Etiquette Reminders for 2018

Be mindful of the your punctuality
As instructors, we work hard to respect our clients’ schedules by starting and ending class on time. Arriving late can disrupt the focus of both participants and teachers. However, we do realize that trains run late and things happen. With this in mind, our studio policy is that if there is ample space in the room, you may enter in between postures up until the end of the second set of pranayama breathing (in a Bikram Method class) and within 7 minutes of start time in any of our other classes.  If the class is full and would require for people to re-adjust their mats, you may be asked to come for another class.  Please keep in mind that this is also for your own benefit.  If you arrive too late for class it can also be unsafe for you, as the rest of the class may be moving into postures/exercises that your body is not warmed up for yet.  

Leaving class early
We understand that there are times when you may need to leave class early, whether to jump in the shower to get ready for work or run off to a meeting.  If you know you need to leave class early, please let the instructor know before the class begins and try your best to set up near the door for easy exit.  We also highly recommend that you allow yourself 2 minutes of savasana before you leave.  This final relaxation is an important part of the class where your body is able to reap all the benefits of the class and we would hate for you to miss out!

Personal hygiene
At bodē nyc we sweat and breathe together in a heated room. Out of respect for each other, be mindful of your own odors. Wear clean yoga clothes, refrain from using heavy cologne, lotions or perfumes, keep your breath fresh, and feet and toenails clean and properly maintained. At the end of class, take a moment to wipe down any sweat from the floor around you.  If you are an extra heavy sweater, please rent an extra towel at the front desk or bring your own.  We provide large kulae yoga towels and shower towels for each client, but some people may need one more to make sure they leave their spot dry when leaving class.  Your fellow practitioners will be very thankful.

Respect each other’s space
Please do your best to place your mat in a neat row to make space for other yogis behind and in front of you. If you’re in a busy class, consider making room for others walking in. We have set capacity levels at each studio and we want to make sure there is room for everyone in a well spaced-out manner.  Be mindful about your belongings around your mat, especially your water bottle, making sure it is not blocking someone’s vision in the mirror when practicing floor postures/exercises.

Keep the Studio a Peaceful Place
Many people think of the studio as an escape from the hectic city we live in.  It’s a space for quiet and relaxation.  While we do allow talking in the studio before class begins, please keep it to a low volume for those wishing to relax and even meditate. Please keep all cell phones or any electronics in your locker.  In final relaxation at the end of classes, please avoid talking until you are outside of the studio space.  Fold your mat and towel up neatly to avoid sweat landing on other’s still in savasana and walk softly out of the room.  This might be the only time of the day that many people have silence and tranquility and we want them to enjoy it completely!

Other Etiquette Tips 

SHOES – Please remove your shoes when you arrive in the lobby and place them in the cubbies or shelves. We also have flip-flops at the front desk if you would like. a pair.

SICK – if you are not feeling well, take some time for your body to recover and avoid taking class. Not only does your body probably need the rest, but we want to avoid spreading anything to our fellow practitioners.

GUM – please avoid chewing gum in class. With inversions and other postures/exercises, it can be unsafe to have gum in your mouth.

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To Wipe Or Not To Wipe

Shari Eberts is a dedicated student, and regular practitioner, at Bikram Yoga NYC.

To wipe or not to wipe, that is the question. Now, don’t panic, I am talking about sweat! In Bikram yoga class! Sheesh. I am a closet wiper, but only on my face at a few key moments in class, otherwise I leave the sweat alone, letting it do its job to cool my body naturally, which is the recommended method. I would prefer to leave the sweat alone on my face as well, but sometimes self-care take precedence.

It’s hard to argue with the science of it. Sweat is the body’s primary method of cooling off in warm environments, but in order for the cooling effect to work, the water must evaporate. If it drips off or if you wipe it off, you will not benefit from the cooling action of the evaporation. I also enjoy the feel of the sweat on my body during class. It helps lubricate things when trying to wrap my leg in Eagle pose and gives me a visible sign of my hard work as the sweat drips from my fingertips between standing series postures. I even like the occasional drip of sweat on my lips, which lets me sneak a tiny sip of water (read “sweat”) before party time. The level of saltiness gives me a sense of how healthily I have eaten or not in the past few days.

Despite all that, I do dry my eyes and ears a couple of times during class. Teachers ask us to push ourselves, but only to the point that it is productive. If you can, you must, but if you have lost control of your breath, it is time to back out of a posture a little bit. Or if you are dizzy, it probably makes sense to sit out a posture or two. Self-care during class is important and that is why I wipe the sweat on my face. Let me explain.

I wear contact lenses and not only does the sweat sting my eyes, it can sometimes dislodge a lens. I would rather keep the sweat out of my eyes than be distracted by a roving contact lens during class. And I wear hearing aids deep inside my ears. I need to keep these as dry as possible so they don’t short out. That would make it hard for me to hear the dialogue during class, let alone all the other important sounds I need to hear throughout the day once class is over. I just can’t risk it.

Yoga isn’t perfect, and neither is my practice, but maybe that is what keeps me coming back. In so many ways, yoga is like life, and I believe in both, it is only through self-care that we can stay safe and grounded, while we continue to push ourselves forward, to enjoy, and to grow.

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Pro Tips: Are you a heavy sweater?

We all sweat in class, but let’s face it, some of us sweat a lot more than others.

To understand sweating, we should first understand why humans naturally sweat. Your body contains about two to five million sweat glands embedded into your skin and located all over your body. These glands secrete different amounts of sweat depending on your physiological characteristics. For example, it’s well known that men’s sweat glands tend to secrete more sweat than women’s. But besides that, how much you sweat depends on some other things, too, like the temperature of the place you’re in, how hard you’re exercising, your level of anxiety and your weight. These are all natural differences in the human body. Our bodies, which are inherently different, react to temperature or exercise in different ways.[1]

With that out of the way, what are some of the ways you can be respectful to others, and the studio, while creating a small lake under your feet?

  • In Eagle pose, after bringing your arms above your head, bring them down slowly as you cross them and put your palms together. This will prevent you from splattering your neighbors from the sweat dripping down your arms as you spin them into place.
  • Keep all your towels on your mat, including your hand towel. Sometimes in full classes, students’ mats end up close to one another, be respectful to your neighbor by keeping your sweaty towels squarely on your mat.
  • After class, fold your towels into the center of your mat and use the mat to transport your wet towels directly to the used towels bin to prevent dripping on the flooring or any other students on your way out.

[1] Medical Daily

How to get your sweaty towels in the bin without dripping