Instructions for a good practice

  • Practice on an empty stomach. Do not eat at least two hours, or drink fifteen minutes before practicing.
  • It is a good habit to take a shower before practice.
  • Wear clean clothes and wash your mat every now and then. Clothing should be flexible and comfortable but not baggy. Astanga yoga is practiced barefoot.
  • Inform your teacher of any injury or medical condition.
  • Inform your teacher if you prefer not to be physically adjusted in the poses.
  • Avoid strong perfume. Some people are sensitive and allergic to strong odors.
  • Traditionally, the practice is done six mornings a week, with Saturday or Sunday as the day of rest. Rest days are also taken on full and new moon days.
  • For women, it is traditionally not advised to practice during the first three days of menstruation, nor during the first trimester of pregnancy and first three months postpartum. If you become pregnant ask your teacher for guidance!
  • Learn to pay attention and discover what works for you and what doesn’t, not just during certain days (‘ladies holidays’, moon days or pregnancy) but every day!
  • Benefits only come with regular long-term practice, but it’s important to exercise healthy moderation, balance and common sense. We are not meant to perform the postures in exactly the same way every day.
  • You may experience pleasant soreness, but any kind of sharp and/or continuous pain is always a signal of going beyond one’s limits. Avoid using force in the postures and respect pain signals.
  • Resist the urge to compare yourself to others, as everyone benefits from this system of yoga in his or her own way. You will progress at your own level and in your own time.
  • Practice way more than you talk about yours or other’s asana practice.
  • Before, during and after practice, it is important that everybody contributes to the pleasant and focused environment, free from interruption or disturbance. Make sure your mobile phone is turned off or on silent mode. Refrain from idle conversations.
  • Astanga yoga is not intended for children under the age of twelve, although it is perfectly safe and beneficial for them to learn about yoga practice playfully. There is no limit as to how old one can be and still maintain a practice.
  • The practice should not be done while sick with a fever or flu, or under the influence of alcohol, drugs or strong medicine.
  • Practice in a healing manner. This is always possible, even with injuries and emotional distress. Practices that defy desires and expectations tend to be those that are most beneficial. Show up with whatever body and mind you have today, and at least simply sit on your mat, breathe and observe.
  • Study the order of postures, the breathing and the movement system (vinyasa), and the names of the poses. This will clarify the practice, improve your concentration, and make it easier to communicate with teacher.
  • Follow the Astanga sequence and what the teacher has taught you. Please do not adjust other people or do what they are doing if it’s not part of your own personal practice.
  • Yoga should be a source of support and strength for your everyday life, and should improve the quality of your life in all levels. It is not the goal of yoga for you to forget the outside world and develop obsessive focus on the inner world of your mind and body.
  • Often, the more you advance the less you obsess with the need to achieve. Patience is cultivated. With the right attitude, yoga is a genuine path towards meeting your true self, where you are happy and already content with the present moment, as it is.

All these considerations are an excellent way to practice the first two limbs of Astanga Yoga (Yama and Niyama). They are the codes and ethics on how we relate to ourselves and the external world, in this instance also the teachers and fellow practitioners at MYC.

”Do your practice and all is coming.” ― Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

”Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” ― Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

"Astanga yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory." ― Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

”Everyone can practice Astanga yoga. Except lazy people.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois

"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is." ― Bhagavad Gita

“The mind is restless and difficult to restrain, but it is subdued by practice.” ― Bhagavad Gita

“Asana practise is for 2 hours. Yoga practise is for 24 hours.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois

”When the mind is quiet, the asana is correct.” ― Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

”This is not a gym, you are not here to work out. You are here to bring peace to yourself, to know who you are.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois

”With practice anything is possible.” ― Sri R. Sharath Jois

“The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.” ― Bhagavad Gita