Things You Should Not Do in Yoga Class

Hi everyone!  Lately I’ve been taking quite a few yoga classes in the studio, and it’s definitely a different experience than doing yoga at home.  I love the feeling of being in a room with so many people who chose to work on their practice today, the calming and affirming messages the teachers give us throughout class, and the way that I’m pushed harder than I am at home and can do some poses in class that I couldn’t do before!  And even though I hate being in a heated room, it definitely helps stretch me out after a long week of running.  The most awkward part of doing yoga in a studio is that you’re doing it with lots of other people…and not everyone practices yoga the same way.  I’m noticing this a lot at my new studio, which is usually absolutely packed with people in every class.  For me, yoga should be a very calming and personal event, and I take the time before class to really get myself into a relaxed mindset after a long day and to prepare for the class ahead.  When I get to yoga I do the following:

  1. Quietly check in to class.  If I have any injuries or pains that I think the instructor should know about, I let her know before going inside the classroom.  This helps her give me modifications when necessary so that I can participate in every pose.
  2. Silently enter the classroom and choose a spot either against the back wall or against a side wall if possible.  I like to have a little bit of private space.
  3. Roll out my mat as quietly as possible and get situated in my space.  I try really hard to take up as little space around me as possible with all of the props we need for class.
  4. Lay down on my mat with my feet on the floor and my eyes closed, focusing on my breathing until class begins.
  5. During class I’m very focused on the class itself while being mindful of how I’m taking up space (if I’m moving beyond my mat space, where my props are, etc.).
  6. After class I clean up my area and leave.  I don’t want those calming vibes to go away anytime soon!

Most of the other people in the class are doing the same thing…but not everyone.  Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve already witnessed people doing in yoga class, AKA things that you should definitely not do during yoga class:

should not do in yoga

  • Be loud before class.  I know that people like to do yoga with their friends, but once you’re in the classroom you’re expected to stay pretty quiet and not disrupt others.  I’ve been to quite a few studios and I feel like it’s Yoga Code or something.  The room is silent so I can hear everything you’re saying and I don’t really need that when I’m trying to forget about my own stressful day, you know?
  • This one is usually banned at all fitness studios, but just in case you didn’t know:  using cell phones in the classroom!  Watching people scroll through their Facebook feed or text people when we’re supposed to be disconnecting from all that stuff seems so counterproductive.
  • Come in late.  People who come in late are a flustered mess and have to climb over everyone else to get to that one spot left at the front of the room.  Most studios actually have a cutoff point where they won’t let you in the studio if you’re late past a certain point because it distracts from the class.
  • Wear perfume.  You’re in a tiny room with other people working out, please don’t do this!
  • The opposite of wearing perfume – which is not wearing enough deodorant.  In my heated flow class the smell is pretty crazy by the end of class.  I understand that we’re all working really hard and things happen sometimes, but I can definitely tell that some people are slacking in the deodorant/fresh shower department.
  • Put your mat too close to other people.  It’s pretty easy to keep your mat in line with others (and my studio has lines on the floor to help guide people), but some people seem to enjoy breaking the straight lines and do whatever they want.  I got kicked in the face today by a guy who was way too close to my mat.
  • Put your props and stuff all over the place.  Yesterday I had the pleasure of dealing with some guy’s sweat towel on the edge of my mat the whole time, and then he somehow stole my yoga block and it was in his giant pile of stuff.
  • Adding this one because I didn’t remember it until I went to bed:  sleep in class.  Someone in my Deep Stretch classes always falls asleep towards the end and is snoring loudly.  It makes me feel like I’m on an airplane.
  • Leave early.  Savasana is my favorite pose, and when people are cleaning up their stuff and walking around while I’m trying to relax it totally ruins the moment.  This one drives me crazy!  Why would you miss the relaxation at the end of class?


