meditate now, tweet later

yoga iphone

We love Paula, one of our social media experts, for her ability to capture and share our culture in 140 characters or less (seriously, how do you do it!?). With a job that requires you to be "on" 24/7 and blurs the line between work and play, we asked her to weigh in on where she draws the line between 'tweeting in the moment' and just simply being present.

Working in the social media space, I am constantly fighting the battle between my phone and my mind. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don’t think I’m alone here. After returning home from an incredible long weekend at Wanderlust Festival Colorado this week, I was confronted by the recent buzz surrounding a certain yoga instructor being fired due to her vigilance around cell phone use in class. This conversation within the community highlighted a personal guilt I have been facing recently. Over the last six months, my phone has crept its way into my must-have accessories: yoga mat, water bottle, strap, block, iPhone. It sits face down amongst my pile of props at the top right hand corner of my mat, ready and waiting for me to slide it open. Though I know some teachers are okay with bringing phones into class (some even encourage it), it does have me questioning: Does bringing my phone into class compromise my yoga practice?

Here’s a quick rundown of my inner dialogue:

"I need to take a photo so that everyone on instagram will know that I went to yoga today."

"I get stressed out when I can’t record everything profound that my teacher is saying."

"I may get an emergency phone call I need to take."

"I like to know how much more time is left in class."

some of the mid-class pics I've snapped


meditate now, tweet later

After writing these ‘concerns’ on paper, they seem irrelevant and less justified. Though I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my phone cold-turkey, here are some helpful hints to ensure you’re always respecting the studio space, your teacher and those you are practicing with:

  • Find out the cell phone etiquette at your local studio - if it’s not publically posted then ask your instructor. In most cases there will be a no-phone policy but sometimes certain teachers may encourage you to bring your phone into class.
  • Double Triple check that your phone is on silent before you begin class. This way you can stay present and not have to worry that it may go off. Trust me, having your 'Like a G6' ringtone blaring mid-class is not a fun experience.
  • Take photos before and after class but put your phone in your bag during your actual practice.
  • Bring a notepad into class to jot down any juicy nuggets that your teacher shares.
  • Make sure that anyone you are currently texting, emailing or tweeting knows you’re walking into an 90 min class and that you’ll reply once you’re done. This avoids any guilt associated with not replying right away.

Do you bring your phone into class? If so, would you be offended if your teacher asked you to turn it off?

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Texting during yoga is *totally* unacceptable.

Comment by kc — July 12, 2012 @ 11:46 am

Another one to add to your list… if you do bring your phone into the studio, place it with the screen facing down. The bright glow of the screen that comes with each text and/or instagram alert will most definitely distract you and your neighbor’s practice!

Plus, if you’re doing a hot class you can potentially damage your phone. I have seen studios use that tactic to encourage students to not bring phones into the studio.

Comment by Dori B. — July 12, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

I would NEVER EVER bring my phone to class! It is rude.

And I never feel the need to let anyone know I am going to a yoga class and won’t respond for 90 minutes…they can wait. Sometimes people don’t get back to my right away and sometimes I don’t get back to them IMMEDIATELY…that’s life!

If I saw anyone with their phone near their mat during class, I would be annoyed. I think it’s rude. You can to class to unwind and relax…how is that even possible with a phone lighting up with every alert/text message/notification/ect.??

Comment by LP — July 12, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

Leaving my phone in my locker and keeping it out of class is almost as therapeutic as my practice its self is. I have heard that taking your shoes off before entering the studio is symbolic of leaving the outside world behind and blocking it out for your 90 minute practice, I feel the same way about my cell phone. and it is such a rewarding feeling, not having a care in the world during my practice.

Comment by Britttany Wolf — July 12, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

Absolutely agree, phones should not be brought into the studio. It seems like a crutch for people, and it’s annoying when I want to meditate before class and focus but half of the girls are on their phones because they feel awkward sitting silently without technology. It’s counterintuitive to why people practice yoga, sit and be with your thoughts silently!

Comment by Jocqueline — July 12, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

i think it’s fine to bring a phone into class- for certain reasons. tweeting every ten minutes about your yoga feelings is NOT a good reason. but i know many mothers who need to have there phone in the room in case there is an emergency with there kids. i’ve been known to bring it in when my grandpa was in the hospital. i think as long as it’s on silent and face down, it’s fine.

Comment by jackie — July 12, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

I believe it is extremely distracting and rude when people bring there phones to class. How sad if u can not take 60-90mins a day or yourself. We have become to dependent on our phones. I’m sorry to hear about the teacher that was fired over her personal decision.

Comment by Krista — July 12, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

I completely agree -phones do not belong on the mat. If you cannot leave the technology in your bag or outside the studio then don’t come to that particuar class. I have heard many phones go off during a class and it is incredibly disruptive to ones practice. I am sure you can live without updates for 90 mins.

Comment by Risa M — July 13, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

I think at times there may be circumstances in which it’s okay to bring your phone into class, but it should definitely be on silent and face down.

Comment by Amber — July 16, 2012 @ 6:43 am

What is the sound of one hand texting?

Comment by Tony — July 16, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

If the etiquette is to keep your phone on silent and face down, then why even pull it out of your bag?

At times, we all need to make a choices. In this case the choice is yoga class or mobile phone…

Comment by Jen — July 17, 2012 @ 10:41 am

At our studio you cannot bring anything into the practice room besides your mat, towel, props and water. I have never been in a class where someone has brought their phone but I would think it would be very distracting to have to listen to the buzz on messages or calls (even on silent mode).

If you need to be available for constant communication then I think you should be practicing by yourself so you do not distract others.

Comment by ESBB — July 18, 2012 @ 11:26 am

I’ve been reading a lot about phones in class lately. What the heck?!? No phones, fb, twitter, or anything else in yoga class! We tell our students at our studio to leave them in the dressing room. IF you HAVE to bring them into class, they must be on silent! Of course there are always special situations and exceptions, but if you are checking your fb page or texting, chances are you don’t really want to be in class! :)

Comment by Arlet — July 20, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

Do people know they are being photographed??

Comment by Sarah — July 20, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

Good to know that our studio isn’t the only one where some students bring their iPhone into the class!

Comment by Jenny — July 23, 2012 @ 1:22 am

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