Q: Can I come to a Mysore class even if I have not memorized the sequence yet? A: Yes, you can, but you should make sure to put the effort into memorizing it quickly. After all, it is not that difficult, and only then you will be able to get into the flow which makes the Mysore style practice so valuable. As long as you have not memorized the sequence, you may bring a cheat sheet to class; in the very beginning, the teacher will tell you what to do.
Q: How often should I practice? A: In general, it is best to maintain a practice six days a week. Traditionally, the only resting days are Sundays (previously Saturdays) and moon days. However, depending on your physical condition and general circumstances, you should practice less often when you begin. There is no general rule for this, however, since it depends on various factors. You should make sure that you do not practice so much in the beginning that you quickly lose interest in it since it becomes too much, so it is better to practice not so much in the beginning and then increase the number of times you practice each week and the time during each practice. What is most important is that you practice on a regular basis and at least 3 times per week at the beginning.
Q: Can I practice if I am not in good shape/flexible? (Who can practice Ashtanga Yoga?) A: In general, the answer is a definite “yes”. Of course, there may be circumstances in which this is not true, but they are very rare and are mostly limited to severe diseases. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor. In any way, you should make sure to inform your teacher about any issues with your body and mind, if applicable.
Q: Why is there no practice on the moon days? A: In the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga, it is said that the body is more sensitive on moon days and therefore more prone to injuries. The concentration and energy is disturbed, and body and mind are unstable. During the moon days you should do Pranayama and Meditation.
Q: What is the best time of the day to practice Ashtanga Yoga? A: It is best to practice in the early morning, ideally before sunrise. At that time of the day, the mind is fresh and clean, and it is silent. The alternative is to practice after the sunset.
Q: Can I practice during my period? A: Ladie’s holidays are a time for rest. It is advised for women not to practice during their period, and to rest for three days.
Q: Can I practice when I am pregnant? A: You can, and it is even good for you. However, this is only true after the first three months of your pregnancy; you should not practice during the first three months. Or you can do the practice with the variation the teacher gives you.
However, you need to adjust your practice a bit. Instead of jumping during Vinyasa, you should walk, and you should stay longer in sitting Asanas. Pranayama is also very good during pregnancy. The deep breathing brings more oxygen to the blood and hence to the baby.
Q: When can I practice again after the birth of my baby? A: You should pause for the first three months after the birth of your baby.
Q: Can I drink during the practice? A: It is not healthy to drink during practice. You should not drink less than 30 minutes before and after practice.
Q: How long should I eat before practice? A: You should not eat a meal for about 2-3 hours before practice. Just as with drinking (see above), you should not eat less than 30 minutes after practice.