Etiquette

Class 29 almost didn’t happen in time. I overslept and rushed to class with Kyoko crazed and dazed. Fortunately I made it in time for the first set of pranayama deep breathing. If I had missed it, I would have bee crushed. Of course, I would have gone to a later class at the expense of other plans. Thankfully I didn’t have to.

As I stood outside the class, doing the breathing exercise, I was reminded of the specific rules associated with Bikram studios and how new and sometimes long-term students forget or simply forego them. My near miss isn’t only distressing but distracting to other students. As a courtesy, get to class early to find a spot and side step the anxiety that being late gives you and you’re fellow students.m

The other day I practiced with one of my good friends and at the end of standing series, she grumbled about preferring running to Bikram and in my beaten, sweaty trance, I grunted something in response eliciting the teacher’s disapproving admonishment about not talking in class. Sometimes you can’t help an outburst or the teacher asks something requiring a response. Outside of that, contribute to the meditative state of the session by keeping your words to yourself. Savor and share your comments outside after class.

I would take no speaking even further: save your dramatic grunts anf groans. It’s distracting and disheartening. Besides your discomfort is no more important than anyone else’s. Those sounds don’t make class go faster or increase your flexibility. I would say they make it harder for you and everyone.

Last week a first-time student insisted on practicing the entire 90 minutes in socks which brings me to one of my greatest overarching courtesy you can extend to yourself, your fellow students and new students: take the time to read the studio’s rules. Every studio has them and not all are the same. They’re pretty reasonable, requesting appropriate attire, no perfume or jewelry, etc.

By reading the rules, you know how to seamlessly participate with existing studios. It saves a lot of unexpected conflict and conversation. Don’t wear socks to class, but if, you must, discuss it with the teacher beforehand who will come up with a solution for your concern.

Take it further, do your research before you begin taking Bikram and/or try a new studio. Bikram takes a lot of physical and mental strength and, most importantly, preparation. What you do when you’re not in that room can be difference between a mediocre and excellent practice. Heather Molina has some great advice at her blog, visit it here.

Tomorrow concludes my first 30 days. Cannot wait! You best believe I will be there early!

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