Lost-and-found baskets at most yoga studios often contain enough yoga accessories to stock your own personal yoga closet. Clothing, mats, hair ties, water bottles and more are commonly left behind by students walking out of their favorite class in a blissful daze. My assumption of items-gone-missing in yoga studios is that it’s more likely to be a byproduct of forgetfulness than an instance of theft. But being cautious and intentional with our things is not without merit.
There are not many hard hitting statistics about yoga studio theft, but a recent incident in Delaware reminds us that despite the idyllic settings, adorned with buddha statues and nag champa incense, yoga studios are not immune to basic human experiences. Though it’s unclear if the culprit in this case was a passerby opportunist drawn to an empty lobby full of goodies, or theft by someone from the inside, it’s a good reminder to be mindful about our possessions.
While incidents of theft are less typical in in yoga studio settings, they still happen. Yogis are, after all, inhabitants and participants in an imperfect world. So what do we do to protect our stuff?
1. Check with the front desk to find out if the studio locks its doors during classes, especially if the lobby is unstaffed during classes. In smaller studios it is common for the teacher or one staff person to sign in students and then join the class, leaving the lobby unsupervised after completing check-ins. Ask the person signing you in if you should take your valuables into the classroom with you during practice. You can always opt to leave bulkier clothing items in the lobby’s cubbies, but find out the studio policy for your class time.
2. Take a moment or two ground your awareness after class. We all love the blissful “yogi high,” but let’s be honest—it can make us forgetful! Give yourself a few moments after Shavasana to bring your awareness back down to the “real world.” Press into the soles of your feet with your fingers, gently massaging this area before getting up to make contact with the ground beneath you. As you stand up, pause before you head for the door and fill your hips, legs, and feet with breath. Feeling solid, steady, and of this world, mindfully and throughly pack up your belongings from the cubbies. Take your time after class, and release the tendency to rush out of the studio to ensure that you have collected all of your valuables.
3. If you do forget something, call the studio immediately. If you have the time, turn around and retrieve what you left behind. If the studio is closed, plan on calling or showing up first thing in the morning. Ask what the lobby hours are and make a plan with the front desk for you to pick up your item. Making the staff aware that your item is spoken for will help ensure that nobody will snag it from the lost-and-found basket. This also includes others in feeling responsible for making sure you are reunited with what is rightfully yours.
Have you ever lost something valuable at a studio? Was it returned to you?