In any Yoga studio, retreat or space, there’s a certain feeling or atmosphere that comes along with it. If you frequent studios or classes you’ll know the type of “energy” i’m talking about.
It’s a space free from judgement, expectation, competition and negativity.
It’s a safe, communal space for you to just be, and for you to just come back to.
Although I don’t like to put “rules” to things, there is a certain etiquette that is required from all students attending classes in our space together at Ramble Om or otherwise. This etiquette helps to build and keep this atmosphere, and it requires each and every individual to rise to that etiquette.
In Sanskrit and yogic terms, this etiquette is referred to as the Yamas (Moral Discipline) and you can read about that more here.
These are a few of the most common Etiquette points for Yogis and more importantly, the ones I require from you when attending any of my classes;
1. Turn phones OFF!
Even better- leave them completely out of the space.
This is a HUGE point. There is absolutely nothing worse than someones phone beeping, ringing or even just text/notification buzzing when you’re in the zone of a class. It breaks not only your concentration but it effects others as well. If you can’t be without your phone for 60minutes then there’s bigger issues that need to be addressed. Turn them off. It can wait.
2. Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
It’s important to be early to class especially if you’ve never been to a class before.
I require each new student to fill out a waiver and to discuss with me any injuries and they may have, as well as discuss goals for their practice. This takes time. Especially if theres 1-2 new people in a class!
So come early, write your name down on the sign in sheet, settle in, get a head-start on your stretching, get props, and start getting into the “zone” mentally.
Sometimes before a class i’ll have a chat to you all about what we’re aiming for or what I need you to be aware of, so I need you to be ready to go. If a class is scheduled at 6:00pm we start at 6:00pm, and we start together as a group.
3. NEVER skip or rush out of Savasana
I get it- we all have things to get home to, but why would you rush your hard earned Savasana? You’re cheating yourself if you skip or rush it.
Your Savasana is crucial to a well rounded practice, and mentally perhaps it’s the most difficult posture of all! Learning to just be with stillness, observe the thoughts, meditate on the breath, can be a real challenge, but allow yourself to drift deep into the relaxed, dream-like state. Some savasanas will be easier than others but such is life and such is the practice!
If you do need to leave early for whatever (important) reason, please let your teacher know before class starts and leave as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb others out of their savasana.
4. Put props back exactly how you found them
In Yogic practice there is an emphasis on the Niyama of Saucha which is cleanliness.
If you use any props be mindful of the next person to use them. Roll your straps up, fold blankets properly, clean your mat ESPECIALLY if you borrow one. Stack blocks neatly, and don’t just chuck your bolsters messily. In any gym its the same with any equipment you use! So it applies to our yoga space and props. It’s nice to come into a tidy space- it takes a yoga community’s efforts to build a yoga space
5. Stay internal.
Respect yourself, others and the space by refraining from unnecessary talking, laughing or grunts of complaint. As mentioned in point number one, it’s important to get in the “zone” so a lot of the time when you walk in for class, you’ll see people on their mat silently starting to do just that- don’t disturb them. If you are chatting, please keep it soft, but know that you can have all the time after class to chat, laugh and catch up.
I know some postures are hard, or that sometimes you feel silly trying something totally new and out of your comfort zone, but challenge yourself to stay internal and by that I mean silently processing what it is you feel. Don’t steal others’ concentration or flow away just because you personally find something challenging. You can always go into a childspose to reset your mind and breath, find that internal focus, and join back in when you’re ready.
Refrain from looking around the room or at the person next to you and comparing yourself to their practice. All you should be concerned with is your body, your breath and the sensation you can feel. You’re not there to be the best, or to impress.
“Without the Yamas, known as the eithical rules, there is no success in Yoga”– Sri Dharma Mittra