All good yogis know to arrive ten minutes early to class. But we are given no instructions on what to do once we are on our mats waiting for class to begin.
Looking around on your mat, you may see a few students stretching in preparation for upcoming stretching. You may wonder, is this overkill? Aren’t we just about to stretch?
Or you may see students chatting it up. You may wonder, “Should I also try to join this noble conversation about traffic and last week?”
You may see students intermittently meditating for a moment and then also looking around. Will you also appear pretentious and A.D.D if you present the façade of meditation? Probably.
What if you choose behavior that will disrupt the pre-class calmness and affect the tone of the entire class?
Below is a list of 10 simple pre-yoga class activities to alleviate awkwardness and help the teacher.
- Find the teacher and talk to him or her about your issues related to your body and anything else. Teachers like to feel needed. Also, request music and poses. Even if you don’t like music or poses. Teachers like to feel that they are able to coddle their students.
- Build a miniature fortress around your yoga mat using props. Get a few blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, head standers, water bottles, bags or purses, shawl and savasana clothes such as sweatpants and fleece jacket. After you build the fortress, start defending it!
- If you think anyone – especially a prospective soul mate – appears unsure of what to be doing, or is attractive to you, strike up a conversation. You are actually helping the teacher by easing the students into a comfortable mood.
- Trim toenails. By trimming your toenails in front of the rest of the class, you are showing us that you feel completely at home in your yoga studio. This relaxed attitude will have an infectious appeal on your fellow classmates. Make sure not to collect even one of your errant toenails, or you have set the bar too high, and will be expected to collect all the toenails, yours and otherwise.
- Eat tuna. One of the most regular students I’ve met eats a can of tuna before each vigorous Ashtanga class. Most students have subconscious anxiety about fully exhaling and drawing up their bhandas. By showing everyone that you can casually throw tuna into this mix, you are showing them that everyone can succeed.
- Stretch. WARNING. If you choose to stretch before the yoga class begins, you are certainly at risk of appearing competitive. However, if you have already established dominancy over your fellow students by destroying their prop fortresses, stretching is no problem. Note: Teachers don’t like it if you do warm-up stretches that include poses from the upcoming class. Before stretching ask the teacher which poses will be included in the proceeding lesson.
- Read a newspaper or use your phone to web surf. You have these ten minutes, and if you are interested in current events, you best use these minutes. Make it obvious that you are reading the news by quoting headlines throughout class. If the teacher or fellow classmate suddenly needs any current event information, you would be a huge asset.
- Adjust students whom are stretching. This is a good way to get to know the other students and to develop empathy for your yoga teacher. What better way to enhance your yoga experience than to learn appreciation for what your teacher does.
- Wear a Digitally-Assisted Creative Visualization Headset. With help from Digitally Assisted Creative-Visualization (DAC-V) Corporation, you will never have to succumb to the shortcomings of your dull mind. For the first time, you can be truly successful despite your lackluster upbringing and your lame goal setting.
- Meditate. Some teachers will even tell their students to meditate. But this is probably a test. They want to see if you will actually meditate in front of everyone who is not meditating. As mentioned above, the meditators will seem pompous. The best way to meditate without appearing conceited is to do it with a painful look on your face, like The Agitated Meditator.
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photo credit: lululemon, Jason Pratt, -duncan-/flickr