Respectful Practice


Now and then, it is good to take a look at ourselves (like we don’t do that enough in the mirror!) and evaluate our impact on our fellow practitioners. Do I have a respectful practice? Am I aware of my impact on my yoga neighbor in the hot room, lobby and locker room? What can I do to ensure that my practice is respectful of the studio and my yoga family? Here are a few reminders to get you thinking. As we review these guidelines for a respectful practice, also keep in mind that everyone has a bad day — late, distracted, emotional, stressed. We all live in glass houses. Let’s set our own intentions, while never judging others. Maybe that late/loud/distracting student needs one of your smiles today.

Time is valuable and should be respected. If I am late, or take too long in the shower, I impact many others. Below are some time guidelines. We all know that life happens and we run late sometimes. That is OKAY! Let’s just set intentions with these things in mind:

**The studio opens 30 minutes before class time (on the hour), and closes 30 minutes after class ends, even if another class is starting. Please arrive and depart within those times. We need to lock the front door during class, and prepare the studio for the next class. A teacher will be in the studio prior to opening time, and after closing time, in order to keep the studio fresh, clean and stocked for the next class (floors, laundry, locker rooms, drinks).
**Try to arrive, at the very latest, 5 minutes before class time. If people arrive late, the teacher trying to start class and all the students who arrived on time are effected.
**Shower time is 3 minutes. Try to get in, get out. Please dress in the bench area, not the small shower room. Others are waiting for an open shower.

You have probably heard, “eventually, stillness in the posture; stillness out of the posture.” The room should be as quiet, calm and still as possible; a meditative environment. This is a lofty goal, indeed, but we do have some really amazing examples of this: Kevin Archer, Holly Wilson, Carolyn Murray, Karen Burgess, Lafayette Stephens, Sue Harnett, Lilly Wilkins, Christie DuBose, Tracey Cangelosi and others— wow, you guys set the bar high.

**Get everything you need before classes starts, including drinks and tissues. That way, there is no need to walk around the room to retrieve items. Commit to staying on your mat. Hand towels should not be used during class.
**Place the center of your mat on the line . This fits everyone comfortably in the room, allows personal space, and adds to the balanced, peaceful feel of the room.
**Whisper voices only before class starts.
**Silence after class.
**No talking, gum, or phones, coolers or TVs.
**Avoid extra movements between postures. Keep water bottle close to your mat for minimal movement.
**If you absolutely must leave the room, leave and re-enter on the word “change.” Try not to move around during postures.
**Minimize sound. Our bodies naturally make noises we cannot help. Just be aware of yourself enough to prevent the preventable, unnecessary ones: loud exhales, yawns, sighs or humming sounds. We all need to cough or blow our nose sometimes, or we have a clumsy moment with our water bottle, but aim to make sounds only during the breathing exercises and sit-ups.
**Be silent in final Savasana and stay for the 2 minutes. It is such an important part of class. No talking in the hot room after class. Use podium towels to wipe up your area, and gather your towel and water as quietly as possible.
**Practice ONLY the Bikram postures being taught. If you need to modify for an injury or other reason, please let the teacher know before class, and set up on the back row. This prevents new students from being confused by modifications, and prevents distractions in general. Non-Bikram postures can be practiced before or after class (after a respectful period of Savasana).
**HYGENE. Place used tissues on top of your mat — not on the floor.
**Use podium towels to wipe up wet areas after your practice.

Okay, after having said ALL that, we really mean it when we say, “just do what you can do, today … every day is different.” No one is going to get upset if you run late once in a while or forget to get tissues before class and then have a sneezing attack. We love you anyway and we are so happy that you share your amazing selves with us in the beloved hot room.