Yoga Etiquette Explained

Yoga Etiquette Explained

If you’re thinking about starting yoga but are not too sure about what’s acceptable, then you need to keep reading.

Not all yoga studios explain the expected etiquette and there are some things that you should know going in to a class. Just like with, knowing the rules first makes for a better experience.

Respect Everyone’s Space

Sometimes a studio can be very full and you’ll be in close quarters with other people, with your mats almost touching. If this happens, or even if it is not the case, respect those around you, and stay out of their personal space. Be mindful where you put your towel and water bottle, as you don’t want them to be knocked over or get in the way, check in with those close to you when you lift your arms for Sun Salutations and ensure you don’t bash into them, and never spread yourself on their mat, rather shift yourself mid pose to stay in your spot.

Stay Silent

Some studios don’t mind everyone talking before a class, but if you go in and its silent, don’t start up a conversation. The start of a class is often when people lie quietly and meditate, or try and clear their mind from the day they’ve had. During the class you should be silent too, and if the instructor asks you anything or is helping you get into a pose, whisper quietly and cause as little disruption as possible. At the end of the class when everyone is in savasana, be quiet and still. It’s not called corpse pose for nothing! When you get up to leave, do quietly and with as little disturbance as possible.

Don’t Stare

If your Crow or Pigeon is not quite happening yet, or you fall over in Birds of Paradise that’s fine. Yoga is all about time and practice, and even getting half in to a pose is better than not doing anything at all. However, if you are simply unable to do anything or see someone doing something really well, avoid staring at them. If they catch your eye it can be incredibly distracting and throw them off. Keep your eyes on your mat, unless you re watching the instructor or subtly seeing what others are doing.


A large part of yoga is breathing, and whether you are doing pranayama deep breathing exercises or simply breathing through your nose during a pose, keep it gentle. You don’t want to huff and puff through a class and make everyone else uncomfortable, yes you are encouraged to breathe, but if you sound a bit over the top, reign it in!

Stay In The Studio

Yoga can push your buttons, especially if it’s a heated Bikram or Vinyasa class. However, its accepted etiquette that if need a rest or feeling a bit off, then you try and stay in the room and simply adopt Childs Pose or Savasana until you feel better.  Leaving the room can be very disruptive, so wherever possible stay put, even if you simply lie still for the whole class.

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