10 Un-Zen Things People Do in a Yoga Class

March 3, 2016

10 Un-Zen Things to Do in a Yoga Class

As we move toward April Fool’s Day, I was thinking what might be a funny, satirical yoga topic. I came up with etiquette rules since many of these apply to all studios (not just in hot studios where I mostly teach). It is interesting that even though these rules seem apparent, I continue to see them breached. I hope you chuckle yet process the fuller message. Have respect for your fellow yogis and teachers. Most of these stories were blurbs collected from friends’ and colleagues’ experiences. However, one or two were first-hand experiences as well. We’re all in this together!

10 Un-Zen Things to Do in a Yoga Class:

1.   Mat slapping. As I lie in my pre-class meditation, how is it that someone can come in for the 9:45 AM class and startle me out of my zen? The mat-SLAPPer yogi can! Maybe my yoga lies in not being startled at all, and I will work on that. But, I hope the mat-SLAPPer will refrain next time too. I thought that I was dreaming of an old war movie where the horses got whipped to run faster in battle.  During practice, I will practice ahimsa as well to think thoughts that are more pure.

2. Noisy water bottle handling. The thin plastic water-bottle-crinkling yogi can equally knock me off my zen. I know I live in Seattle, and my first thought is “Is that BPA-free?” Creaky noises due to aging boards and accompanying tenants can’t be helped – they are easy to tune out and inevitable to hear especially at the beginning of your restoration. BUT the crinkling bottle? Purchase a thicker, crinkle-proof, BPA-free bottle from REI, and while you’re at it, try dissolving a Nuun tablet in your water as well so you can stay vertical during class. That will help you with #10.

3. Talking during class.  The “I’ll start to whisper and get everyone else talking, then we’ll all have to start talking louder, and hey now it’s a PARTY in here, girlfriend!” talker yogi.  I love to get to class early so that I can chillax before moving into my yoga. And, I often teach (not take) the 5:45 Happy Hour Power Hour as well as my last big jolt of the week. The lobby is huge and there is time to talk about your weeks and catch up, ladies. Also, in the locker room after class – great place to catch up.

4. Inconsiderate placement of the mat. This is the “I have the ENTIRE front row to set up but I think I’ll do it DIRECTLY in front you, Mr. Second Row” mat-laying yogi. This occurrence tends to happen during final svasana (see #5) especially if there is only fifteen minutes between classes. Guess I just have to get more time-efficient with my final resting posture or choose a spot closer to the heater. Go figure that spot is always empty.

5. Rudely pitching your purse. Respect yogis in svasana if you are coming in to take next class. This is the “I know your class ended just 4.2 seconds ago, but you’re in my spot, move it!” AKA:  The “Are you doing a double? I might respect that, otherwise, get outta my way” yogi. One time, my husband had a yogi walk into the hot room and literally throw her bag over him into the corner. Then, she asked him if he was doing a double. He was just about to get out of his svasana, but this approach was better than a Starbucks triple espresso with a lemon slice, he felt.

6. Bleeding.  Try not to shave your legs right before class especially if the class is hot. A fellow teacher had a student once cut her ankle shaving right before class.  The wound opened up from the heat and bled all over the place.  My colleague had to hand her tissues and step out of the hot room twice to get band aids. We are all first aid trained in bandaging but better to shave night before.

7. Eating in the studio.  Another colleague witnessed a yogi eating a cucumber right on her mat before class! The teacher thought “this must not be real, I must be too hot and seeing weird things.” But turns out she wasn’t. The yogi was MUNCHING ON HER CUCUMBER! Kudos for healthy choices. Maybe eat in the car on the way to the studio?

