How to start

Complete beginners are always welcome at Ashtanga Yoga Oxford.

If you’ve never seen a Mysore self-practice class in action before, we will invite you to come and observe first so you can meet your teacher, get a feel for how it all works, and ask any questions you may have before deciding whether it’s right for you.

A Mysore self-practice class is the perfect environment in which to start Ashtanga yoga. Students are taught individually within a group environment and, in our experience, this is the best and safest way to first learn the practice as it ensures that you work at your own pace and receive the personal attention you need when you need it.

Beginners often assume that they will need to know the Ashtanga yoga sequence before they start. This is not the case as we will teach you the poses one by one in a methodical way so that you can commit them to memory as you go along.

If you are interested in starting Ashtanga yoga, contact Mary to let her know you’d like to join her class.



What to expect

Mysore self-practice classes always have students of mixed abilities and experiences working side by side and beginners are always welcome.

Your first few classes
At your first class you will be shown the sun salutations and how to breathe correctly. You will also be taught about the bandhas. The first lesson will last approximately 30 minutes. Although this may not sound much, there will be a lot of repetition and students usually find this is more than enough.

The next time you attend you will be shown the next posture and so on until you have built up a sequence of poses that you can do without too much prompting or assistance.

Hands-on adjustments
We teach in a traditional style which means that sometimes we give physical, hands-on adjustments.

Whilst we try to ensure that these are always beneficial and safe we recognise that some people will still prefer not to be adjusted. We want to assure anyone who comes to our shala that you are free to say no to adjustments at any time and we will respect your wishes and will not ask you to explain your reasons.

Frequency and length of practice
Normally we ask students to commit to attending a minimum of three times a week at a regular time to make progress. We are flexible. Your first class will probably last 30-45 minutes.



Our top tips for beginners






– When you arrive turn your phone off and take your shoes off
–  If you have a yoga mat, bring it
–  Wear either leggings/shorts and a vest and bring a small towel as you will get hot
–  Don’t eat for a couple of hours before
–  Take things slowly