Starting an Ashtanga Yoga Practice

Yoga practice should be developed gradually over time. At Ashtanga Yoga Shala new students learn just a few postures at first and commit them to memory through repetition - then a sequence of postures is gradually built up over time as the body becomes more flexible.

In the beginning, new students usually practice for around 30 minutes but gradually day by day the length of practice increases. The teacher is observing if the sequence has been memorized and how well the postures have been mastered before teaching new asanas.

This is a traditional method that goes back 100s if not 1000s of years in India: practice starts with the simplest exercises - these are repeated and perfected day by day. Once they have been perfectly memorized a little more is added to the sequence and all the exercises are again practiced in sequence... and so on.

Teaching Method and Enrollment

Our teaching is partly verbal and partly gentle guidance through the use of physical assists.

Hands on adjustments play a part in correcting and deepening the postures in Ashtanga Yoga therapy as well as helping to release muscular tension. Students who do not wish to be touched can ask not to receive physical assistance.

The Ashtanga Yoga method requires regular practice. With daily practice, huge changes in the body and mind will be seen over time. If practice is intermittent, then progress will be slower.

Students at all different stages of their practice train together. The teacher will give priority to helping beginners while experienced students need less guidance.

Enrollment at AYS is by monthly membership only. We do not accept drop ins except from experienced students with an established practice who are visiting from out of town.

We encourage you to come and watch a class first and ask questions before committing to practice. There is no need to make an appointment, just turn up during scheduled class time.

Please note there are no classes on New Moon and Full Moon days.

Daily Ritual

Yoga practice is a daily ritual that can become an integral part of life. One of the main benefits of practice is mastering will power. Commitment to practice, to do something good for yourself every day can become a vehicle for comprehensive positive lifestyle change. The rewards of practice are immediate and tangible - this is the sweetness that gives students motivation to practice with regularity.

Not everyone feels they can practice every day. Sometimes it takes a while to build up from a few times a week to greater commitment.

Daily practice allows you to easily commit the sequences to memory - even if you think you have a bad memory, you will find this method very effective. Daily practice also allows you to gradually go deeper and deeper into the stretches, while intermittent practice may leave you feeling stiff and sore.