To The People Who Leave Yoga Early

I’ve been doing yoga for six years. It is a part of me in a way that probably sounds weird to other people. It is a part of my routine, my life, my soul. It is my happy place and I have grown to not only love the health aspects of it, but the escape as well. It is my calming home, I respect my mat, and I respect the other yogis in the room. But as my practice has grown I've found that there are some things I just cannot abide. Things that just plain annoy me. Like general expectations that people ignore, and things people shouldn’t do that should just be common sense.

That is a whole other post in itself...

But there is one thing above all that breaks my heart in a class. One thing that I try to ignore but simply can't, no matter how hard I might try.

People leaving a class early.

Look, I get that we’re all busy. I understand that you’re oh so important and you have a jam-packed schedule. But so do I, and I don’t come to yoga to watch you roll up your mat as I’m sweating my a** off, or as I’m trying to relax in savasana.

My yoga is my time. My place. It is where I go to respect myself, to feel good, to unwind, and to pay my homage to my universe.

Yoga is a workout, yes that’s true. But any yogi will tell you that it is so much more than that if you let it be. Yoga is a relationship with your soul and your body. Yoga is about connecting with yourself, not just getting a good workout in. There have been classes that I have been underwhelmed by, sure. There have been teachers that didn’t quite click with me, that’s to be expected. But despite that, I have never once, nor will I ever, leave a class early. Why? Because it is rude. It is rude to not only yourself and your practice, but also to the teacher and everyone else in class.

Yoga is an ongoing practice. There isn’t a yogi in the world who will tell you they know everything, that they are a master, or that they are too good for a class.

So if you’re leaving early, you’re not there for the yoga.

Maybe you’re there to say “I do yoga”, or to get a workout in… but that’s not what yoga is.

The moment you want to leave a class is the moment you should commit to staying.

So to the people who leave early; you’re not above the class you’re in. As I watch you roll up your mat I can’t help but wonder why you’re leaving. Maybe I’m being too harsh on you… is something hurting you? I promise you there is a way to remedy that, if you accept your limits, explore alternatives, and put in the time. Is it not hard enough for you? Maybe it is exactly as hard as it needs to be. Do you think the instructor isn’t good enough? I guarantee you they worry about that more than you think you walking out affects their practice too.

If you have it in you to show up for a class, you have it in you to stay. So please just stay. Please let the yoga work for you. Please don’t distract and take away the experience from the rest of us, we want to be here. You could want to be here too if you try, if you let the experience happen. Just let the yoga be. If you can do that, you might never want to leave a class again.

AnnieYoga, Letter