hours prior to class. It’s also not a good idea to practice with empty stomach because at the end of the day, you may start feeling lightheaded as your body needs for fuel that is not there. If you want to eat a quick snack before the class, you can grab yogurt, fruit or vegetables.
Drink plenty of water before and after the class: It is very necessary to stay hydrated during any yoga class.
Wear comfortable clothes that don’t restrict your movement: just wear something you feel relaxed and comfortable in. Ladies can wear quick-dry Capri and tight tops whereas gents may put on shorts and baggy t-shirts. Also try to avoid wearing clothes that are too loose in which your private areas are unnecessarily exposed—you may spend more time adjusting your dress instead of concentrating on your positions. Remember that unlike running or other gym exercises, you will be bending and stretching a lot, so loose clothes tend to fall in your face during downward poses.
Take your shoes off: Yoga is practiced barefoot; shoes and socks are not recommended. Being barefoot allows more grip on the mat in various poses.
Feel free to have a brief conversation with the teacher before the class is scheduled to start: Many people are shy or uncomfortable talking to the teacher, but you should understand that they want to help you. Yoga teachers are very helpful and encouraging—they want new students to have the best experience possible during their first class. And believe me, these teachers will provide adjustments and more detailed instructions if you tell them you’re new. Make sure to let your teacher know of any limitations and medical conditions you have that might affect your practice. Your teacher will offer modifications where appropriate—most yoga poses can be adjusted to your needs.
Keep your cell phones off and mind your manners: Maintaining silence in the room is difficult when someone’s cell is ringing—plus it’s distracting for your fellow yogis.
Don’t let your ego guide you: There is no place for comparative thinking in yoga studio. If you are practicing in a place that makes you feel judged then this is not the right place for you to be. This is a safe place for you to learn and grow in your own practice. There is no gold medal for “Best Pose.” It doesn't matter if you can’t yet or can EVER do the specific pose or your body is not super flexible. Always listen to your body—don’t push or overextend your threshold just to keep up with the rest of the class. If it gets to be too much, spend time in child's or any other comfortable pose until you are ready to jump back in.
You always get to choose how you practice.