Welcome to our yoga community
Information for new students
We welcome all new students here, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced practitioner. It doesn’t matter what age you are or whether you can touch your toes or not. It is our aim to share this beautiful and empowering practice in a very traditional and authentic way, so that everyone can ultimately develop their own self practice. Our teachers are highly experienced and teach in small groups, so that they can work with everyone in a way that meets their individual needs, as we have been taught ourselves by our own teachers here and in India.
Yoga practice is intended to be a lifelong daily practice and progression is a gradual one so there is absolutely no hurry. This is more than just asana (postures) and works on all levels of our consciousness, ultimately becoming a moving meditation, with focussed, regular practice. Learning the correct breathing technique and focus points (drishte) are a very important part of the process. It is really important to be able to breathe freely in each posture and to develop an awareness of the body so that we move with intelligence and in a way that supports us, gradually developing strength, stability and flexibility.
We regularly run Beginners’ Courses which are the perfect way to start. These course are 6 hours in total and are usually run over 2 consecutive Saturday or Sunday mornings, for 2 hours each week and followed by 2 guided self practice classes at times that work for you. They are taught in very small groups, maximum 6 people, so that we can tailor the course specifically to each group. Alternatively, you can arrange for one or two 1 to 1 sessions with one of our senior teachers here. These are 75 minutes long and cost £50 per session, and can be shared by 2 people if you prefer. To arrange a 1 to 1 session, please contact us by email.
Information and class etiquette
We have created a dedicated yoga practice space here which is light, warm and clean and which is very much a place where practitioners can leave their daily life at the door for a while, roll out their mat, breathe, practice and connect with themselves.
The energy of the space is created not just by us but also by the people who come to share the practice here and we kindly ask that you help this by observing a few guidelines. Here are a few things that are good to know when you come along to practice at our little yoga space
What to Wear
Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing which doesn’t restrict movement … layers are good.
Yoga is ideally practiced in bare feet for proper foundation and safety.
Please remove shoes and store them in the designated area as you come in before walking on the practice floor.
What to Bring
Bring your own mat if you have one. We do have mats to borrow if you don’t have one and plenty of blankets, blocks and belts etc here for you to use.
Class suitability and booking policies
Most of our classes are suitable for all levels of experience although we recommend that complete beginners do a Beginners’ Course or 1 to 1 session first if possible. Class descriptions can be found underneath each class before you book. Please let us know if you are a complete beginner or if you are unsure if a particular class will be suitable for you before booking and make sure that you are aware of our Terms and conditions for class and workshop bookings, including cancellation policies, which can be found at the bottom of the ‘Classes’ page.
Practice Awareness of others
When you enter the space whilst others are practicing such as in the (Mysore) assisted self practice classes, please do so quietly, rolling out your mat softly and refraining from unnecessary talking. There are spaces for shoes, coats and belongings as you enter the space where they can be stored safely and without causing a trip hazard.
Please refrain from wearing strong perfume, body sprays or essential oils during practice and respect the space and fellow yoga students by keeping you, your mat and clothes clean.
Arrive 5 – 10 minutes before class
Please arrive a few minutes early to give yourself time to settle before the class starts.
With the assisted self practice classes, the doors will be open 10 minutes before the start of the class but you can arrive and leave whenever you wish, within the scheduled times. Particularly when you are new to assisted self practice classes, an hour is usually plenty of time for your practice to start with. Please note that we often have classes running beforehand so please try not to arrive more than 10 minutes before your scheduled class time.
If you are late
We do understand that occasionally things happen. If you are a little late, please enter the space quietly and join the class with minimum disruption to fellow students. Take a few minutes to sit and connect with your breath before joining in with the practice.
Please let your teacher know if you have any injuries, health issues, if you are pregnant or any other concerns so that they can work safely with you.
Please turn off your mobile phone unless you need to be on call for any reason in which case it can be left on in silent mode.
Eating and Drinking
Avoid eating a heavy meal for at least two hours before practice. Make sure that you are properly hydrated before practice, but ideally try not to drink too much water immediately beforehand.
Ashtanga assisted self practice classes
When practicing in the assisted self practice classes, you will be guided through the traditional method of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga by the teachers here, who will work with each practitioner individually within the group environment, so that everyone can practice at a level that works for them, and for as short or long a practice as they want on any day. Teachers will guide you with appropriate modifications or work with specific elements of the practice as needed, whilst respecting the traditional sequence of asanas and introducing new postures as and when these are appropriate for each individual person.
Our teachers are here to hold the space for you so that you can explore and enjoy this meditative practice at your own pace, creating an environment which is calm and supportive and allows space for practitioners to focus on their own breath and movement. We are here to support your practice and always work with respect for each individual. This traditional way of teaching / learning is a two way process, at the heart of which is the relationship and trust between teacher and student. We encourage practitioners to develop awareness of how their bodies feel in each of the postures and never to push into feelings of discomfort or pain. With regular practice, yoga asana is about cultivating steadiness in the body and breath with each movement. We encourage practitioners to communicate with us so that we can share appropriate modifications or use of props to assist with movements. We teach by using a combination of verbal instruction, demonstration and, with the consent of the practitioner, hands-on assists too where appropriate in order to help you with your practice. Hands on assists can be very helpful in providing additional support in a new posture or helping a practitioner to find more foundation. We always check in with practitioners before offering any hands on assists, to make sure that they are happy to be assisted in this way and fully respect that you may prefer not to receive any hands on assistance.
Traditionally, ladies on their monthly menstrual cycle should avoid a strenuous practice for the first 2 or 3 days. If coming to a regular Ashtanga self practice then please let the teacher know and they can do a ‘Restorative’ practice with you if you wish.