So many claims have been made about the benefits of yoga. We’ve seen first hand the positive changes that can come from having a yoga practice, and we believe that the best way to learn about yoga is to experience it for yourself. Sri K. Pattabi Jois said that Ashtanga yoga is 99% practice, 1% theory and The Yoga Shala is a place the helps you bring this wonderful practice into your life. We are a traditional Ashtanga Yoga School, in the sense that our primary method of teaching is a work at your own pace self directed style called Mysore, after the city in India where Ashtanga Yoga comes from. Whether you are new to Yoga or are an experienced Yogi, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about yoga and the Yoga Shala.
Most people start yoga by going to led yoga classes at a gym or any of the fine Orlando yoga studios here in Central Florida. There are many different types of yoga, that all fall under the umbrella of Hatha Yoga. While most new students don’t pay as much attention to the style of yoga they are doing, many people that stick with yoga find themselves preferring one style over another. There is no style that is better than the other and in the end it becomes a matter of preference. Some yoga studios offer many different types of yoga under the same roof, but here at The Yoga Shala we focus on only one style, Ashtanga Yoga.
Ashtanga yoga is a deeply personal practice. You repeat the same series of postures day after day, becoming more and more fit and more and more in touch with your body. Most new students will start in a led class format, with a teacher calling out the postures and the entire class following in unison. With the Mysore method of instruction, students are given poses one at a time, until they master that pose and then there instructor adds on poses one by one until they have mastered an entire series. The flexibility this opens up for a student is tremendous as it empowers you to be in control of your own practice. There are benefits to both led and mysore forms of instruction, so we offer both forms of instruction.
We offer Led Yoga Classes almost every day of the week, at a time that is convenient for most people. Our led classes are accessible to even the newest of yoga students and all people are welcome to attend.
Mysore style is the very best way to learn Ashtanga yoga as it keeps your attention centered and turned inward rather than toward the external (aka. ‘Teacher’). It also empowers you, gives you independence as you memorize the sequence, and helps you create the habit of daily practice.
For the Mysore system to work you should commit to practicing at least 3 times per week in order to build upon the previous sessions and imprint the sequence in the body.
Yoga practice is very similar to gardening: To grow well the human plant requires daily love and attention. Changes are so slow and subtle they are barely noticeable. A strong foundation in the internal principles (breathing, bandhas and drishtis) are the roots that give strength and grace to the practice. Finally, when all the preparatory work is done, the gardener sits back and watches the plant grow on it ‘s own…
Treat your body as you would a friend: with respect and care. Put on your adventurer cap, open your mind’s eye and explore your inner landscape. Listen for the silence behind the experience.
For those new to The Yoga Shala, we recommend attending our 4-week Beginners Course.
We do not have classes on New and Full Moon days. This is how our Teachers taught us to do yoga, so it is a practice we choose to uphold. Ashtanga Yoga is about building energy, and being a part of the earth the energy of the planets have an effect on us. During the time of the new and full moon the ebb and flow of this moon directed energy reaches peaks, so we take a break on these days. What to learn more?
Inform instructor if you are pregnant, or have any conditions or injuries.
Practice on an empty stomach.
Hydrate before and after practice, but we do not drink water during practice (no water in the shala).
When the room gets busy please be kind and move your mat over to make space for other students.
If you have questions stand at the front of your mat and your teacher will come to you.
Your teacher is there to help you, remind you of postures and give you new postures. If they are busy, please wait patiently for them to come to you.
No need to stretch before or after practice; you will get all you need during practice.
Please wait until after practice to connect with other like minded yogi’s. When in the practice room try to remain quiet and focused on your yoga practice.
There is no need to get off your mat for certain postures. The entire practice can and should be done on your mat.
Come to class with clean, light clothing suitable for indoor physical activity.
Patabi Jois recommended to not use a towel during yoga. When you first start practicing you may sweat a lot more than usual as your body is adjusting to the practice. Don’t be afraid to sweat. It is part of the cleansing and purifying process. If you sweat a lot you may want to bring a towel with you. Towels can be purchased at the Shala if you forget yours. Over time you will sweat less as your body gets more into a state of balance.
Please avoid wearing the following: jewelry/watches, perfume, creams or oils. We like to keep it “au natural”
Try to practice even if you are low on energy or don’t have time to complete the whole sequence. Even if you can’t make it to the Shala, a little practice is better than none.
If your time is limited, feel free to cut your practice shorter. This way you wont have to rush and will have time to do the whole finishing sequence.
Don’t be afraid to sweat. It is part of the cleansing and purifying process.
Don’t get discouraged if you feel tired and experience difficulties, you’re not aiming for external perfection. Observe the movements of the mind without implication or judgment, ask yourself how it feels and smile often.
“If you have ever taken a yoga class and couldn’t figure out what you were suppose to do with your body or keep up with everyone else, then The Yoga Shala is for you. You get great individual attention as you learn the proper technique of postures and at your own pace. What could be simpler!”
“The Yoga Shala’s beginner course is unique in that the instructors really care that you are learning the correct posture and the reasons behind necessary modifications. Most other courses show you a pose, say “okay try it and if you can’t just do something close” and that doesn’t help me at all. It teaches you a lot about patience, which I think a lot of people in society are lacking and need to practice.”
“I have developed (am developing) an attitude of progress at the Shala. It’s a beautiful and unique place that I am proud to be a a part of… I grow (mature, develop) as a person every time I am there, even if I don’t notice it at first or all the time or even most of the time (It’s those moments where you realize that keeps you going). I need the Shala in my life, I felt that way after (during) my beginners course and even if I have had my moments of doubt, I know deep down that being a part of the Shala has changed me, in a very very positive way.”