You can sign up for a class via the schedule on our homepage! You can reserve your mat weeks in advance - just remember to cancel your reservation if you know you will not be able to attend. To join a class you have to register on EVERSPORTS and to reserve a mat you simply click book now! When you click to book you will be redirected to pay, please do so as we do not accept payments at the studio. Please make sure to reserve your spot beforehand. We wish to create a stress free space with enough time to settle in and to get to know each other, that's why we insist on online bookings and payments only, thank you!
Traditionally Ashtanga Yoga practitioners practice six days a week, rest days are every Saturday and on the days of the New Moon and Full Moon. At Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Shala Mark teaches Mysore style classes from Monday to Friday and the Full Primary Led class on Sundays.
Doors open at 06.00 and you can practice until 10.00! Please keep in mind that we DO NOT have showers (yet)!
In Ashtanga Yoga Mysore style we follow a set of rules that we call the shala or Mysore etiquette. When you come to practice in our Mysore room, we kindly ask you to follow these guidelines for your own good and for your fellow practitioners, thank you! Please keep this document handy and read it often: Mysore Etiquette
What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga?
According to Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a method of hatha yoga that harmonizes movement and breath. This happens in a sequence of yoga asanas or postures. Every asana has its unique designed number of movements in, and out of the asana. Practicing Ashtanga vinyasa yoga gives you flexibility, strength, stamina, and ultimately a focused and tranquil mind.
In Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, the asanas (poses) follow each other in order. And, in every pose in the order is held for five breaths. Then, the pose transitions through a particular sequence of movement (vinyasa) into the ensuing asana. This shows the importance of practicing the asanas correctly and avoiding rushing before being ready for the next asana in the sequence. Your yoga teacher will give you the asanas “one-by-one.”
Practicing these asanas in a sequence helps to open and reprogram energy channels and patterns in your body. Each asana prepares your body and mind for the next poses in the sequence. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga can benefit anyone who practices it regularly regardless of his or her age or physical fitness level. However, beginners in this style should not force or rush the practice. It is important to respect any injuries or physical weakness and continue working with your body and breath.
When practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa, you should concentrate on practicing yoga, and not the end result. Practicing yoga poses regularly and sensibly will ultimately lead to flexibility and strength.
What is Mysore style?
Mysore refers to the town South of India where this style originated from. Mysore style is best described as a self practice in a group setting, Mysore style is the traditional way that the Ashtanga system of yoga is taught and learned.
Students come to class and practice the Ashtanga series at their own pace, level and capacity with the individual support from teachers and the energy of a group practice. This self practice method allows the student to work at their own pace while still receiving individual adjustments and personal attention from the teacher. The instructor teaches the postures to each student, making unique recommendations based on individual needs. Postures are given one by one, time is taken to master each posture before progressing to the next.
Mysore classes help students to develop a consistent self practice. This class is open to everyone and is appropriate for both beginner and advanced students. It is recommended but not necessary that you participate in a led Ashtanga class before joining the Mysore style class in order to familiarise yourself with the sequence.
Why a Regular Attendance?
The real benefits of Yoga come with consistency, so it is best to make your practice a habit.
You may wish to start a Yoga practice for several reasons; out of interest or out of the will to take responsibility for your mental and physical health. Yoga has rightfully gained a lot of attention in the past decade; the science behind the practice of breath and movement has been clinically proven to change your brain and body. With a consistent practice we direct ourselves towards a more healthier and happier lifestyle.
We recommend you read our page on perseverance and detachment, Abhyasa and Vairagya
Why a Morning Practice and How About in the Evenings?
In Yoga Philosophy, they correlate the sunrise with expansion (principle of prana) and the sunset with involution or contraction (principle of āpana). This principle is also connected to the equinox and the solstice. All of these times are seen as auspicious moments to engage in spiritual practice. There are quite a few differences, however, between the two times of day when it comes to a Yoga practice.
From the Yogic perspective the sunrise is when energy is increasing. This is why many people find it easier to be productive earlier in the morning.
Understandably a morning practice may not be an option for everyone. If you decide to practice in the evening then we recommend you take it easy, the sunset is when energy starts to wind down. Practicing as the sun sets naturally connects you to the softer side of Ashtanga. It is easier to connect to the meditative qualities because it is a natural time for inward reflection.
Moon Days and Women's Health
Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong. The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.
A note for the ladies; it is recommended not to do an Ashtanga practice on the heavy days of your menstrual cycle. It is recommended to take rest on the first three days of your cycle, otherwise known as 'ladies holiday' or practice some gentle or restorative asanas instead. Menstruation is an apanic (downward moving) process. Everytime we engage the bandhas we are messing with the apanic (downward moving) energy which can easily disturb your cycle. We recommend Menstrual Cycle Awareness to all female practitioners
General Guidelines for Beginners
⁃ One breath, one movement
⁃ Drishti, the gazing or focal point. You will be asked to look at a specific point, this channels the mental energy; the mind learns how to concentrate. The eyes are never closed in the practice
⁃ Bandhas, the Sanskrit word for 'energy locks' it involves the contraction or squeezing of muscles in order to 'close' or move the energy in a conscious way. According to yogic scripture; the control of muscles and nerves controls the breath. Control the breath and you control the mind. Bandhas are a means of extending control over breath
⁃ The most important aspect of the practice; the breath. It is the key to achieve tranquility and power in the practice. Ujjayi breath (aka Ocean Breath) is a breathing technique applied throughout the practice which helps generate heat in the body. It is breathing with sound. You create a hissing, ocean like sound which comes from the back of the throat. Focusing on the sound of your breath turns your attention inwards
⁃ Yoga is best done on an empty stomach so do not eat just before class
⁃ Try not to drink too much before class or during the practice, it's best to wait until after Savasana
⁃ Let your teacher know before class in the case of pregnancy, injuries or health issues
⁃ In the beginning, the Ashtanga Yoga session is for approximately 30-45 mins teaching the basics of breathing and movements. Later, the practice extends as more asanas are added. With the added asanas, practitioners starts building more strength and stamina which prepares their body to breathe more deeply and comfortably while also increasing the focus which helps to balance the mind body connection
⁃ If you are completely new to yoga then you may prefer to begin with a private class
⁃ More information in the documents below: