- Start and end times are flexible according to the length of your practice.
- Do not do asanas with a fever.
- Practice consideration towards fellow practitioners by not coming to class with a bad cold or any other contagious ailment. Practice at home until you have recovered.
- Personal hygiene is an integral part of practicing yoga. Shower before taking practice. Do not wear scents. Keep your gear clean, including your mat, rug, towels and clothing. Please extend this to how you behave in the room and wipe up any sweat around you on the floor after practice.
- Wearing lotions or oils blocks the pores and impedes the detoxification process. It also makes you slippery and difficult to adjust safely!
- It may be tempting to ‘wipe down’ as soon as you begin to sweat, but learn to tolerate it and move through your postures with as little interruptions as possible, not taking any extra breaths then the practice requires. Rub the sweat into your body.
- Please refrain from unnecessary talking. Enjoy the silence of the early morning and the sound of your breath.
- Avoid eating at least 2 hours prior to and 30 minutes after your practice. Drink plenty of water during the day after your practice, but do not take water bottles into the practice space or drink immediately before class.
- Respect your limits and be loving towards yourself. Acknowledge that your body and mind will feel different every day; listen to what your body tells you and practice in your own time following your own breath (which should be smooth and even).
Beginning Ashtanga Yoga
- The appropriate and safest place to learn Ashtanga yoga is in the Mysore room, where the teacher will work individually with each student.
- Those new to Ashtanga yoga (even those who may considered themselves “advanced” practitioners of other styles of yoga) all begin the same way and will initially only spend around 20 to 45 minutes in the room. You will be taught the sequence in order over their first month. Please attend regularly in order to facilitate this process.
- It is important to make at least a one month commitment to attend daily to embark on this practice. It may be intimidating at first to commit to a daily practice but in the beginning your practice will be short. It will slowly progress as you, your body, your breath, and schedule adapt to the changes.
- The teacher will let you know when you are ready to attend a Friday Led class.
- Ideally the student learns to be independent and take responsibility for their own practice by memorizing their individual sequence as given to them by the teacher. Then they will be able to do their practice anytime, anywhere.
- Mysore-style does not mean you can do whatever you want in the room. One still adheres to the Ashtanga practice as prescribed by the teacher, with no “improvisation”. Do what is given to you and then take rest and leave when your practice is complete. Do not add anything further (this includes extra stretches, twists, poses or other exercises).
- Please respect the student-teacher relationship and try to follow any request from your teacher. The relationship between teacher/student is based on mutual trust and understanding.
- Sri K Pattabhi Jois used to say ‘taking more than one teacher is like taking more than one wife.’ Regardless of cultural differences, it is best to focus on one practice, with one teacher for a long period of time. It is through this vehicle that the teachings and transmission of Ashtanga Yoga are possible.
- Please do not take any new asanas unless given to you by your teacher. Please do not ask for asanas. Each student is given their practice according to their ability. Postures are given, one by one, in a certain sequential order. When you practice yoga in the Mysore-style setting, it is important to wait for the teacher to give you each new posture. The act of waiting gives your teacher the opportunity to teach you the posture correctly or adjust you in it. Waiting also is an opportunity to express respect for your teacher and the practice.
- Whilst students can expect to receive hands-on adjustments from the teacher, they should not expect to receive adjustments all the time. The teachings happen through the practice and not by dependence on the teacher. Generally, as most students progress the need and desire for adjustments decreases to the point that most advanced practitioners may find them unnecessary. That said, do not ever accept adjustments that cause you any pain.
- Please communicate any illnesses or injuries with your teacher.
- It goes without saying that if you do not wish to practice Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Paramaguru R. Sharath Jois at the KPJAYI in Mysore, India, please do not attend this class.
Commitment to the Practice
- Please respect and follow the traditional Ashtanga method as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and your teacher. Please do not add, skip or in other ways deviate from the traditional Ashtanga sequence of yoga asanas unless acknowledged or requested by your teacher.
- Please attempt the correct vinyasas as you have been taught and as you are reminded of each week in the led class on Friday.
- Do not insert extra stretches or twists into the practice (if you feel your body needs to do this, it is an indication you should stop your practice and go to the closing sequence).
- Never skip “taking rest”. The final deep relaxation pose at the end of your practice is very important, so do not leave the room without doing it. Note that the rest position is to lie completely flat on the ground. This is an āsana. Do not omit it, do not modify it.
- This system is to be practiced daily six days a week (Sunday to Friday). It is through the daily practice that the benefits reveal themselves. A daily practice brings energy and vitality. Less can sometimes make you feel more tired and stiff!
- New and Full Moon Days
- Female students do not practice during the first three days of their menstrual cycle. ‘Ladies Holiday’