I have been practising Ashtanga yoga for 20 years now and teaching since 2001. During this time my approach and structure of classes have changed a little, but my core values remain the same....
Here are my 5 main beliefs when sharing this wonderful technique at the Wee Yoga Room:
Blocks of classes - not 'drop in': Commitment is extremely important when practising Ashtanga. For this reason a regular practice is crucial and drop - in, ad - hoc classes donot give you the same consistency. The Wee Yoga Room offers blocks of classes, so that you can attend a regular classes on a weekly basis and progress through the sequence safely. We offer a very flexible class policy, so you can make - up a class if you happen to miss one. This is something that other studios rarely offer, so is a real incentive if you find that you have the odd personal commitment.
Beginner classes: Building a strong foundation is crucial. There are yoga centres and gyms who offer 'open' level classes for beginner to advanced level practice. This can be a dangerous way to teach and people can injure themselves trying to keep up with their peers. My approach with beginners is to start at the very beginning; start with the breath and build on the practice slowly week by week.
Small classes: I take 14 participants maximum at the Wee Yoga Room. I have worked at centres where there are more and it was very hard to give everyone equal attention and to ensure that all participants are doing the correct moves. I love getting to know people and their bodies, so that I can give them adjustments that are a suitable fit. This is only really possible in small, personable classes. When looking for a studio, i ruled out many bigger spaces because I felt that this core value is so important. In my studio, you can always see the teacher, always ask questions and because of this, you will develop more of a connection with the teacher.
Don't take it too seriously: This is very important as you progress on your yoga journey. I try to keep things light and maintain a good sense of humour. This in turn, will help you to relax on the mat, giving you maximum benefit from the class.
Building a sense of community: I encourage participants to connect with fellow yogis and because the studio is small, I try to connect with everyone myself as well. This means that that the atmosphere is charged with positivity and good energy.