Yoga Mat Etiquette

By Evgenia Profi

Yoga Mat Etiquette

Is there a Yoga Mat Etiquette?

Yes, there is! Not only due to Western politeness, but also due to Indian culture.

This post is about Yoga Mat Etiquette. We discuss why it’s best not to touch somebody else’s mat with your feet, and all things relevant.

Understanding Yoga Etiquette

Etiquette defines accepted social behavior in any setting. It outlines proper conduct as established in any class or community or occasion. Understanding Yoga Etiquette will help you feel more comfortable whether in a studio, a workshop, or a retreat. Most of the etiquette guidelines are simply common sense and courtesy, but certain manners are specific to yoga classes. Silence, awareness, and respect to the teacher and other students ensure that the yoga experience will be positive and stress-free for all.

Let’s treat others with intimacy and respect

With all the chaos around us, we clearly need yoga more than ever before. I am far from reaching enlightenment, but I believe that showing the utmost respect to all around us will come to serve us and elevate our world.

The Basic Rules of Yoga Mat Etiquette

1. Always take off your shoes

Yoga is practiced with bare feet, so make sure to follow the Yoga Studio guidelines and leave your shoes in the designated area. You are not only contributing to tidiness and cleanliness, but you are also demonstrating respect for the common spiritual place.

2. Acknowledge everybody’s space

As always be polite and respectful. When the class is packed, help newcomers find their space. Make room for them if you can and avoid wedging your mat. If the class area is spacious, it is good manners to place mats so that all students can see the teacher and the mirror. Leave the person next to you plenty of personal space. I am sure you would appreciate the same courtesy.

3. Never walk on others’ mats

This might sound quite basic, but unfortunately, I see it happen quite often. And it is simply not polite. Show respect and avoid stepping on neighboring mats. If you can do your Yoga poses, you can walk over a mat.

4. Mind your hygiene

Using a clean mat and towel goes without saying. Personal hygiene is one of those things we all take for granted. Just saying … Basic grooming is essential when we meet our tribe. I would also like to take this opportunity and discuss the other end of the spectrum. Please avoid excessive use of perfumes in class. This can be a nuisance for others. Clean and tidy are the words to keep in mind.

5. Keep your mat clean

After class, make sure to wipe off your mat and put it in its place. If you are borrowing a mat from the studio, this is even more important. Make sure to return it in their designated area and leave your space better than you found it. This is the best way to show respect to the studio and your classmates.

So, there is a Yoga Mat Etiquette?

Yes, there is. Yoga manners are just an extension of the general good manners in our daily lives and basically require common sense. A Yoga Studio is still a public place where people share a space.

Moreover, unlike other workouts, yoga is spiritual. It combines the strength of body and mind and is designed to keep both balanced. Show gratitude to the teacher and honor the practice by spreading a sense of peace and awareness to others.

Following etiquette only serves to make the experience pleasing and help all students feel a great sense of invigoration, peace, relaxation, and inspiration after class. Don’t forget to demonstrate your respect for the Divine and the ordinary, and your respect for the people around you. Invading their space in any way is simply not polite.

Yoga Mat Etiquette can help you, and your fellow students achieve Ananda – bliss!

Namaste. Honor the divinity in all.