Congratulations, you’ve finally decided to hit up a yoga studio. Or maybe you’ve been going for a while now, but you’re still not confident about the do’s and don’ts of a class. Regardless, as long as you avoid these 11 major yoga fails, you’ll fit right in with the pro yogis–until you have to try some of the balancing poses, that is.
Keep scrolling to take note of the 11 things you should never (ever!) do in a yoga class.
1. Don’t arrive late.
Walking in late to any fitness class can be disruptive, but rocking up more than two or three minutes after the start of yoga is just plain rude, because it can take a little while to set-up properly for the class. Call the studio ahead of time to ask what time you should arrive–most suggest getting there at least five minutes beforehand.
2. Don’t check your phone.
There’s one unspoken rule of every yoga class: All electronics go off. People are usually trying to switch off and recharge during yoga, so it’s understood that devices are to be left packed away in your locker as to not distract the class. Yes, everyone can see you checking your email in downward dog pose.
3. Don’t go overboard on perfume.
Forget B.O., too-strong perfume is commonly the most offensive smell in a yoga studio. Remember a studio is usually a small, confined space, so don’t spray perfume before the class.
4. Don’t remove your shoes in the room.
It’s generally expected that you will take off your shoes–and socks if you plan on practicing barefoot–outside of the studio. Think about it: Keeping 20 shoes and socks in a small, heated room can lead to some pretty offensive smells.
5. Don’t forget to get your props before class.
If you keep getting up and walking to the side of the room to collect equipment during class, you’re bound to annoy even the most zen yogis. Most studios will offer everything you need, so before class grab a yoga mat, and any additional props you might want to use, including a strap, towel, and a block to help you with some of the more difficult moves.
When heading to a bikram or hot yoga class it’s a good idea to bring an extra small towel for when your mat starts getting sweaty and slippery.
6. Don’t invade others’ space.
There’s nothing worse than not having enough space to stretch out properly in a yoga class, so make sure your mat is evenly spaced between your fellow classmates. If you can, stagger your mat so that you can stretch your arms and legs without any collisions.
7. Don’t collapse into giggles–not matter how awkward things get.
Look, we get it: Yoga is pretty damn awkward, particularly if you’re a beginner. However that doesn’t mean you can collapse into a fit of laughter every time you catch the eye of your bestie next you. Take a breath, stay cool, and think about everyone else in the room who is trying to relax.
8. Don’t forget to use a tissue.
At the end of most yoga classes there is a final relaxation phase called shavasana. Often the teacher will pass out eye pillows for this stage, so it’s a good idea to use a tissue as a barrier between your peepers and those pillows that are used by dozens of different people each week.
9. Don’t chat with your buddy.
Now is not the time to plan your weekend, and it’s actually considered completely rude to talk at all–let alone loudly–during a yoga class. So zip it, and wait until after the final “ommm.”
10. Don’t leave a mess for someone else.
Some studios will have back-to-back classes, and if that’s the case the teacher will probably instruct you to leave your mat where it is. In this situation, you should wipe your mat down with the disinfectant provided by the studio, and pack away your props. If there’s no class after yours, make sure you put your mat back neatly as well.
11. Thank the teacher.
This isn’t about playing teacher’s pet, but it’s common politeness to thank your yoga teacher after a class. If you have any questions, after class is also the time to approach your teacher and chat away.