The yoga room is a space in which everyone should feel comfortable and welcome. So here is a quick guide to using it appropriately.
Be on time
Try to get to class with plenty of time to change and take a place in the studio. In the Bikram series, if you miss the breathing exercise then you’ve missed the crucial set up to the rest of class so don’t be surprised if the teacher turns you away. If you are just a few minutes late then find a spot in the room as quickly as possible and join straight in with Pranayama. It’s important to get the maximum opportunity to catch up so don’t worry - you can lay out your mat and towel afterwards, in between postures.
Where to put your mat
Be considered about where you lay down your mat. Make sure you don’t just plonk it directly in front of someone – think about moving it a little to the left or right so that they can see to the mirror from behind you. If you’re a beginner you want to be towards the back of the room (the mirrors and the podium are at the front) and if you’re a regular practitioner you can locate yourself nearer the front. Remember, if you do choose to practice in the front row itself then you need to make sure that you are able to stay standing throughout the standing series. This is so that newer students are able to have a visual aid to the postures and to help keep up the energy in class. Remember, students in the front row are role models for the entire class so you need to make sure that you’re experienced enough and up for the challenge!
Feet towards the back of the room
When lying down in Savasana before during and after class, it’s important that you always orientate your body so that your feet are pointing to the back of the room. We honour the yogic tradition of never pointing your feet towards the teacher.
What to wear
It’s important that you wear what’s right for you in a Bikram class. You need to be cool and comfortable. Yoga wear, sports wear, swimwear is all fine, just please no underwear.
When to drink water
There are two official water breaks in class - one after Eagle and one in between the standing and the floor series. If you must drink at other times, only take a small sip and out of respect for your fellow yogis, do so only in between postures and not whilst people around you are trying to balance. Remember though your goal in there is to breathe not to drink water. Guzzling water will only make you feel sick, lose focus and distract the people around you so don’t be surprised if the teacher tells you to move away from that water bottle!
No talking in class
There should be absolutely no talking in the studio before, during and after class. We have a lounge room for catching up with other students where you can make a cup of tea and enjoy some refreshing fruit after class. The studio is a place where people can rest after class and take full advantage of their Savasana. Equally, before class we like students to be able to have some quiet time to focus and prepare themselves for the next 90 mins.
Belongings in class
We advise students to take their valuables into class and leave them at the back of the room or adjacent to or underneath the corner of their mat. This doesn’t mean taking in big bags, shoes, books, clothes and other belongings. Everything else can be left in the changing rooms or in the cubby holes outside of the studio. You want your space around the mat to be clear of clutter. If taking in your mobile phone, remember this MUST be turned off, not just on silent. The studio is a place for students to disconnect from the world.
No shoes in the studio
Shoes should be left in the changing rooms, on the floor outside of the studio or in the cubby holes outside of the studio. This is to help keep the studio a clean and pleasant space for everyone.
Listen to the teacher and move together
It’s crucial that you listen to the teacher, no matter how long you’ve been practicing. Whether it’s your first of fiftieth class the dialogue is there to guide you, so really listen to it, every word has a purpose and is aimed at getting you through class safely. The dialogue is also there to keep everyone together. Think of it as a mantra - by moving together you will create a group energy that everyone will benefit from.
Let the teacher leave the room first
At the end of class you should take time to enjoy your Savasana. It’s your time to let the benefits of your hard work take affect. Take however long you can spare, one, five or even 10 minutes is fine. We recommend about two minutes and out of consideration for your fellow students, at least as long as it takes for the teacher to finish the class and leave the room. Listen out for the teacher saying ‘namaste’ as most will say this when the class is officially over.