Why do we take a nap at the end? Answers to your questions about about yoga etiquette
If you’re new to yoga, or just new to our studio (hey, everyone is new to our studio at the moment!), it can feel a little disconcerting if you don’t know the ropes. Our goal is to have a place to practice together where everyone can feel comfortable, so here are a few tips that may help you to feel like a seasoned yogi in no time!
Do I have to take off my shoes?
Traditionally, yoga is practiced barefoot. Practicing barefoot makes it easier for you to spread out your feet and build some strength and balance in the feet and ankles. Since everyone is barefoot, we try to keep the floor clean, so we ask that you stay on or around the rugs while your shoes are on, and leave your shoes in the cubbies when you walk in to set up your mat to practice. That being said, if you really feel you need shoes for some reason, talk to your instructor about it and practice in your shoes!
I’m not flexible - can I do yoga? What do I need to do to prepare?
If you’re not flexible, then you are perfect for yoga! Yoga practice helps us to build flexibility and strength - all of us are strong in some ways, flexible in some ways. We’re here to help you increase your flexibility and your strength, so don’t let those imagined weaknesses hold you back. You don’t need to do anything to prepare for class, although in general it is better not to practice yoga on a full stomach - so it is a good idea not to eat a big meal right before class.
What if I’m late? What if I have to leave early?
Of course we would love it if everyone could come right on time and stay until the end, but that’s not always how our lives work out. If you need to come into class late, by all means do! But since you’ll be walking into a class that is already going, we’d ask that you try to be quiet as you take off shoes, grab your props, and find a place to lay out your mat. If you know you’ll have to leave early, let your instructor know ahead of time so she or he can let you know when you should finish up your postures and settle down on the mat for Savasana.
About Savasana - why do we take a nap at the end?
The final pose of a yoga practice is called Savasana (Sha-vah-sah-na), which in Sanskrit means “corpse pose.” It is an important part of the practice (some of us would say it’s the most important part of the asana practice!); it’s a time for your body to be still after all the stretching and breathing. It’s almost like hitting a ‘reset’ button, and for a lot of us, it’s one of the few times in the day when we are still and quiet without sleeping (so, it’s not really supposed to be a nap!) For that reason, if you need to leave early, you’ll want to take a couple of minutes to lie still before you leave. And importantly, we ask that you not leave class once Savasana has begun, so that we can be still and quiet together. Trust us, after the first couple of practices, Savasana will be your favorite pose!
If you have any questions about your class, or the poses, or just want to know why we do what we do in practice, ask your instructor! We are all happy to share yoga with you, and are thrilled to answer any questions you have.
Casey and Katelyn