We practice in bare feet, bare of judgment, ego or expectations, to keep the space clean. Treat the space, your teachers and your fellow practitioners as you would want to be treated: pleasantly and respectfully.
Bring your own mat and towel - it's more hygenic. If you don't have a mat, we have mats you can borrow (please clean them afterwards with the mat cleaner we provide.) We do not supply towels; make sure to bring your own towel for practice, as well as a towel and toiletries if you wish to shower afterwards.
Come to class with a clean body and clean, snug clothes, and a clean mat/practice rug. Keep your mat clean. Shower before class, as dirty bodies really smell bad when they get hot and sweaty. (Speaking of heat, we don't heat the room beyond 80-85 degrees F, as your body will become warm enough when you begin to move. Wear an extra layer in the winter, fewer in summer, and you should do fine.) Although we do have a shower, it is not recommended nor necessary to shower after class. In fact most people just get changed and go to work right after.
Make sure you are fully hydrated before you come to class, and try to practice on an empty digestive tract (unless you have a health issue that prevents this). Go to the bathroom before class, and refrain from drinking water during class (again, unless you have a health issue requiring it.) Drinking water during class will distract you, and cooling the body with water in class can also lead to injury. Your sweat is what your body uses to keep you cool - try not to wipe it off continuously, and you will not get overheated.
Turn off your cell phone. Do your best to keep talking to a minimum. Talking is a distraction from practice, and can be disturbing for other people. And, we share the building with many holistic practitioners and bodyworkers; please be respectful, and keep the atmosphere calm.
Remember to breathe. Ashtanga is a breathing practice that is linked to movement. The breath is the most important part of the practice. It is your refuge and the point of focus while in an asana; it is the guide into and out of each asana. Do not hold your breath during postures. Breathe audibly, and enjoy and finish each inhale and exhale completely.
Learn to distinguish between intense pain and discomfort in your body. Sometimes discomfort can arise during practice: this can be a place of wise exploration, leading to beneficial change. Pain, however, must be treated with great awareness and kindness. If you feel an intense pain, you may always come out of a posture. Tell your teacher, they may be able to help. Your body will respond beautifully when you show it kindness, acceptance and love. Do what you can with what you have, and accept where you are right now. Be patient. And, keep a sense of humor!
The practice is meant to flow, and be quiet. Don’t get too bogged down trying to make the “perfect” asana; don't get bogged down talking about your practice. Remember, it is a breathing practice linked to a movement practice that takes years to master. The real depth of yoga is determined by the focus and intent of the practitioner, and not the particular asana or series that is being done. Practice regularly and joyfully, and nourish yourself with it. Practice is not a chore, it's a privilege. It can and should feel good!
Create a weekly schedule of practice. Make your Ashtanga habit something to look forward to each day. Practice consistently as often as you can to get the most out of your practice. We encourage you to practice what you have learned at home on the days you can't make it to the studio, even if it's just 15 minutes of Sun Salutes followed by rest. Come consistently and your body and mind will experience a shift towards greater wellbeing. Your practice will become longer, stronger and more challenging. Your experience of practice will be more flowing and meditative. You will become a seasoned practitioner. This takes time and consistent effort. Don't give up. Be patient, do your practice every day if possible, and it will happen for you!