So you have decided to take yoga. I’ve been practicing on and off for over ten years. Here is my non-exhaustive list of habits and things not to say.
1. Do not leave your heart rate monitor on. I cannot find my inner peace with that incessant beeping, dammit!
2. Yoga is all about breathing. If you are grunting, then you are not breathing correctly. If your classmates look at you with alarm, take a break in child’s pose. You probably need the rest.
3. Yoga looks deceptively easy, but it is complicated when you are first starting out. Ask questions and sit up by the front of the class near the teacher.
4. Ignore any stomach disturbances from your classmates. When you do certain posts that twist your body, some gas gets expelled. Just saying.
5. Bring your personality with you to class. Most teachers want to get you to relax and have fun. It is totally okay to laugh, especially if the teacher makes a joke.
6. Seriously do not compare yourself to other people in your class. Everyone is on their own journey, especially you type A overachievers in my yoga class at work. Yoga is for relaxation and inner peace not who can get into this pose.
7. Trying difficult poses is like diving off the deep end. Most teachers preview some of these more challenging poses to get you out of your head.
8. If you suffer from monkey brain like I do, just listen to your breathing or the music. Meditation and yoga do help us type A, anxiety-ridden folks. It has not cured my anxiety, but it has helped tremendously.
9. Corpse pose is fantastically relaxing. Do NOT leave class early! You’re missing out on all the bliss. Trust me.
10. Do not freak out if a teacher touches you in class. Their job is to help adjust your alignment and get more length or openness in a pose. Sadly we don’t get too many adjustments in our work class because everyone is too jumpy.