8. Using the Bathroom during class. No “ins” and “outs.” Period.

9. Sharing your smell with the class–in one way or another.  No, this is not what you think – but that too. Don’t eat garlic before you come to class – As you detox, the fellow yogis around you are bound to smell last night’s aglio e olio from your favorite Italian family restaurant. Perhaps, you are better off sticking with Ayurvedic kitchari. (Great recipe below.) Similarly, perfume, strong-scented lotions, hair products – Burt’s Bees brand is your friend as is The Body Shop’s natural products or even certain lines Sephora carries like Origins or Ren. Not to be mistaken with Bath and Body.

10. Straying from the class rhythm. Touched on in #2. You can feed off the energy of others in the class, and that’s a huge part of staying as a unit. You can become bolstered by the energy of fellow yogis and we, as teachers, have prepared sequences that prepare to open up a part of the body intentionally. Help your fellow yogi thrive as a visual cue yourself and try not to do your own thing unless cued to do so. Flow is so much fun with many!

So there you have it. You will make more friends at your yoga studio remembering that kapha energy at least in the beginning and ending of class can be most welcomed.



1/2 cup of dry green mung beans

1/2 cup of dry mung dal (split yellow)

1 cup high-quality Indian Basmati Rice (good Indian rice makes all the difference!)

4-6 cups water (more water will make it soupier)

6-7 cups assorted vegetables (My favorite fall veggies in this recipe include: yam, carrots, zucchini, and cilantro to garnish)

2-3 tablespoons coconut oil.

2-inch piece of fresh Ginger Root, minced

1 tablespoon Turmeric

1 tablespoon Cumin (I add a little more cumin.  I love the grounding, earthy flavor of it.)

1 tablespoon Black Mustard seeds

1 tablespoon Fennel seeds

1 tablespoon Mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander

1/2 teaspoon fresh Cracked Pepper

1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (or regular sea salt)

1 Stick of Kombu (seaweed)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Puttin’ it Together

Prep Ahead: Wash the mung beans and soak them in water overnight for 4-8 hours (this helps with digestion)

In a large skillet or wok, melt the Ghee (or coconut oil) until it’s in liquid form

Add seeds to the Ghee and saute until you hear the seeds pop.

Quickly add the spices, ginger, rice, and beans to the mix. Coat the rice and beans with the spices and seeds (important to do all these steps fairly quickly, so you don’t burn the spices)

Slowly add in the water

Add the vegetables and lightly stir all the ingredients

Bring water to a boil

Lower heat, cover and cook for another 45 to 60 minutes

Stir in the salt at the very end*

This recipe makes 4-6 servings. Melt a little more coconut oil over the top and garnish with cilantro

* Some people say that adding the salt when the beans are still uncooked makes them harder to digest. They recommend adding the salt after the beans have been cooked.

Also by Jacqueline: How to Unblock the Sixth Chakra and Rediscover Your Intuition

Related: Get the Most out of Barre: Pure Barre Tips from a Teacher

What Your Yoga Teacher Wishes You Knew–Get the Most out of Yoga Class

Get more like thissign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!

Photo: Rob Bertholf via Flickr

Jacqueline Quattrocchi is a Seattle transplant who grew up in NY. After years in the IT field, Jackie made a career change to become a full-time yoga instructor, a result of 14 years of Iyengar, Bikram, and Vinyasa practice. Jackie brings a wealth of versatility, adaptability and experience to her yoga students; her insight transfers both to their lives on and off their mats. Jackie has had the ability to build on her Journalism roots and write content about many professional areas. Currently, this background has resulted into writing for wellness/health and more general assignment topics. Jackie owns and operates MyAsana2Go.com, a wellness program geared toward bringing yoga into companies for employee health. With two 200-hr training Yoga Alliance-recognized training Hatha Fusion(200 RYT) and in Power Vinyasa (200 RYT), Jackie enjoys her teaching career at Hot Yoga Experience in Sammamish, WA. She is the owner of EEC, LLC - an editorial consulting firm, and as a mother and wife, activity plays an enormous part in her family's life. She enjoys backpacking, rock climbing and cycling with her family.


always stay inspired!