Yoga class should be a sacred place where you feel comfortable and secure. It's a place where you come to learn and to develop, where you can be yourself without being judged.
It should be a haven from the everyday life, a place free from all of the nuisances we may have to deal with outside the classroom.
So what should definitely not be going on in a yoga class?
1. Sexual Advances From the Teacher
This is maybe the biggest no-no.
You go to a yoga class to practice yoga, to relax, and to find a place of peace and surrender. The relationship with a yoga teacher should always remain neutral and professional. You should always have the freedom to not be touched if you don't want to be adjusted, and definitely if you do not feel comfortable with the teacher doing it.
If you experience any discomfort in this area, it can take a lot of guts to actually say something. But you should! At least you can always contact the studio later on if you find it too much to face the teacher head on.
2. Being Refused to Participate in a Class Because of Appearance
No matter how you look, no matter your size, age, or skin color, you should be able to practice where you want.
Of course, as a total newbie to yoga, it's not advisable to go to a class which is intended for advanced practitioners. But that aside, being discriminated because of your looks should not be happening in a yoga class.
3. Being Singled Out in a Bad Light
Related to the previous point, no matter what your level of experience or appearance, you should never feel like you are singled out in class.
A sensitive teacher will give cues that are general, or if individual help is needed, this is done softly and discreetly. Nothing is more discouraging than being called by name twenty times in one class about something which you are doing "wrong."
4. Being Forced to Keep Up With a Fast Pace
The teacher should always cater the class to the students attending, and give space for breaks in between if the flow is too fast for you.
You should never have to feel less for taking a break in between, and it should always be allowed and encouraged. It is, after all, your practice, and you should be allowed to practice according to the way you feel that day.
So stand up for yourself and be your own protector. And if nothing else, change teachers!
5. Doing Poses Exactly as the Teacher Does
Every body is different. What works for you, may not work for your neighbor, and what the teacher is used to is not necessarily something you would benefit from.
We differ in size, strength, bone structure and proportion. You may have to modify the pose given so that it works for you, and this should be understood by the teacher as well. The teacher should not be pushing you to uncomfortably go deeper into the pose, so know your limits and don't be afraid to voice them if a teacher is about to cross them.
Take your time and find a yoga studio that has good vibes for you. A place where you are comfortable, where you feel like you fit in, and where you'll have a teacher you can trust. With these basics covered you'll be sure to have a wonderful and relaxing experience.