The benefits of yoga are endless. With a little downward dogging, you can lower your stress levels, decrease your risk of heart disease, maintain a healthy weight and so much more.
So if you’re getting your butt to yoga class every week, good for you! But if you’re texting between sun salutations, your instructor might say you’re robbing yourself of yoga’s many perks. We at The Huffington Post asked some master yoga instructors to share their pet peeves with us. Here are a few things to keep in mind during your next yoga class:
Don’t make it all about the pretty picture.
Yoga is a practice. And most of the time, it’s far from perfect. So if you’re only doing yoga for the purpose of sharing your poses with your Instagram followers, you’re missing the point. “You can still practice yoga without taking a picture of yourself,” said longtime yoga instructor Jason Crandell.
No matter how long you’ve been practicing yoga, there’s always more to learn. So when your instructor is demonstrating a pose or flow sequence, pay attention.
“I’m a visual learner and know how much can be conveyed through the body,” New York-based yoga instructor Bryn Chrisman said. “So my biggest pet peeve is when students do not pay close attention to the demonstration of an asana and/or the prop set-up. “I am amazed at how many students won’t move their bodies to closely watch the teacher’s demonstration, and how often I must ask people to come to where they can see me!”
Ditch the iPhone.
We’re plugged in to our devices all day long, and Laughing Lotus NYC founder Dana Trixie Flynn thinks using yoga class as an opportunity to leave your phone in your bag is a good move.
“A student in downward dog with their iPhone on … that’s special,” Flynn joked.
Don’t skip Shavasana.
Think you’re too busy to spend an extra two minutes relaxing, unwinding and meditating? Take a moment to reevaluate that.
“People who leave right before or during Shavasana … if you really think those 2 minutes are going to make a difference in your schedule, I’m afraid the whole point of the class didn’t sink in,” said Kathryn Budig, a yoga teacher and author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga.
Remember why you came.
Practicing yoga in a way that makes you happy is certainly important. But while in class, New York-based yoga teacher Stacey Brass-Russell prefers people to follow along.
“I think my number one pet peeve would be when a student shows up to class and just wants to do their own thing,” she said. “Making modifications for injuries is of course always a priority, but other than that I think when you choose to take a class you should be open and receptive to what the teacher is teaching and follow the instruction.”
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