Here’s the deal. As much as we all pretend to be open-minded, open-hearted, compassionate, and understanding beings, we yogis and yoginis still have a code of conduct that we like to follow.
These oft unspoken rules are our guiding principles for class and for life. If you’re new to yoga and are unfamiliar with our way of being, here is a list of how to totally ruin the vibes of all the yogis around you, and how to risk being labeled as a ‘terrible yogi.’
1. Come late, leave early.
Be sure to always arrive to class just late enough that you miss the opening meditation, and leave just before Savasana. This will disrupt the flow of class just enough that pretty much everyone—especially your teacher—will be thrown off.
2. Follow your inner teacher in class.
Plant your mat in the front and center of the room, then decide that what the teacher is offering isn’t what your body needs today and do your own routine. Not only will you leave the instructor feeling totally bummed out, you’ll also help thoroughly confuse any newer yoga students in the room.
3. Moan, groan, and sigh your way through class.
We all really, truly want to hear about much you’re suffering through your asana. Please, sing us the song of your people.
4. Om off-key.
Who really needs a perfect, melodic Om anyway? Make sure that yours is nasal, louder than everyone else, and lasts longer than the rest of ours.
5. Talk to your friends during class.
If you really want to distract those around you and make your instructor feel super uncomfortable for having to talk to you like a second grader, make sure to be having a conversation with your friend on the mat next to yours all throughout class. We all want to hear about the office drama that happened today.
6. Bring your phone and leave it on.
Unless you’re a doctor, or waiting for your wife to go into labor, bringing your phone to class and leaving it on—knowing that it’ll inevitably ring or receive a text—is bad karma. And here’s a newsflash—‘silent’ mode isn’t silent. We can all hear that sucker vibrating.
7. Make sure your yoga pants are actually just tights.
We’re all very interested in the color, cut, and brand of your underthings.
8. Eat a nice, garlicky, oniony, fishy meal right before class.
Tuna salad? Yes please! Chicken Caesar wrap? Don’t mind if I do! Not only will these dishes have your breath smelling fresh to death, you’ll be filling the whole room with your scent from all the sweating and heavy breathing.
9. Be vocal about the poses you hate.
Make sure to let us all know when you’re suffering in that Warrior III pose, or that you just hate this Forward Fold. We weren’t trying to find our inner calm anyway.
10. Criticize your instructor after class in the change room.
Not only will this make those you’re complaining to feel pretty uncomfortable, there’s also a good chance that the instructor you’re complaining about will hear you.
I hope you’re able to sense the jest in this post. But do remember that when you’re in a public yoga class, you’re in a public yoga class. Always think about how you would feel if you were teaching a class and one of your students did what you're considering doing.
There is a great opportunity to develop compassion and empathy for your yoga teachers and fellow students in asana practice!