The Yoga Journey, Part Two: Yoga Class Etiquette, by Tessa Miller

The Yoga Journey, Part Two: Yoga Class Etiquette

My mother has been teaching fitness for a long time.  From the time I was young I would go with her to her various classes, and the older I got would help out with her book work sometimes.  Mainly because I was bored, and felt I was actually doing something useful with my time if I followed her to Yoga like a stalker and sat around at a desk for an hour while she taught class.

When I was in high school, she had a nice woman come to one of her various classes, whose name I will not say.  This lady was rather strange, and kind of frightening, and while I encourage anyone to come to yoga class, I would strongly encourage you to come sober, which this woman did not do.  In fact she had a habit of coming to class completely hammered, which was funny for me because I wasn’t teaching class, and not so funny for my mother, who was.

I would also encourage everyone to come to class clothed, which this woman also did not do.  During one particular evening, I was sitting at the front desk, while my mom was behind me getting set up for class.  There were already a few people there.  I caught the eye of a woman sitting by the front door, and she gave me a look that said “run” as wasted-face walked through the door.  I loved it when wasted-face came to class.  I was fifteen and she was such good entertainment.

Well, that day, this woman simply had no butt to her pants.  The butt part was just gone.  There was just a giant hole where the butt was supposed to be, and underneath the pants-that-were-not-there was her extremely white ass.  While she apparently did not believe in clothes, it was little surprise that she did not believe in any sort of underwear.

I started to laugh so hard I had to leave the room, while mother handled the situation perfectly by encouraging this woman to “maybe find some pants that didn’t have a hole in the butt because she was hanging out the backside.” 

The next time No-Butt-Pants came to class, she told me a nice story about getting rammed into by a semi-truck while riding her bicycle.  She scared me out of ever wanting to ride a bike again, and I simply stared at her wide eyed as she then pulled her pants down to show me her bruise.

So, in an effort to not recreate Hammered Holey Butt’s unfortunate time in Yoga class, I decided to give you some helpful pointers about Yoga Class Etiquette.  You’re welcome.

Number one.  Make sure your pants have butts.  Make sure, also, your pants do not have holes in the crotch-type-area.  It is quite unfortunate for the people in front/behind you when you are doing a downward facing dog if your clothes are holey.  Also, and this advice is quite serious, make sure you wear comfy clothes that are somewhat form fitting.  Nothing is more annoying in Yoga than when your shirt keeps falling in your eyes during inversions, or your pants are falling down around your ankles when you try to stand up.  It’s okay to have form fitting clothes.  Be proud of your body!

Number two.  Do not come to class drunk.  It makes you smell like alcohol, and we can all tell you’ve had a few too many. 

Number three.  Do not come to class late.  Or even right on time.  Aim for at least five minutes early so you can set out your mat, and get comfortable.  When you come in to class during centering or breath work, and trample across the floor like a Buffalo, then whip out your mat, you sound like a five car pile up on the freeway.  It’s kind of loud, and we’re all just trying to relax a little. Just get to class a few minutes early, we will all sincerely thank you.

Number four.  If you do Yoga regularly, or are a certified instructor, please PLEASE do not sit in the front of the class and do your own thing.  If we’re doing Child’s Pose and you do a Headstand, we don’t think you’re awesome, we think it’s weird that we’re all trying to sleep a little and you’re standing on your head.  We want to know that you can be like us, too.  And it hurts our feelings.

Number five.  It’s okay to ask questions.  It’s okay to laugh every now and then.  It’s even okay to fall over. Nobody is judging you. 

Number six.  It’s okay to not do poses.  It’s totally okay to just lay there if that’s what you need.  It’s even okay to fall asleep.  Again, we aren’t judging you.  You need to do what’s right for you.

Number seven.  If ever someone comes in to class with no butt on their pants, and you aren’t sure what to do, just don’t look at it.  And if at all possible, try not to laugh.  But really, just don’t look at it.