Day 2's prompt for the #BlogEveryDayInMay challenge says, "educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at." When I asked Steven for help coming up with a topic his response was puppies. Puppies?...
Luckily for you, I'm not going to discuss puppies (because you would melt into a puddle of love), but rather yoga etiquette.
In the last couple months I have fallen in love with practicing yoga --hot yoga in particular. Maybe it's the heat in the 105 degree room or maybe it's simply the quiet and stillness of mind I've been able to achieve during those 60 minutes in class, but either way, I've become a self-proclaimed yogi and an advocate of the mental and physical benefits one can achieve from the practice. However, I often hear people say they are scared/nervous to give hot yoga a try. Sure you know what to bring to class -- your yoga mat, a towel, and a bottle of water --but you really don't know what to expect once that door closes behind you and your stuck for an entire hour (or more) with 20-some yogi's standing on their heads.
Well, today I'm going to give you a list of do's and do not's when it comes to yoga etiquette (the things you can't find on that yoga practices website) to help ease your mind about trying out a hot yoga class at your local gym. You're welcome.
Do drink lots of water. I know this is pretty obvious, but the first few times I went to my hot yoga classes I definitely got a little dehydrated. So basically, drink more water than you think necessary just to be safe. The last thing you want to do is pass out in bird pose. That would hurt. And be extremely embarrassing...
Do not gawk. You know that old man with the big beer belly who looks like he should be on life support rather than this hot yoga class? Well he's about to do a standing bow pose while you can't even kick your leg off the ground. It's pretty amazing, but remember gawking is impolite.
Do mind your personal hygiene. After one class, every square inch of your body is going to be covered in sweat. So be prepared for some stank. Come clean and showered but without any lotions or perfumes on your body to keep your personal stench to a minimum. The last thing you want is to be that person other's are scooting their mat away from...
Do not be that excessive grunter or moaner. These people do exist. I'm not sure if their yoga practice is extremely painful (grunters) or extremely pleasant (moaners), but either way, it makes others extremely uncomfortable, so I would advise against the use of any excessive sound effects during class.
Do try not to laugh. Laughing is definitely frowned upon in yoga. How do I know this? Well, because I'm guilty of it (as you will see in the next do not). This time is for silence and meditation. Laughter not only disrupts your practice, but the practice of those around you. Many of the people in class may have stressful jobs or are at home with children all day, seven days a week. This hour of solace is something they look forward to and probably need to recharge before heading back to their busy lives. So if you fall out of a pose and are tempted to release that nervous laughter, simply refocus and try to stifle that nervous energy.
Do not fart. Because I will laugh at you. And then I will receive evil looks from other yogis who do not find flatulence hilarious.
And lastly, do wear undergarments. Really. Does more need to be said on this subject? Basically, I want to be focused on my practice and not the fear of your tidbits being exposed. This happens, people. I kid you not, this happens.
Have you ever practice hot yoga or any other kind of yoga class? If not, I hope my list of do's and do not's is not causing you to run away faster than ever in fear ;) Namaste.