Nothing disrupts the class mood like a latecomer.
(Just like when someone enters the cinema 10 minutes after the movie has started).
Emergencies aside, a little bit of planning and giving yourself enough time to travel and arrive at the studio, will make your next yoga class a lot more pleasant!
If you are a new student, arrive 15-20 minutes early.
This gives you some allowance in case you have difficulty locating the studio for the first time.
There will be some administrative work involved for new students and we may need to brief or show you around the studio. Also, isn’t it nice to give yourself that extra few minutes to settle into an unfamiliar environment?
Arriving 5-10 minutes early = On time.
You need time to sign in, play with Ah Bui (if he’s in), get changed, put your bags in the lockers, make a quick visit to the toilet, fill up your water bottle, pick your favourite mat, gather props and settle down.
Arriving on time = late.
By the time you are done with all of the above, the class has begun.
What should you do if you are late?
Check with the receptionist if you can still join the class. Most teachers at Yoga Inc do not mind you slipping in less than 5 minutes late. Do respect the studio's decision on whether it is appropriate for you to join that class. If you are denied entry to the class, please do not take it personally. You can sign up for the next available class or, come back again next time.
If you manage to join the class late, be considerate.
Do not take your own sweet time to choose a mat or walk across the room slowly to take a block/strap.
Pick a free mat that is closest to the door and make as little movement/noise as you can.
Pet-peeve 101: A lot of people see their mats as a personal space. When the class is crowded with no empty mats near the door, try not to walk across the room like a boss and step on everyone’s mat. You don’t like your bed to be stepped on by strangers, right? Same thing.
Perhaps you wonder: Why are we so rigid about punctuality?
Being punctual may not be important to you, but it should be an etiquette to observe when you join a group activity e.g.: group yoga class. Class has started and the instructor has to pause his/her instructions to attend to you. The class is put on hold. Even if it is a short hold, everyone's focus and attention got diverted, because of you.
For the latecomer, it can be challenging to settle in when you are in a rush. You would have missed the breathing exercise that helps to centre your focus. Warm-ups may have started or been done. By being late and rushing to catch up, your mind and body may not be in sync with the class momentum.
More importantly, you may feel paiseh (embarrassed) to interrupt and inform the instructor of any injury you may have.
Either way, the class experience becomes less pleasant for everyone.
"Can't you make an exception for me just this time ?"
No. We are sorry but our answer is no.
We know you have a very good reason for being late. We know you made a lot of effort to arrive at the studio. As much as we understand your frustration, we have other students to answer to. Someone in that class may have been turned away before for being late. Others may think it's ok to be late next time since we let you in. We will be opening a can of worms if we make any exception.
It's not just about you.
So please don't make things difficult for the receptionist, because nobody likes turning a customer away and she feels just as bad!
It is the mutual respect we have for one another that makes it more fun to bend together!
So next class, come early ok?
About the author
Ashley is a teacher at Yoga Inc and she occasionally uses aroma therapy oil at the end of her classes...
on smelly students. Haha!
(She uses it on everyone lah)