A collection of frequently asked questions [FAQs] that may change from time to time.
What is Ashtanga Yoga?
A set sequence of yoga poses taught to the student individually. New Poses are subsequently given by the teacher as the student progresses.
What is the difference between Ashtanga Yoga vs Vinyasa or other styles of yoga?
The key difference is that Ashtanga Yoga follows the same sequence of yoga poses using deep breathing and drishti (gazing point) as tools to integrate the practice.
What is the difference between Mysore Class vs LED Class?
Mysore class is a self-practise class where the student practises according to the pose sequence. Adjustments will be given by the teacher whenever necessary and new poses will be added as the student progresses.
LED class is instruction based where the teacher is leading the class. Students who have progressed up to halfway of the full sequence will benefit from attending a LED class.
I am a beginner / new to yoga. Should I start with Mysore or LED class?
Mysore class will be ideal for beginners as the sequence / poses are taught individually by the teacher.
I have done some yoga previously / currently, can I attend Mysore or LED class?
We would still recommend students with yoga experience to start with the Mysore class and work with the teacher progressively before attending the LED class [at least up to Navasana, Boat pose].
What are the benefits of Ashtanga Yoga?
With regular and consistent practice, one can start to develop a strong physical body, improved flexibility, increased stamina, mental clarity, focus and better stress management.
I have pre-existing medical conditions, can I still practice?
We recommend you to speak to us before commencing and consult your doctor prior to making a decision.
I have some pain and injuries. Can I still practise?
Yes practise is possible however depending on the type of pain and injuries you have, we would suggest you talk to us prior to deciding.
I am really stiff and inflexible. Can I still do Ashtanga Yoga?
Absolutely! In fact, with regular practice, Ashtanga Yoga will help to improve the flexibility and reduce the stiffness in the body!
It’s a repetitive sequence, seems boring and routine. How will I know if I am making progress?
The sequence may be the same but the practice is never boring. The practice is unique in a way that trains not only the mind to pay attention and to be present but at the same time it helps to strengthen the body and improve your overall well being.
Over time students can also look forward to progressively move into the next series or simply work on the Primary Series to maintain good health and vitality, both physically and mentally.
Is modification / skipping poses allowed?
Yes we believe that we should adapt the practice to suit our body (conditions). Sometimes modifications / skipping poses are given to allow the student (body) time to adjust and adapt – perhaps due to current injuries or restrictions. Eventually we will revisit the pose again as the student progresses.
Can pregnant women practice Ashtanga Yoga?
It depends! If you already have an existing Ashtanga Yoga practice prior to pregnancy, you can adapt / modify the poses accordingly. If you are new to the practice, you may want to check with your gynaecologist prior to commencing the new routine. Every woman’s body is different hence there is no one size fits all approach.
Can we practice on Moonday?
Yes and it can vary for different practitioners. For teachers and students who practice six days a week, Moondays provide a chance to rejuvenate, recharge and rest their body and mind. For others their rest days can take place on a Moonday so just practice.
What is a ladies holiday? / Can I still practice when I am on ladies holiday?
Taking a break during the monthly menstruation cycle is known as ladies holiday. Usually we would encourage female practitioners to take 2-3 days rest, depending on their bodies as the practice can be physically demanding and challenging.
Must I chant opening and closing prayers?
No it is not mandatory.
Props or no props?
Props can be useful but at the same time they can also create dependency. Before reaching out to the props, try to work with your own body.
At what age can children practice Ashtanga Yoga?
The recommended age for children starting yoga practise may vary but generally we suggest letting the children themselves come and try out the session before deciding.
Why must I practice 6 days a week?/ What will happen if I don’t due to my busy life?
A consistent regular practice will help one to build stamina, strength, discipline and familiarity with the sequence. You don’t have to jump straight into a 6 days practise a week. Start with what is possible based on your current lifestyle, build from there and adapt accordingly.
What is the difference between deep breathing and Ujjayi breathing?
Deep breathing is a breathing sound created from the back of the throat during the practice while Ujjayi breathing is more commonly related to the pranayama (breathing) technique.
Can I skip the vinyasas?
Vinyasa is the link between the poses that makes the practice unique. At the same time vinyasa helps to regulate the body temperature, build practice momentum and improve stamina along the way. Unless you have medical or injury related concerns, give it a try before you skip the vinyasas.
I am confused by the different instructions given by different teachers. Shouldn’t it be the same?
Different teachers have different ways of explaining and interpreting the practice based on their own experiences. Always clarify with the teacher if you are unsure or confused.
When can I progress to the next series?
Progression is a natural part of the practice (and life as well). Working with a teacher who understands and supports your practice is important to help you progress to the next series.
Should I take an oil bath?
Oil baths are taken once weekly to help remove excess internal heat in the joints, particularly pain in the knees, back and stiffness as well. It can be beneficial and helpful to those who practise a 6 days-a-week routine.
How long should I rest in savasana?
We recommend 5 minutes rest for every 30 minutes of practice in savasana (corpse pose) to allow the body to reap the benefits from the practice.
What can’t I eat before practice or drink during practice?
Avoid heavy food consumption at 90 minutes before practice is recommended to avoid any stomach discomfort. Drinking water is not recommended during the practice because it will cool down the body temperature and break the momentum of the practice.
Do I need to be on a vegetarian diet when I practice yoga?
Not necessary. Dietary choice is personal and should not be imposed on anyone to practice yoga.