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Yoga Etiquette – Late to Yoga; Again?

Life is busy! I understand and I hear it often. Especially when we defend our lateness. Sooooo, a little bit about my background. Mom taught me arriving on-time is late. She was a bit extreme but now as a grown up I am so grateful I allowed her to give me a deep respect for punctuality.

I am finding more of us being really busy and not having “enough time.” My heart truly goes out to each and everyone one of you that were not given the same amount of time as me and others. What bad luck and frankly it’s not fair that you got less time. OK, you get my point. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. What we do with it is all about priorities not about chance. Ouch! Yup, it’s up to us to set our priorities and hold space (and time) for the things that matter to us.

Before I get a load of responses let me be clear. I am talking about folks that are chronically late. I’m not talking about one off moments where an entire road is shut down. Or your child pukes all over you on the way out. Or you have mechanical failure. This is for the folks that are always 15 minutes late to everything or are always on time for some things and routinely late for their practice.

Asteya is the yama translated as “nonstealing.” Most of us are not thieves in the typical sense, but upon closer look, you might find small but significant ways that you steal from yourself in your yoga practice. When we are running late we:

  1. Steal our calmness because we are rushing while we try to bend time and space to arrive there. Just in time.
  2. Steal our joy of the entire process of the practice. Rushing around before, on our way and as we fumble in the studio to sign in and set up isn’t fun. I personally don’t see it as joyful but that’s just me.
  3. Steal our safety. When drive rushed and stressed, we increase the potential of making poor driving choices.
  4. Steal the peace of others. When we arrive at a class late we change the dynamic that’s been set up in the room. If mats need to be moved once the practice has begun, we’re stealing that moment of time away from the kind person that moved their mat for you. It might not mean a lot to the person that arrived late but to the person that arrived REALLY early it’s frankly annoying and yes stealing from them.