Modern Etiquette: Taking your manners to the yoga mat

Aug 15, 2011, 1:54 a.m.

8. Breathing too loud Uijayi pranayam (ocean-sounding, or victorious breath) is a wonderful practice, even if you have not been invited by the teacher to use it. However, it can be distracting to others. It was never meant to be heard from coast to coast, or even across the room. Properly performed, it should be audible only as far as the next mat over. And please, no grunting; if the pose is too strenuous for you, simply back off and pause in Prayer or Child pose.

9. Thank your teacher Simply repeat Namaste after she says it at the end of class, even if you are a bit unsure of exactly what it means. And perhaps you might take a moment to expand upon the sentiment by saying a bit more about how great the class was, etc. Teachers love to get feedback. Constructive criticism and/or suggestions also should be welcomed.

10. Clean up That means wiping off your mat, especially if you are using one that belongs to the facility. Put away your props, too-- neatly. Be like a Boy Scout and leave the place a little better than you found it.

(Created by Paul Casciato)

(Mary Mitchell has written several books on the subject of etiquette, including “The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette” and “Class Acts.” She is also the founder of executive training consultancy The Mitchell Organization with the website http://www.themitchell.org. The opinions expressed are her own.)

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