Etiquette 101

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, one well known health club chain made the statement that they have more new joins in September than in January.  So what better opportunity that now to review some basic etiquette in both the weight room and yoga studio.  

Having been in the health industry for over 15 years, some of following still hold true from when I began my career and maybe a few new ones as societal norms have shifted.


  • PICK THEM UP, PUT THEM DOWN, RE-RACK- If you are strong enough to pick up a 45lb plate, place it on the bar, lift through the exercise, then you strong enough to re-rack the weights.
  • WIPE YOUR SWEAT- Most gyms offer towel service.  Use them.
  • PROPER FOOTWEAR- I am all for barefoot training when appropriate.  But ditch the flip flops.
  • DISCONNECT- Cell phones are ubiquitous.  No one is impressed while you walk through the fitness area pretending to be on an important call.
  • GIVE OTHERS SPACE- Leave room for others to approach the dumbbell rack without fear of knocking you over.  Step away and give others space.
  • SHARE- Avoid monopolizing and allow others to work in while you take a rest.


  • THERE'S A REASON IT'S CALLED A PRACTICE- Yoga is a way.  Not a goal.
  • YOGA IS FOR EVERY BODY- There is no such thing as a yoga body.  As long as you can breathe and move, in whatever way that works for you, then it's yoga.  
  • PROPER HYGIENE- Try to come into the studio fragrance free.  Senses are heightened in the studio.
  • DITCH THE PHONE- Unless you know it's an emergency situation, leave the phone outside the studio.  It creates distraction for your own practice, those around you and for the teacher.  Use this as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself.
  • MODIFY APPROPRIATELY- I am all for one making modifications to make it more or less challenging.  But stay within the framework of the practice.  For example, if the rest of the class is in child's pose, going upside down into a headstand is outside that framework.

These are just a few of the many "rules" of etiquette.  I encourage you to use common sense.  

Have questions about etiquette?