5 Things to Know Before Going To Yoga
An Etiquette Primer
January: The month some consider making the courageous voyage to that spandex, incense and Om filled land of the yoga studio. As you head to this brave new frontier, here are some tips from those who have gone before:
1) Arrive early - at least 15 minutes before class. You'll need to complete a waiver (In case you DIE. Sivasana translates to corpse pose, so technically, not wrong). You will sometimes be shown the facilities by the helpful front desk person, who will give you a locker you will probably get yourself locked out of. Don't worry. It's all part of the yogic journey towards eternal patience. Read the website beforehand. Give yourself an edge on the studio rules and what amenities to expect. Not all studios have the same set up.
2) Quiet Please! Many folks come to yoga for a calm atmosphere and the chance to meditate. This can't be done when Jessica is talking full volume about her macrobiotic, vegan diet. Don't be Jessica. Whispers or no words are best when you're setting up your mat in the back corner where it feels safest.
3) Don't feel like you SHOULD KNOW what to do. I love it when bright eyed beginners make their presence known before class. The teacher's job is to welcome you and set expectations. Sometimes I'll break down the basics with someone in the lobby if there's time. Even if you don't chat with the teacher, don't feel pressured to do that weird ass move the contortionist beside you accomplished. If it doesn't feel good, or like you may hurt yourself, don't do it. There's no peer pressure in yoga.
4) Bring a friend - Feel fun and silly together with your bums in the air. It's always nice to have someone to share the experience with. Better yet, ask your yoga loving buddy if you can tag along, joining them at their favourite studio. Watch how fast their face lights up. Yogis lose their minds with joy when friends ask to come along. They know the potential awesomeness that awaits.
5) Be kind to the front desk people and teacher - I see this far too often, usually someone who is nervous and new to the studio or on classpass. For over five years I've observed this trend; ClassPass peeps tend to studio hop. With no sense of commitment or loyalty, they can sometimes treat front desk people or teachers like the serfs of the yoga world; only there to serve their Majesty's needs. Studio staff want you to have an amazing experience. So meet them halfway. Make eye contact, smile, say hello, acknowledge their existence. Yoga studios can be amazing communities, so endeavor to be a welcome addition.
Jelayna Da Silva is a well certified, passionate yoga teacher. Her love for yoga takes her across the GTA to teach at several studios and multiple clients. Her background in Psychology and College Athletics infuses her classes with a strong understanding of how mind and body function. Whether leading a large outdoor event, a classroom of yogis, or in the home of a client her philosophy for teaching is simple; teach with love, empathy, patience and humility. Yoga is a journey, not a destination. www.jelaynayoga.com