A beginner’s yoga guide to etiquette and safety

A beginner's yoga guide to etiquette and safety

Following a few basic tips will help you begin your yoga training in a healthy and respectful way. Learn about these common courtesies before your first class.

Although yoga is a low-impact exercise that incorporates stretching and relaxation, it’s possible to injure yourself while attempting a new yoga position. Here are some things you’ll be glad to know before your first class.

Forget your pride

Start yoga in a beginners’ class to make sure that you don’t overexert yourself.

  • Even if you’re already strong from lifting weights or have excellent stamina from jogging, as a beginner yoga will test your body and mind in different ways.

Posture is everything

Yoga techniques have been re-imagined over thousands of years to blend with the natural contours, joints, and muscles of the ever-evolving human body.

  • Imitating the yoga instructor’s posture will help you avoid straining ligaments and tendons. It’ll also ensure that you exercise the correct target muscles for each pose.

Keep both your shoes and cell phone off

Taking off your shoes before a class is considered part of yoga etiquette since it often involves sitting and lying on the floor.

  • Although you use yoga mats, wearing shoes in the exercise area would spread dirt. Remove your shoes even when you practice at home, because yoga is about naturally balancing your body, and shoes can throw that off.
  • Turning off your cell phone during a yoga class has two advantages: you won’t disturb the class with the sound of a call or text message, and you won’t disrupt your own deep concentration.


Safely practicing yoga isn’t just about what you do on your mat; how you prepare before class is crucial as well.

  • Yoga is more intense than meets the eye, so as with any fitness routine, eat a substantial (but not heavy) meal two hours before you begin.
  • Bring a bottle of water with you and thoroughly hydrate yourself starting at least an hour before a yoga class.
  • Proper hydration will help prevent cramps and heat exhaustion during your workout.

Getting started

You’ve probably seen professional yogis or other experienced yoga practitioners do impossibly difficult poses and wondered how you could ever do the same.

  • If you respect the path of yoga by starting from the beginning, observing and maintaining correct posture, and preparing your body, you will soon be on your way.

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