How Often Should I Practice?
Ashtanga yoga is traditionally practiced 6 days a week, leaving one day for rest. Women should take off 2-3 days during their monthly cycle. Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga has a cumulative effect on the body, and should be practiced a minimum of 3 days per week. More days should be added as your schedule permits. We receive the greatest benefit by practicing in the traditional manner.
I’m Not Flexible, Can I Still Do Yoga?
We welcome all types of bodies. Yoga is a physical exercise that will help increase your flexibility over time. You do not need to be flexible when you start yoga, though. Over time, your range of flexibility will increase. The regular and consistent practice of yoga will instill a balance between both strength and flexibility.
What About Pre-existing Pain & Old Injuries?
While you might feel sore or tired after yoga practice or sometimes even during yoga practice, it’s not necessary to push your body to the point of injury. Throughout our lives we primarily tell our body what to do. With time, yoga practice becomes an opportunity to listen to, and respect, what your body wants to tell you and do with you. In the event of injury, whether related to yoga or past outside experience, there are many special adjustments, modifications and considerations that we can recommend. One of the main benefits of yoga practice that you will experience over time is healing. By creating and inviting more balance in your overall state of being, a regular yoga practitioner creates space to allow healing into their body on multiple levels.
Why Am I Being “Stopped” In My Practice?
For beginners, stopping is simply part of learning the practice. Postures are taught one by one, and usually need time to be assimilated. Furthermore, new postures are given only when a student has demonstrated proficiency in his or her practice, all the way through the last posture given. In Ashtanga yoga, proficiency is at least as much about correct maintenance of internal energy locks (Bandhas), gaze (Drishti) and breathing (Ujayi breath) as it is about being able to get into a particular posture.
For established practitioners, being asked to “stop” before the end of an otherwise apparently complete practice may be for one of the following reasons:
- The student has not done regular practice for some time, or has learned incorrectly, and needs to start over, gradually.
- The student is injured and is advised to scale back his or her practice to allow the injury to heal.
- The student has not demonstrated full proficiency in his or her practice, and may be risking injury by going beyond his or her current abilities – in which case it is for the student’s physical, mental and emotional well-being that he or she is asked to stop.
- The student is playing to strengths and/or neglecting weaknesses, and should redress this imbalance rather than add new postures.
- The student has arrived to class too late to complete his or her practice within the specified class time.
Do I need to register ahead of time?
Registration is RECOMMENDED before coming to class. Drop-ins are welcome – however, the price for a drop-in is more than pre-booking.
How Do I Prepare For Class?
- Bring your own mat and towel.
- Refrain from eating 2-3 hours before class.
- Come to class well-hydrated. We do not drink water during the practice. Drink plenty of water after your practice.
- Inform the instructor of any medical concern or injuries.
- Please turn off your cell phones.
- Personal hygiene is an integral part of practicing yoga. Please ensure that you and your gear are clean.
- Rest from Ashtanga is recommended for women in the first 2-3 days of their monthly cycle (known as ladies’ holiday).
- Honor and respect your limits. Acknowledge that your body and mind will feel different every day. Listen to what your body tells you, and practice following your breath.
If you wanted to get from New York to Orlando and set out on I-95 without a map, directions or a guide, you would probably find your way eventually. But if you wanted to ensure you knew the way, you might opt to get directions from someone who has traveled the route before. You might even ask a guide to take you all the way to save time. If many of those you ask say they’ve been to Orlando, you might need to trust the person with whom you’re most deeply connected, to lead you in the right direction.