Students new to Yoga and/or Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga are welcome and encouraged to start their yoga journey here at AYS Raleigh. The best way to start is by taking our Intro to Ashtanga Month-Long Course: 

INTRO TO ASHTANGA (Mysore)

If you are new to Ashtanga we highly recommend this course!  It is a month long, 3 day a week introduction to Ashtanga yoga that also includes an unlimited class pass for the month.  Twice a week you will be working one-on-one with a teacher in the Mysore class and once a week you will attend a led class.  By learning this way, you’ll quickly become comfortable with the Mysore style learning format and you’ll see how effective the method can be in helping you create a personal practice.  This is a serious, fun, and safe environment for you to start your practice of Ashtanga yoga. You choose your own start date and the days each week that work best for you (see Class Schedule)

Mysore is a self-practice where students practice the Ashtanga series at their own pace with a teacher assisting each student individually.  This course will prepare you to participate in our ongoing Mysore classes.  During the month students will learn to memorize the sequence of postures that make up the foundation of the introductory series.  We are able to give one-on-one attention to our new students and gradually introduce them to Ashtanga yoga in a way that is right for each individual.  Students move through the series at their own pace allowing the body to open naturally and only working new postures when physically and emotionally ready.  ALL LEVELS Email to signup >

Many people are hesitant to step into a Mysore class, but once they get the hang of it they prefer Mysore classes over the Led classes.  Here at AYS Raleigh we offer Mysore sessions 5 mornings per week and Led Classes on Saturday mornings. Once the student is familiar with the practice to a certain extent, they will be invited to attend the Led Primary Series class. This is not an easy class, and many people do not practice the full Primary Series for quite a while. When students are ready, they are invited to attend, practice what they have learned in their Mysore classes and then stop and observe. The Led format classes help the student understand the rhythm and count of the practice, enhancing their experience in their self-paced practice whether at home or in Mysore class.

If you've taken a look at the Schedule you'll see that the Mysore classes are 2-3 hours. These are not 2-3 hour classes! You may arrive anytime between the start time and 1 hour before the end time (so between 6am & 8am on Tuesday-Friday), allowing 1 hour for your lesson at first. As your practice evolves, you may end up with up to about a 90 minute practice, but that will take a while for most people :-)

First and foremost, I would encourage you to just SHOW UP! Give yourself the gift of this time to focus on yourself, learning new skills and growing as a human being. Here at AYS Raleigh our mission is to create and hold space for students to take on a study of the Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga using the format of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, in a supportive and lighthearted community of like-minded yogis. 

If you have some experience with yoga, vinyasa yoga or flow style yoga, and want to come and try out a class, you are welcome to attend the Saturday morning Level 1/2 Led Primary class at 10am. This is the Led format class that Intro students will be attending as well.

Beginning January 2019 we will also be offering an Open Level Vinyasa class on Thursday evenings 6:30-7:30pm. Come and try out the class, meet the teachers and join the community :-)

In addition, keep an eye on the Events page for upcoming FREE Public classes at various locations around Raleigh, and a Special Intro to Mysore course offered only 1-2 times per year :-)

Mysore Practice Tips and Guidlines

Come to class with an open mind, ready to focus and learn, practicing Saucha (purity/preparedness), the first of the Niyamas on the Eight-Limbed path to yoga:

  • Bring a towel or 2 for practice. One for you and one for the teacher to use for adjustments

  • Do not drink water during practice. Keep your water bottle outside the practice space

  • Do your best to get a good night’s sleep and proper nutrition the day before practice

  • Practice on an empty stomach. A light snack 2 hours before is fine.

  • Wear clothing that you can move in comfortably, but not too bulky or warm. Prepare to sweat.

  • Showering before practice helps warm the muscles - especially for early morning practice - and ensures no offensive body odor.

  • Do not wear heavy perfume or cologne for practice out of respect for other students.

  • Clean your mat and practice towels regularly

  • Minimize talking in the practice space

  • Leave cell phones outside of practice space, or at least ensure that they are in silent mode

  • Bring a small notebook to takes notes AFTER practice. Leave this and practice sheets outside the practice space if at all possible.

  • Inform the teacher of any injuries or medical conditions before you begin practice

  • Upon arrival, set up your mat and begin practice. The teacher will ask everyone to come to Samasthitih for chanting, and then you may resume your practice where you left off.

  • If you arrive after the chant, you may chant on your own, or take a few moments to settle your thoughts and prepare your mind for practice.

  • Do your practice up to the last pose/asana that you have been given and stop. Do not ask for the next pose - the teacher will give it to you when you are ready

  • If you need help, come to samasthitih and wait for the teacher to come and assist you.

Practice schedule:

It is traditional to practice Sunday-Friday (six days a week) and take off Saturdays, and Moon Days (Full Moon and New Moon).  Ladies are advised to take off the first 2-3 days of their monthly cycle.

This practice is best done consistently (whether 6 days a week or fewer), with patience, dedication, and no attachment to the results of your practice (abhyasa and vairagya).  

“Practice, and all is coming!” ~Sri K Pattabhi Jois