Etiquette rules you really need to know before you try yoga

If you’re a life-long runner or gym rat, walking into a yoga studio for the first time can be scary.

And for true beginners, etiquette may be the best place to start (and actually, ahem, some veteran practioners could use a refresher, too).

1. Line your mat up with a neighbor’s. If you literally have no idea where to place your yoga mat in the studio, you’re definitely not stupid. “Some studios have lines on the floor delineated by tape or marker— That means you’d align the top of your yoga mat with the marker.

Otherwise, it’s the wild West. You can pretty much place your yoga mat wherever there’s enough space, but as a practice, try to align the top of your mat with your neighbor’s so that you form a row. (And if it’s crowded, don’t leave more than a foot between your mat and the one next to you, as the space is probably needed for another yogi.)

2. Avoid pre-class perfume. Even if you love it, skip your favorite scented spritz that day. “Since yoga places such a strong focus on inhalation and exhalation, a strong fragrance can really take over the room and become distracting,”

3. Don’t freak out if class feels chaotic.  Classes can get super crowded. Like, your-mats-are-overlapping-on-all-sides crowded. “Best advice? Try a simple smile toward your mat neighbor,” she says. “You might even make a friend—which will come in handy if the teacher announces that there is partner work in class.” And if that fails, close your eyes and practice that new deep breathing technique.

4. You don’t have to hold it in. When it comes to the art of the yoga class fart….With so much breath control from the diaphragm, mixed twists, and inversions—it’s simply a movement of gas, and it’s completely natural,”

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