How to get maximum benefit from your Ashtanga yoga practice

  • Always practice on an empty stomach. It is recommended to wait for 3 – 4 hours after a meal.
  • Do not drink during the practice.
  • Wear light comfortable clothing that you can move in.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early if possible to ensure your space on the mat, to calm the mind and to do some gentle stretching before the class.
  • Do not be afraid to sweat or to feel tired. Focus on the breath and move with awareness. The breath combined with the movement will bring new energy, eliminate tiredness and strengthen both mind and body.
  • Use Mula bandha and Uddyana bandha. Mula bandha involves tightening the muscle at the base of the spine, the pelvic and perineum area. Uddyana bandha is the contraction of the abdominals towards the spine, achieved by drawing the belly towards the kidneys. This stops the abdominal organs from dropping and the expansion of the diaphragm. It takes time to perfect.
  • Be aware of how your body feels in the moment. Some days are light and pleasant, other less so! If you have any pain or serious discomfort just stop or pull back.
  • Practice Ujjayi breathing. Keep the throat relaxed and open, and apply a slight closure of the glottis: The air will produce a sound as you inhale and exhale. The breath should be gentle, deep and strong. A deep exhale ends below the navel. A deep inhale will expand the back and the thoracic cage, filling the area around the heart.
  • If you loose the regular breath for any reason, just stop and take a few breaths, then start again.
  • Try to keep your face relaxed – no frowning! Above all bring an open mind, a smile and a sense of humour.