Ashtanga Yoga Beginners' Course

Welcome to the Astanga Vinyasa Yoga 6-week beginner’s course. This course is  an introduction to this beautiful, but challenging, practice. Before you start you will need a sticky mat and clothes that you can move in. You may also want to use props such as a yoga block and a strap (you can use a big book or a dressing-gown belt instead if you like).
The course is designed to help you remember the Astanga standing sequence. Ideally, you should practice each lesson until you have memorised the movements in that lesson before moving on to the next class. Once you have completed the 6 week course and know the sequence you can then move onto the intermediate class. If you don’t have time to practice 6 days a week, start with 2 or three days, and build your practice up slowly. Take as long as you need. There is no rush.
Remember that this practice is a BREATHING practice. It doesn’t matter how strong or flexible you are, the sign of a true yogi is the ability to move with the breath with focus and ease. This means that you may need to bend your knees or modify the postures in places.  Never strain.  The breath should remain smooth and even and the face relaxed throughout. Be gentle with yourself, don’t be ambitious, and give yourself time to develop your strength and flexibility.  You will be rewarded with a practice that brings you peace of mind as well as a fit and healthy body.
Contra-indications - Please don’t start this practice if you are pregnant. If you suffer from high blood pressure, glaucoma, joint replacements, Ehlers Danlos syndrome (hypermobility), vertigo, a herniated disc, or have any other condition that gives you pause for thought, I suggest consulting your doctor and working with a teacher rather than online. For those with other injuries, work carefully around the injury, never pushing into pain in the joints.
Finally, it is normal to feel some muscle soreness when you first start any exercise. If this happens to you, don’t stop practicing, but ease up a little.  Epsom salt baths, avoiding sweet foods and drinking turmeric tea can also be helpful.
Above all, remember that you are doing this practice to improve your quality of life, not to prove yourself in some way. Enjoy the process, stay with the breath, and you will feel the rewards.