Food & Drinks
Empty intestine and bladder before a session. A day of fasting is recommended when suffering from flu, colds or indigestion. Fasting makes the body more flexible. Eating too much is an obstacle for the correct practice of asana and pranayama.
Do not drink during the session. If your throat is dry a sip of water is enough. Saliva is enough to wet the throat. Do not be afraid to sweat or feel tired.
Hygiene & Clothes
Please come to class bathed & wearing clean clothes [mats & rugs too]. Cleanliness (śaucha) is part of the eight limbs of yoga. It also brightens mental dullness, calms restlessness and makes practice more pleasant. Applying natural oils before and after practice helps the muscles to relax.
Clothing must be comfortable and elastic. Shorts, T-shirt, leggings are advised because they show the exact position of the body which must be free of necklaces, watches, rings etc. Do not wear socks during the session, but if you like you may wear them for the relaxation session.
Be ready to sweat profusely. Massage the sweat into the body instead of removing it with a towel.
Concentrate on the breath and in moving with more awareness and stability in your lower abdomen. With the breathing and movement a new energy will emerge, eliminating tiredness, strengthening the mind and body.
Breath awareness is the basis for the correct practice of asana. During asana practice the Ujjayi breathing technique is used. The throat must be relaxed and open, the glottis slightly closed. The air going in and out will produce a sound; the quality of the breathing of the Ujjayi technique must be soft, deep and strong.
Drishti (Gaze points)
Drishti is the gazing point which is important in Ashtanga Yoga. In each position and during the movement between one position and another there is a specific place to look. The use of the gazing point must be approached in a relaxed manner in order to avoid headaches.
Bandha (Body lock)
During the practice make careful use of Mula Bandha (Root Lock) and Uddiyana Bandha (Abdominal Lock). Mula Bandha is the contraction of the anus which includes the contraction of the perineum and the pelvic floor. Uddiyana Bandha is the contraction of the lower abdomen towards the spine engaged by drawing the root of the belly button towards the kidneys. This prevents the abdominal organs from falling downwards and allows the full expansion of the diaphragm.
Vinyasa – The synchronization of breath and movement between postures is important and is a fundamental part of the practice. The way in which you enter and leave a position is part of the form.
There is logic in the order of the asanas. Breathing is the heart of this discipline and links one asana to another in a precise order.
In the Vinyasa method taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the postures are combined in series which vary in difficulty and effect. The first series is therapeutic and corrects the balance between mind and body. The intermediate series continues this but goes deeper, opening the Nadis or nervous channels which are similar in concept to the meridians in acupuncture. The advanced series works still deeper, increasing stability, strength, balance and the flexibility of the body and mind.
The final relaxation stage is very important and is the chance to enter into a meditative state. Without relaxation you may be tired and irritable.
There is one day a week of rest from practice. During the period of menstruation women should rest the first three days and not assume inverted postures.
Shala means sacred apace, a house of true empowerment. We kindly advice to follow those simple rules.
- Switch off /silent your mobile phone during your stay.
- Please bring a matt and a rug or towel for your practice
- Do not eat at least 4 hours before practice
- Do not drink at least 30min before practice
- Avoid to drink during the practice and wait at least 15 min to drink after practice.
- INJURIES and HEALTH CONCERNS: please consult with your health care provider before beginning yoga. Please notify the teacher or assistants before class.
- PREGNANT: please consult with your health care provider before beginning yoga. Please notify the teacher or assistants before class.
- Please observe the sacred silence of the meditation classes. This quiet stillness is one of the greatest gifts we give each other and ourselves.
- Consistent yoga practice is necessary to obtain maximum benefits. Remember to rest when necessary, to work at your individual level and to respect your body’s current physical state.
- Please for your own good try to memorize the initial and final prayer of the practice. Sanskrit is the language of the heart. The Mantras leave the practitioner filled with peace and feeling calm and centered, complimenting the physical practice of asana.
- Always follow the correct order of the asana sequence. In case of doubts, the teacher will always be there to guide you.
Both full and new moon days are observed as yoga holidays in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition.
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. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. 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.
Observing moon days is one way to recognise and honour the rhythms of nature so we can live in greater harmony with it.
Practice during our Cycle
Menstruation is an apanic process. Anytime we over engage mulabandha and uddiyana bandha during our cycle we are messing with the apanic/downward moving energy, which can easily disturb our cycle. It is, therefore, advised not to do Ashtanga on the heavy cycle days (taking 2-4 days off)