Hi Yoga Yenta!
I enjoyed your article on mat etiquette. Your article “stepped on” one of my private, yogi pet peeves, mat hoppers! I understand the physical constraints of space, but I know I read somewhere that stepping on someone else’s mat was a faux pas and was poor yogi behavior.
I always get irked when someone steps on my mat. Our human feet are filled with bacteria, it is one thing for me to place my face on my mat in spaces where my feet have been, but it’s really another to put my body, face, hands on spaces where other people’s feet have been. It is nice to think we are all one in our sweat, germs, and generosity, but I find this behavior to be plain old fashioned rude.
Unfortunately I cannot prevent others from stepping on my mat, and like other situations throughout life, I have to come to terms with other people’s behavior that I do not necessarily approve of. I just wish people would practice a little bit of ‘other centered’ thinking on occasion, and how their behavior may effect someone else.
Thanks for the article and insight. I will try to lighten up if this is really the way things have to be.
Don’t tread on me
Dear “DTOM” –
You said it sister! Thanks for your note. I too am easily grossed out by funky feet, both on and off the mat. Unless, however, we quit our day jobs to start a charm school for yogis, we’re going to have to learn to deal with it. Whenever I remember to, I try to use my yoga class as an opportunity to work on my own issues of reactiveness — even in situations in which I’m sure I’m right (which, obviously, is most of the time). Whether it’s farts or fungus, heat or hamstrings, downward facing dogs or the downward spiraling Dow, there’s always something to distract us from our focus — offering the challenge to regroup, breathe and smile.