All yogis know and have experienced how amazingly transformative the practice of yoga can be. Doing yoga isn’t just about the time we spend on the mat; it’s really a whole lifestyle. As yogis, we have a responsibility to lead by example and inspire others to also live a yoga lifestyle centered on compassion, open mindedness, and love. To do this, we should always keep in mind a few rules to follow in our practice and in teaching the practice to others.
Here are 26 rules all yogis should follow in their yoga practice.
1. Yoga is more about what you do off the mat than on the mat. If you haven’t realized that yet, you’re not yet a yogi.
2. Yoga is not about how flexible your body is. It’s about obtaining a flexible mind.
3. Never skip savasana. Ever.
4. If you ever say, “That’s not yoga,” then you’re being a close-minded asshole. See rule number 1.
5. Don’t bring your cell phone into class. Please leave that sh*t at the door (on silent).
6. Your 200hr YTT doesn’t make you a yoga teacher. Only teaching yoga can do that.
7. Going to India doesn’t make you enlightened. Only practice does that.
8. When your teacher tries to start class, please stop talking. Even if you’re in the back. Everyone can still hear you.
9. Practicing on a $100 mat doesn’t make you better than the person next to you. Practicing on a hand-me-down mat doesn’t either. Stop judging people for their haves or have-nots. We’re all in this to be healthier, happier individuals so that we can be a happier, healthier whole.
10. If you practice yoga to be cool, everyone can tell. And that’s not cool.
11. You don’t have to be vegan to practice yoga. That’s just silly – yoga is for everybody.
12. Know where yoga comes from and what it means. Hint: It didn’t come from lululemon.
13. Posting yoga photos on social media isn’t a bad thing. Just don’t let it become how you define your yoga practice.
14. Your yoga teacher is human. So what if they forgot side two? They make mistakes just like the rest of us – get over it.
15. Stop condemning other forms of yoga. One yogi’s joy in SUP Yoga is the same as another yogi’s reverence for Ashtanga.
16. Don’t be a level 10 spiritual yogi in the yoga studio and then an asshole as soon as you’re in the “real world.” See rule 1.
17. Please stop putting your mat directly behind or directly in front of another person’s mat. It’s rude, distracting, and unless you’re in a jam-packed class, completely unnecessary.
18. Get to class early. Don’t be the one who notoriously shows up to class 5 minutes late – there’s no such thing as ‘fashionably late’ in yoga.
19. Meditate every day. Yoga is more than asana. See rule 3.
20. Make your practice priority. You know you’re a better human with a regular practice, and everyone else you interact with will thank you too.
21. Practice self-love with mantras like “I am enough.” Say “no” to sh*t you hate. Say “yes” to things that make you shine from within.
22. Try yoga classes that aren’t within your typical “style.” Vinyasa junkie? Try Ashtanga. Power yoga more your jam? Give Yin a try.
23. Check your judgemental attitude at the door. No one believes you’re being a jerk “out of love.”
24. Get uncomfortable.
25. When you get uncomfortable, breathe and remember that everything is temporary.
26. LIVE your namaste.