Bikram Yoga Etiquette

  • Arrive on time: If you’re not sure when class begins, check the schedule online. Aim to be in the studio at least 15 minutes before your class starts.
  • Lock it up: Don’t bring your stuff with you into the yoga room. Cubbies and lockers ($0.25 each for the latter) are provided in both men’s and ladies’ change rooms.
  • Mind the line: Be mindful of the lineup that forms outside the room before a busy class. Cutting isn’t cool.
  • Yield to yogis: Give the last class some time (five minutes at least) to enjoy final savasana. When it’s time to enter the room, yield to those who are coming out of class.
  • Remove your shoes: Taking off your outside footwear isn’t just hygienic, it also shows respect for the place where you’ll be practising yoga.
  • Tread carefully: Try to walk around – not over/across – other people/mats in the yoga room.
  • Quiet in the yoga room: Not only is talking a no-no, you should enter and leave the hot room like a ghost – or a whisper. This includes unrolling your mat in relative silence (save that whipping trick for later) and doing the same when you’re packing up at the end of class. And no talking during class, of course! If you have a question for the teacher, try to wait until after class to ask.
  • Spit out your gum: Gum and yoga don’t really mix well. Imagine doing a backward bend with gum in your mouth: it could require the Heimlich.
  • Things that ring: Cellphones should be left in the changing room; there’s nothing more jarring than the sound of a phone ringing during savasana. If you absolutely need to have your phone with you in class, turn it to silent/vibrate and tell the teacher that you may need to take a call.
  • Watch yourself: If you wear a watch (though this should generally be left in your locker, as well), make sure it’s not programmed to beep on the hour (especially disconcerting in, say, a 7:45 p.m. class).
  • Make space: With Bikram Yoga growing in popularity, many of our classes are full. When setting up your mat, try to maximize your use of the space in the room. If you can, be sure to set up in such a way that the person behind you will be able to see him/herself in the mirror (staggered works well). During class, try to practice within the confines of your mat.
  • Have good scents: Odours of all kinds are especially noticeable in the hot room. Cologne, perfumes and scented lotions shouldn’t be worn to class. Also, the scent of certain spicy foods tends to leak back out through your pores when you sweat; best not to eat these before class. (Tip: In general eating a heavy meal 1.5 hours is not recommended. Bikram Yoga is best done on an empty stomach. If you need to eat something, stick to a light snack like fruit.)
  • Tissue issues: Tissue is provided in the yoga room, but please be sure to take any that you use with you when you leave. Also, a good place to store tissue during class is between your mat and towel; placing it on the floor could spread germs.
  • Stay in the room: If you have to leave, wait until there’s a break between postures. Also, let the teacher know where you’re going.
  • Shower in two: Please keep your shower to two minutes or less. This is particularly important after a busy class.
  • Let it go: This is the most important piece of Bikram Yoga etiquette. If someone breaks one of these rules, or does something that annoys, distracts or angers you, don’t let it steal your peace. If you do, you’re the one who’s losing out in the end.
Got any more points of yoga etiquette to share? Leave a comment below this post!

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