03/20/2014 12:44 EDT | Updated 05/20/2014 05:59 EDT

Yoga Studio Decorum 101

Don't know your Hatha from your Ashtanga? One of the best things about yoga is its intrinsically welcoming nature -- your practice is really just that, your own. And while everyone is welcome, certain behaviours are not.


  • Get to class on time - sneaking into class once it is already in full swing can be distracting to other people, particularly if they have to move their mat to make room for yours
  • Keep all your things contained - if you have a water bottle, towel and block, keep them all relatively close to your mat, to not take up more space than you need to
  • Make space - if you need to stagger your position slightly, do so if it means an easier range of motion for you and the folks immediately beside you
  • Tidy up - wipe down any shared or communal equipment and leave your space as clean as it was when you found it


  • Load up on scents - while some studios explicitly ask students not to wear fragrance, there is an implied understanding to go easy on heavily scented skin products or perfume
  • Bring your phone - leave your phone outside the studio. Even with the ringer off, if it vibrates or lights up, that can be disruptive. And come on, you're not that busy. In fact, Canadian yoga studio YYoga (across Vancouver and new to Toronto) polled its instructors and the issues of bringing cell phones to class was ubiquitously agreed as the most annoying no-no in yoga. So much so, a post on YYoga's site is devoted to it.
  • Laugh or judge - anyone new to practising yoga is often self conscious their first few classes. Don't perpetuate an environment that makes anyone feel uncomfortable.