Yoga Etiquette: 11 Rules We Wish All Yogis Would Follow

Stefano Tinti /

Stefano Tinti /

Yoga-class etiquette is kind of like dog-park etiquette: You don’t know it exists until you see someone do something seriously wrong. But believe me, it’s a thing. Chances are you’ve committed one of these yoga crimes during a mat-sesh, but not to worry—we’ve compiled this handy-dandy list of yoga-class no-nos so you’ll never unknowingly never piss off your mat neighbor again. If you’ve got a nagging yoga faux pas that we missed, let us know in the comments. Consider it catharsis.

1. Don’t stroll into the room 10 minutes late, like a college senior who is just sooo over going to class. No one likes that guy in college, and people really don’t like that guy when they’ve been in camel pose for two minutes.

2. Don’t hog the skylight. You probably have your favorite spot in the classroom—by a breezy window, underneath the skylight, in front of the instructor—but be flexible (ha, get it?). A Saturday morning yoga class can get pretty packed, and you don’t want to be that guy who refuses to move his mat three inches to the left because it’ll ruin his view.

3. Don’t bring your iPad, iPhone, iPod, i-ANYTHING into the room. I know you’re just dyyyying to post a Lululemon-clad mirror-selfie on Instagram because how else will anyone know that you didn’t just hang out with your cat all weekend? But don’t.

4. Don’t walk across other people’s mats to find a spot to roll yours out. Do you like another person’s sweaty feet touching your things? I didn’t think so.

5. Don’t underdress. Believe me, it is wayyy too easy to have a wardrobe mishap á la Janet Jackson at the Superbowl when you’re wearing a low-cut tank and twisting your body upside down and all the way around.

6. Don’t wear the same yoga pants for an entire week straight. Just because you’re going to ruin your clothes with sweat (again) doesn’t mean you should throw personal hygiene out the window. The person next to you will appreciate the fact that your clothes are freshly laundered.

7. Don’t talk to the person next to you about that rude thing your sister said yesterday or the funny thing your dog did this morning or about how you can’t wait to have a glass of wine. Because, NO ONE CARES. Maybe they’ll care after class, but right now they’re busy caring about not breaking their neck during headstand pose.

8. Don’t laugh at yourself, your friend or the 80-year old man wearing an American flag Speedo in the front row. Here’s why: The new girl, who has only mastered savasana thus far, might think you’re laughing at her. (Note: You should feel free to smile once in a while. Even yogis can have some fun!)

9. Don’t be a human sprinkler. Practicing yoga can get you pretty sweaty, so bring a towel. Dripping sweat all over your neighbor’s mat is kind of like peeing on a stranger’s carpet. Angry glares are sure to occur.

10. Don’t stare at that girl whose hair still looks perfect after an entire hour spent in a 90-degree room (even though it’s totally unfair and completely baffling). In fact, don’t stare at anyone. It’s just creepy.

11. Don’t rush out of class, knocking over water bottles and stepping on innocent hands, during savasana. You just spent all that time working your butt off—relaxxx.