The DOs and DON’Ts of Yoga Etiquette

Yoga isn’t all about rules and regulations… yogis are much more accepting than that!  There are, however, some guidelines of good yoga etiquette that will help you feel comfortable when entering a yoga studio. These rules of etiquette are based on common sense and courtesy, but deal with some issues that are specific to yoga classes and studios.

Try to arrive at least 10 minutes before the class is scheduled to start.  Early arrival will give you time to get signed in, set up and settle into a quiet, centered space. It allows your body and mind to prepare for your practice.  If you do arrive late, please enter as quietly as possible.  Life happens.


DON’T be late, but if you are late….

It happens. Traffic. Delays. Life. if you are late, please enter as quickly and quietly as possible. If you are running a few minutes late, try to keep distractions to a minimum. We will allow late entry but will lock the door ten minutes after the class has started.


DO Remove Your Shoes

Shoes track dirt into the studio. Because we practice on the floor, it is nice to have a clean space.  Many yoga studios have a place for your shoes by the front door (we have cubbies right when you walk in!). Since people will be walking around the studio barefoot, it is most hygienic if everyone takes off their outdoor shoes first thing.  You will appreciate the clean floor.


DO Turn Off Your Cell Phone

PLEASE!  Make a habit of doing this as soon as you get to the yoga studio. It can be very shocking when you are enjoying a quiet Savasana to be startled by a ringing cell phone.  This is really embarrassing to you, and disruptive to the class.  Because we are trying to leave the outside world behind us…. it is nice to avoid the disturbance.  If you forget and your phone rings, etiquette asks that you turn off the phone as quickly as possible.  Though this is a situation best avoided… we are all human and forget sometimes.


DO Respect the Teacher

When you enter a new yoga class, you agree to respect and listen to the teacher for the duration of the class. You may find that  you don’t like the teacher, the style of yoga, or the person on the mat next to you, but it is good etiquette to stay through Savasana, and to not leave early. If you ever do need to leave early, please tell the teacher before class.


DO Keep Variations Appropriate (Keep the Ego in Check)

Know what level class you are attending.  If you are a beginner in an advanced or mixed level class, it is quite appropriate to take more basic and accessible versions of an asana.  It is not necessarily appropriate, however, to move into an advanced version of a pose in a beginning level class unless the teacher invites you to do so.


DON’T Skip Savasana!

Your final relaxation in Savasana is an important part of your practice. Don’t plan to leave class early. The beginning and end of class are particularly important parts of this sequence and it’s important to experience (and enjoy) the entire process.  If you must, tell the teacher in advance and take. Set up near the door to minimize class disruption and take a short Savasana before you go, as it is an essential part of the yoga practice to allow the body and mind to integrate the work of the session… you’ve worked hard, and earned the reward!


DO Communicate About Your Injuries

Please tell us about pre-existing injuries, illnesses, pregnancy, or medical conditions BEFORE class.  We can modify your practice for your safety, and to help you enjoy your practice more.


DO Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water, before and after class.  Many of our classes are in warm rooms, and this will make you sweat.  Even if you are not practicing in a warm room, you will practice poses that cleanse the lymphatic and immune systems.  It is a good idea to replenish the body with lots of water after a yoga practice.


DO Practice on an empty stomach

You know your own body, but it is best to practice yoga on an empty or nearly empty stomach.  Please allow 2-3 hours for digestion of a large meal before practicing. It is fine to have a light snack an hour or so before practice to help regulate your blood sugar and energy levels if it has been several hours since your last meal. Don’t come hungry, but don’t come in full either.


DO bring your own (when you can):

Mat…. because it is more sanitary.  We have mats available for your use.  If you use one, please clean it with provided mat spray before you leave

Water bottle… be good to the environment.  Bring your own refillable bottle and use our water cooler to fill it. Or buy one of our BPA-free DDY bottles!

Towel…. especially for Kick Asana or Hot Yoga classes.


DON’T wear strong perfumes or fragrances!

It’s ok to smell good, but no so nice to get a big lungful of the perfume from someone three mats away.  We work in a small space and breathe deeply… save the fragrance for after class.


DO always listen to your body

Always work at your own pace and listen to your body. Your body will communicate with you if you listen… and part of your yoga practice, your truth, or satya, is paying attention and doing what is right and true for you on a given day.  Let go of ego, of competition… and just be.


"For years, I lived in disconnect and battled severe depression; after training at Dancing Dogs Yoga, I found my power, my voice, and my self. Once I was taught to create the joy, magic, and softness that was missing in my life, I began living out a life I love and now inspire others to do the same. Thanks to my teachers and this training, I am now truly unstoppable."

– Megan Howe
  Dancing Dogs Yoga