Hey you, yeah, you – the creepy breather – knock it off that is not ujjayi breath, you’re just being a weirdo.

There are certain things that are going to happen in any yoga class.  Maybe someone’s butt is in your face in wide legged forward bend.  Maybe someone in the corner let a toot loose.  Maybe someone by the door has to sneak out early – those things (while they may prompt a giggle or flare up of irritation) are fine. But as far as I’m concerned there are certain things that I could live without in the yoga room.

1) Whispering: Dear god, if you have something to say, just say it.  The hushed chattering from the corner from two young ladies, or better still, two full grown men, isn’t necessary. It’s distracting. I don’t like whispering in my day to day and I can certainly do without it in my yoga class.  I’m not saying the yoga room has to be treated like a Sunday church session, quite the opposite; I’m just saying if you have something so important to say to your friend, just say it out loud.  If you so desperately need to say something at that exact moment in downward facing dog – it must be interesting. So share, share that’s fair.

2) Staring: I was once in a class where the gentleman next to me kept looking over at me for extended periods of time.  Hey, guy, what’s up?  Sure, if you get lost you may need to sneak a look at someone near by or if someone has a great practice you can’t help but snag a glance, but this is yoga, not a staring contest. Typically you look forward, if not inward!

3) Enough with the dirty looks: Ok, gang, so someone brought their cell phone into class or someone has to leave early. Move on. The yoga studio isn’t a place for you to make people feel stressed out about having a life outside the yoga room.  Sure if you notice Chatty Kathy always texting from her mat, it can be irritating, but is she really bothering you that much?  Easy solution: Get a spot on the other side of the room.  You don’t know her circumstances, maybe she’s an on-call emergency room doctor – and call me crazy but I would rather my emergency room doc have made it to her yoga class before cutting me open. Ditch the judgement, folks!

4) Keep your ujjayi authentic: So anyone who doesn’t practice yoga may walk into the room half way through class and wonder “Why is this room full of heavy breathers?”  But even after your first yoga class you’ll know it’s just ujjayi breath (which offers awesome benefits like warming up the body and increasing circulation). BUT ujjayi breath is none of the following: an excuse to mouth breathe on your neighbor (it should be through your nose); an invitation to creep out the person next to you (the rule of thumb is not the louder the better); a competition (look within, peeps). If your ujjayi breath has started offending your neighbors or the chick two rows over, you’re taking it a little far.  Follow your breath, don’t weird people out with it.

5) Fear: No matter where you are in your practice – don’t be afraid of it.  Whether you’re working yourself into crow or handstand to crow, don’t be scared.  The yoga room, the yoga mat for that matter, is a place for two things: calm and courage! You’ll never know if you can nail a pose if you don’t try. So flag down the teacher, pull yourself up to a wall and go for it!

Stay tuned for more tips!

Heather C