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Why I Show Up Early for Yoga

A few months ago, I started doing one small thing differently: showing up a little early for yoga class.

why i show up early for yoga

It had started to occur to me that while yoga is my calming happy place (see also: Why I Love Yoga), I was often cutting it really close on timing, showing up to class with seconds to spare, harried and stressed. I was joking with it about a friend awhile ago, about how running late for a yoga class seems like the ultimate irony – “I have to hurry up and get there so I can slow down!!!!”

So one day I decided I’d start showing up early for yoga. Not crazy early, but about 10 to 15 minutes. Early enough that I’d have time to calmly arrive, put my stuff away, change if I needed to, and spend at least 5 or so minutes lying down on my mat and chilling out before class started. It’s something simple but it makes such a difference.

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When I was younger, I always used to be on time or early – but I find as life gets busier and more distracting I’ve started tending more towards running a tiny bit late. Never for client meetings or work calls – but for personal stuff, like fitness classes and hang out sessions with friends. Not only is this rude if you’re meeting someone else, but it makes life way more stressful than it needs to be. So – here’s to intentionally being early, not just for yoga but for the rest of life, too.

Does anyone else purposefully show up early for yoga (or other things in life)? I’ve found there are usually a couple other people there getting their zen on a bit early as well! And if you’re like I used to be and usually tend to screech in last minute, give showing up early and taking a minute to breathe a try! I find it’s one of those little things that can make a big difference.

Namaste, my friends. <3

Comments

  1. 1

    I definitely show up to things on time or early and feel so stressed/anxious if I’m running late to ANYTHING. But funny enough, if I’m meeting someone and they’re running late, it doesn’t stress me at all!

    • 2

      Me either actually, unless they’re super late – but if they are a few minutes late I totally don’t mind. I agree though if it’s me that’s a few minutes late I get SO STRESSED!

  2. 3
    Charlsie N says

    I try and show up early to everything. I hate showing up late or right as something starts. I always feel like my day is ruined if I am to show up late to something. I always plan to be at least 5 to 10 minutes early to everything.

  3. 4

    My husband turned me on to doing this in everyday life and it’s a game changer. I was guilty of always doing just “one more thing” before I left the house (especially in the mornings), and then any flux in traffic would make me late and I would be so stressed. His motto is “early is on time, and on time is late.” These days, I pretty much always get places with at least 5 minutes to spare, if not more (and many more if I’m walking into a new experience.) But I’ve noticed this is not the norm in our generation. We are constantly the first people showing up to group things!

    • 5

      YES the “just one more thing” thing was totally me, too. It’s hard to shut it off but totally worth it to not be stressed out arriving everywhere!

  4. 6

    i work out in the mornings and realized today (in the rare event i was early for something) that i am too often late to morning classes, and it is stressful but i’m just used to it. im not late to anything else, ever though.

  5. 7

    Love this – I am going to try doing this over the next few weeks because esp in NYC/DC with the dependence on public transportation it can be so stressful!

  6. 9

    I don’t normally comment, however, this post is exactly my mindset lately! I use to always be early/on time and as of late, I’m usually running behind especially for meeting friends and your right it is rude! I learned a while ago to show up early for Yoga to get a parking spot, but it’s great getting there early and having time for your mind to relax instead of just getting right into it.

    Thank you for the reminder!

  7. 10

    After too many times of struggling to set up my spin bike/clip into the pedals, I always show up for spin about 10 minutes early too!

  8. 11

    This is a great life reminder! I hate being late to fitness classes and then scrambling around and missing warm up. It’s just my reality when I go to a 5:30 pm class straight from the office. In my personal life I’m pretty obsessive about punctuality though. I really appreciate my friends and colleagues that also make an effort to be on time. It’s a sign of respect.

  9. 13

    I usually show up just minutes before class, but this past Sunday I showed up about 10 minutes early and noticed the class was already PACKED! Apparently a lot of people have the same idea. It’s definitely nice to get that extra relaxation in.

  10. 14

    I also arrive early to yoga classes and foam roll while I wait for class to begin. I don’t stress about being late and I get my foam rolling in for the day. Win win.

  11. 15

    I hate being late! It gives me major anxiety. So I tend to be chronically early. But most of my friends are chronically late so when I am meeting them I will purposefully try not to be early, which means I end up arriving on time and still waiting for them, LOL.

