Ashtanga Yoga can be started by anyone, regardless of age or starting point. You don’t need any previous knowledge of Yoga or any previous physical hobby.
The practice demands effort, but we start from a very basic level. The intention is to add weekly sessions and create a regular and stable practice. A beginner will practice from 1 to 3 times a week. However, once is better than zero and twice better than once.
Class begins with Surya Namaskar A and B. It continues with a sequence of standing postures and seated postures from one of the series of Ashtanga. Class ends with the final sequence and Shavasana. This is the structure of all classes of any level.
We all practice under our own body’s conditions, no matter what our level is. This way we develop our physical condition gently but firmly and our mind relaxes.
The descriptions below are only to give you an idea of the content of a class.
Course for beginners
During the course you will learn the basic principles of Ashtanga. We concentrate on the breathing, the movement and the effects of the postures.
You will learn Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A), standing postures, a modified sequence from the primary series of Ashtanga and a final sequence.
The course lasts about 3 hours, generally distributed between two days and prepares you for guided classes and Mysore style practice.
These are guided clases of one hour for all levels of students.
Class beginns with Surya Namaskar A and B to warm us up and prepare the muscles for asana. We do almost all standing postures and some seated ones from the primary series of Ashtanga. Depending on the students and their needs we might do some asanas from the second series also. From the final sequence we practice Sarvangasana, Halasana and Uttana Padasana. We close the practice with Padmasana and rest in Shavasana.
This is the traditional way to practice Ashtanga. All levels of students attend. The term Mysore style makes reference to the city of Mysore, India, where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught Ashtanga for more than 60 years following this particular style.
Some Mysore classes accept beginners but it is recommended you enter with a familiarity to the series. Everybody practices in their personal pace and concentrate in their own sequence of asanas (the teacher will introduce you more asanas).
These are not guided classes as such, but the teacher is present at all times to help and guide each student.
MPS (Modified Primary Series)
In this class we do a modified primary series of Ashtanga. It is one of the six series of Rocket Yoga, created by Larry Schultz. Class lasts one hour and is suitable for all levels of students.
Yin Yoga classes are open for all levels. These are very gentle classes.
We start with a moment of relaxation and meditation. We stay in each posture around 3 minutes and since class lasts for 1 hour, we do between 8 and 10 postures (some postures are done on both sides, right and left). Class has a combination of postures that work the posterior and anterior sides of the body in addition to a twisting posture. We end class in Shavasana.