INFORMATION, ADVICE AND BASIC RULES
Sanskrit word "ashtanga" refers to eight levels that, according to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras correspond to eight different practices - methods to control the mind and purify the inner being: yama (moral rules), niyama (self-purification and personal observances), asana (body postures), pranayama (breathing control), pratyahara (control of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation).
In the beginning, the focus is on everyday practice of asanas in order to make the entire body and the senses more flexible, which represents the precondition for the stability of mind. The techniques of Ashtanga Yoga are categorised within six different series and each of them should be learned correctly and in the right order before attempting to learn the next one.
The accent is on the vinyasa, a specific system of breath and movement that creates warmth, causes inner purification and improves blood circulation. Important elements also comprise the position (asana) with contractions (bandha), breathing (ujjayi) and specific focal points (drishti), which should all be synchronised.To read more about Ashtanga Yoga click HERE.
Mysore classes take place every day from Monday to Saturday according to the published shedule.
Although all students practice together, the teachers work with each of them individually. This means that the teacher explains in details the breathing and the technique, demonstrates them and keeps checking student's progress. From the first class, the student is taught to practice without assistance in order to become capable to practice by himself as soon as possible. A new technique is introduced to the practitioner - i.e. student as soon as he or she has optimally learned the previous one.
The practitioners may arrive to shala at different times within Mysore class, but at least about an hour before the end of the class, so that they can have enough time to complete their practice program until the end of the term.
Led class takes place only on Sundays and only practitioners who have learned basic technique (Sun salutations, ten standing techniques and a couple of sitting ones) can attend this type of class. The aim of led class is further improvement of breathing and vinyasa - i.e. the synchronisation of breathing and movement.
During this class, all students practice as a group, in accordance with teacher's counting and vocal instructions. When the group arrives to a technique that some of the students have not yet fully learned during Mysore classes, those students stop to observe others and, eventually, continue to follow teacher's instructions. Afterwards, they can continue doing finishing asanas (that they have previously learned in details on Mysore classes) with the rest of the group.
Ashtanga Yoga does not comprise competition and the number of asanas one practitioner has learned is not the measure of overall progress in yoga. Each practitioner should rather follow his or her own capabilities and gradually make progress in accordance with regular, long-term, devoted and continuous practice and commitment to the traditional method of yoga (parampara tradition) and serious self-improvement.
Turn off your cell phone before entering the shala. Enter quickly and close the door in order to prevent the room from cooling.
Take off your shoes right next to the entrance and carry it to the shoe cabinet. DO NOT WALK AROUND WITH YOUR SHOES ON BECAUSE YOU WILL STEP ON THE FLOOR BAREFOOTED AFTERWARDS.
Enter the exercising section of the shala quietly and without disturbing other students and put your mat quietly on a free place. Give yourself a couple of peaceful moments before starting the practice in order to stabilize breathing, adjust to the temperature and other conditions in the room, detach yourself from your previous thoughts and concentrate.
If you do not have your own mat, you can use one of the shared mats. Feel free to ask for a mat if you do not know where they are placed. DO NOT USE OTHER STUDENTS' PRIVATE MATS. We advise you to by your own mat if you can afford one, for hygienic reasons. We recommend Manduka mats (www.manduka.com). We also recommend that you use a towel so that you can wipe off the sweat from your face, hands and mat in order to prevent slipping.
You can leave your private mat in the shala, on a shelf designed for this purpose. Please do not leave other personal belongings in the shala so that the space we share can always stay neat.
If you need help, advice or assistance with the position - let us know that in a discreet manner (by waving your hand, looking at us or saying it quietly) without shouting. If you are injured, sick or facing other extraordinary condition, you should let us know. You should also let us know if you do not want assistance when entering a certain position. If you feel unpleasant at any moment while being placed in a particular position, please feel free to say so.
You should avoid having large meals at least three to four hours before the class. You may drink liquid before and after the practice, but not during the class because liquid intake lowers the body temperature and in some body postures may overburden your digestive organs.
DO NOT PRACTICE THE ASANAS THAT THE TEACHER HAS NOT DEMONSTRATED TO YOU YET. You should respect this principle in order to avoid endangering your own and other students' safety and to prevent injuries.
After the practice, leave your place in the same condition it used to be before your arrival by returning the blocks, belts, pillows and shared mat to their places you took them from.
Try to avoid conversation with other students during the class and speak quietly to the teachers in order not to disturb the others.
After having a shower in the bathroom use rubber wiper and a towel that is placed on the floor to wipe off the water. Please leave the bathroom neat and tidy.
We advise you not to leave the shala and expose yourself to outer conditions immediately after the practice, especially during the winter. You can make yourself a cup of tea in the kitchen, relax, read something or have a conversation. However, please try not to be too loud.
Do not use strong perfumes, shower gels or oils because some people might be allergic to those.
Be caring and patient with your body and it will respond in the best possible manner...