  12. 20

    I am perpetually early. I dislike when I have to wait for others who run late and don’t want someone to feel that way about me. I feel disrespected and like my time isn’t as valued as theirs. (hairdresser, lunch date, carpool for kids, babysitter arriving so I can leave, anything!) And it’s an easy fix to not stress about being late.

  13. 22

    I always showed up super early for yoga because my studio was super busy. You needed to be early to get a good spot, which for me was usually a corner where I had one fewer people surrounding me.

    In life though, I am always early. Like, have to wander around the block or go get a drink early. I’ve learned over time that showing up early for certain things is just as rude as showing up late, so I try to aim for 5-10 minutes early for appointments, right on time to meeting friends out, and 5-10 minutes late when we’re going to someone’s house. I figure people are usually pretty glad for an extra few minutes to get organized.

    • 23

      When going to someone’s house for a gathering/party is the only time I’m intentionally late — I agree it’s sometimes awkward to show up right on time for things like that when they aren’t really ready for you yet. :)

  14. 24

    Being late makes me super anxious, so I show up a little too early for everything, whether it’s class or a date with a friend. I like starting things in a good frame of mind, and I know that running late is a surefire way to stress me out needlessly!

  15. 25

    It’s funny, looking back on classes that I go to, I am almost always early for yoga, and riiiight on time for the other ones. I think that the few minutes of quiet time on my mat before the class officially begins is the unofficial start time for me. :)

    Loved this post!

  16. 26

    I’m early to everything! I hate feeling stressed or rushed, so I’m pretty much always 5 minutes early for any appointment. For yoga, though, I like to get there 15- even 20- minutes early to get my favorite spot in the room. I hate showing up and not knowing if I’ll get a good spot, so I like to have the extra time to stretch and just relax before class starts.

  17. 27
    margaret says

    I definitely show up early to yoga for several reasons. 1) I need my spot, and I get very upset if someone is in (that’s why I’m at yoga right, control freak), 2) I want to get acclimated to the heat (hot yoga), and 3) I get this few minutes of just straight up quiet, no talking, just sitting, stretching some, but really just turning my brain off before class starts. Now, if only this habit would cross over to other things, like work…never never on time.

  18. 28

    I have to be on time or preferably early to all engagements /work/appointments;otherwise it stresses me out!

  19. 29

    I love being early. I dislike feeling stressed when I can prevent it. I went through about a year of time when I kept running late and had to work hard to quit the habit. But I agree that it is important.

  20. 30

    Totally agree. Now I am not doing much yoga, but when I used to go twice a week I would arrive always 10 minutes before and relax while waiting for the class to start.

    • 31

      Oh, and for me learning how to be on time was a huge and challenging accomplishment. Being Italian, I grew up with the idea that you HAD to be 5 minutes late and then I had a sort of cultural shock when I moved to the States where everybody is always on time. It was tough to adjust.

  21. 32

    This is exactly me! 99% of the yoga classes I go to I’m hurrying to get there and lay down my mat before things get started. Stupid! I also have a tendency to run a few minutes behind – not more than five – to anything other than work. It’s not out of laziness, but rather the opposite – a desire to do just one more thing, i.e. fold one more piece of laundry, load the dishes, etc. I need to learn to let things go so I can be more relaxed instead of cutting everything so close!

    great post :)

  22. 34

    Yes, I love that 5-10 minutes of ‘me’ time. I even get disappointed when the teacher comes in and I don’t feel like I’ve had long enough!!

  23. 35

    I like to be early, at least 10 minutes. Drives my husband CRAZY! However he is always always late, which makes me crazy, lol!

  24. 36

    I am early for everything. It’s something that is actually an issue Bc I grow anxious if I think I am running late. It’s also Bc time is important to everyone and if I am late I feel like that is telling someone their time isn’t important to me. And I judge by punctuality. If someone is late for a meeting or an interview they ate automatically off my list. It’s tough love but the only thing I am really anal about.

  25. 37
    Roadrunner says

    Not running late or even almost late is a great approach. The stress is not worth the minutes, and you can always make use of the time in some productive fashion if early ….

  26. 38

    As someone who is late quite often, I always appreciate it when I’m on time and therefore not stressed, it’s great motivation to stop being late! especially for yoga in a crowded class, better to get your spot and be calm :)

  27. 39

    i am definitely a last minute person- i hate being late but i try and “make the most of my time”/be effective, and not “waste” time by being too early.
    BUT, i definitely see your point, especially with yoga. I always feel rushed when I arrive to set up, so i think i’ll try being early enough to have a few minutes to sit.
    thanks for the reminder :)

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