I honestly have to say that I’m noticing these things a lot more now that I’m going to the super crowded and popular studio here in Anchorage, and lots of these things can be avoided by finding one that doesn’t have full classes of 50 people.  I’m not sure that this studio is for me, even though I’m loving the actual classes and instructors.  But I think that no matter where you go you’ll probably run into some of this.  If you’ve never been to yoga class before, don’t worry about being “that guy”!  If you’re ever unsure of what to do you can always ask someone at the front desk before taking a class, and many of these things are mentioned on yoga studio websites – especially not being late, not wearing perfume, and being quiet/not using cell phones in the classrooms.  And if you’ve been taking classes for a while, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of these things before!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in yoga class?  What’s you’re number one yoga class rule that you don’t ever break?

22 thoughts on “Things You Should Not Do in Yoga Class

  1. I have to say I don’t really enjoy the savasana at the end of class but I would NEVER get up and disrupt everyone else who loves that part. Some people are just totally unaware of others!

    1. Savasana is pretty hard so I hear that! I feel like no one should be in that much of a hurry to leave class that they disrupt the most silent part of class.

  2. When I used to do hot yoga, our instructor would request that if the heat got too intense, to just rock back into child’s pose. The door opening and closing creates a strong draft for the other people in the class. AND WITHOUT FAIL, nearly every class, there would be someone who would go in and out of the room. 😐

    1. Oh man! Do you think it was because they were feeling sick? If someone’s going to puke I totally advocate that they leave class, but anything else is really annoying.

      1. I feel like in hot yoga you always have that vague “I’m going to puke” feeling. However, the instructor also said that she had yet to have ANYONE ever puke in class. SOOOOO…

    1. Ahhh how could I forget the clothing stuff! I felt so bad for one girl yesterday, she was wearing pants that kept falling down and literally half of her butt was hanging out. You’re in public, make sure your clothes fit!

  3. I was in a class once where a woman’s cell phone rang really loudly right in the middle of savasana, so she was rummaging around in her bag to stop it. Then about 2 minutes later it beeped really loudly that she had a voicemail. I was like, “SERIOUSLY?!” So rude.

    1. Haha I never thought of it that way! In Anchorage there’s no such thing as traffic so there is really no excuse. I always get grumpy when I see that happen.

  4. 50 people doing yoga together? I cannot even imagine it. When I used to do yoga at work, there was this girl who always wanted to be the first one to shower. Unfortunately, she never waited until the end of the class to leave. Yes, it is very annoying indeed…

    1. Yeah, that’s the main reason people get up in savasana. There’s only a few showers and it’s a noon class so I know people are rushing back to work, but that’s just not cool.

  5. Great tips! I’ve never seen anyone use their cellphone in class, but I think it would drive me crazy! Coming in late to class is the #1 thing I see. I REALLY try to not be that person.

    1. I’ve seen people sitting on their mats waiting for class with their phones out. I know technically class hasn’t started, but if you’re in the classroom it’s just not cool to have it out. Also in full disclosure I was late once to a class a long time ago and the experience was so traumatizing (everyone was trying to kill me with their eyes) that I vowed to never be late again. Plus if you’re early you get the best choice of spots!

      1. It’s okay! I have definitely been that person once or twice too. I know people in the class aren’t happy, but I also feel like the worst person in the world to be interrupting! It’s definitely the perfect motivation to never be late again.

  6. I’m finally leaning towards going to an actual yoga class. I’ve been a couple of times over the years and have done it at home a few times too. I always love it. I think this might be the push I need. I was just looking at the summer class schedule for my gym yesterday too and asking hubby about the yoga class. Guess I ought to go. Thanks for the etiquette tips!

    1. Yay!!! You should do it! Sometimes class is full of super annoying people, but a lot of times it’s just a really great experience. I always feel awesome afterwards. I’m excited to hear how it goes!

  7. Good points! When I was going to yoga classes over the winter, it was a pretty small group, so that minimized a lot of these issues for me, but I could see where they would get annoying. I have to say, I kind of understand the falling asleep problem at the end though! Lol, sometimes you just can’t help it! 😉

    1. Haha I used to be so afraid of falling asleep! But the people who fall asleep in my classes snore super loud and it freaks me out. I feel like you’ve got to be in some kind of deeeeeep sleep to be snoring!

      1. People falling asleep in class used to annoy me, then my teacher reframed it for me with “everyone gets exactly what they need”. So, when I’m teaching a class and someone falls asleep, I take it as a huge compliment, like the class was just right to get them to relax deeply.

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