Everything you need to embark on your yoga journey!

Welcome excited new student! There are many reasons why you’ve been intrigued by this practice: great strength, flexibility, body re-alignment.. or maybe you’ve heard that it makes you feel younger, happier and healthier.. maybe you just like to move your body and be part of a community of lovely people.

Good news! All those things are what make practicing yoga worthwhile in their own right. That’s more than enough reasons to start!

But deeper still: This is the practice of unveiling your true identity. Beyond the body, mind, ego and intellect, who are you really? If you’re not even any of your thoughts, concepts, ideas or projections, then what is this seed of consciousness peering out from behind your eyes?

For thousands of years the sages and philosophers of ancient India have sought to answer this age old question of “WHO AM I?”

And they found some answers!

Unfortunately those answers can’t just be told.. if they could then we’d all be living in an enlightened society devoid of materialism and illusion! That would be GREAT!

It’s a little harder than that.
The answer has to come from within. And it takes sustained effort over a long period of time.

It’s from here that the multitudes of yoga practices have been developed. For us to seek what the sages sought. Not by reading some books or hearing many lectures, but by embodying the teachings through a contemplative practice.

Ashtanga yoga starts on a physical level. First you learn the correct ways to breathe, move and hold the gaze. This begins the process of stilling the mind. Then, you apply these principles to the asanas (poses) that are learnt stage by stage in a structured, intelligent sequence.

Yoga asanas are kind of like this bag full of creations that you continue to work on. They’re a presentation you give to yourself and to whatever you perceive the divine to be.

A philosophy I enjoy on primary series is that it’s like the journey through life. We are born – Tadasana (standing pose). Challenges begin to appear which we must overcome. As we progress the challenges increase and we draw on the strengths from our previous experiences, discarding things we hold on to and embracing the new transitions. There are slumps along the way, but with gusto we get through. The practice is teaching an attitude for life while making the body strong, light and fluid as a positive side effect.

After learning these poses for some time, you expand your practice to include the other aspects of Ashtanga: Pranayama (breath retention/energy cleansing), Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), Dharana (concentrated awareness), Dhyana (meditation) and perhaps eventually Samadhi (state of deep absorption). When the entirety of this practice is understood, the practitioner will reside content in their true self, untroubled by the modes of material reality.

One of the main causes of dis-ease in modern life is stress. Not only is it tangible in the mind and the emotions, but these stresses also accumulate in the body. Think of the yoga practice as like sending your entire body through the washing machine. Through deep breathing and taking the body to its end range movements we’re essentially wringing out the tensions of body and mind, limiting their potential to manifest dis-ease.


The philosophical basis of Ashtanga is from an ancient Indian text by the sage Patanjali called “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras”. It’s dated between 2500-5000 years old. Here in 196 short stanzas (concise sentences) Patanjali describes a blueprint for understanding the self by stilling the mind. Liberation (Samadhi) the eventual outcome. The core of this teaching is called 8 limbs yoga (Ashta=8, anga=limbs). These are the 8 stages we embody to discover our underlying true nature.

  1. Yama – Restraints (Non-violence, truthfulness, non-theft, kindred love & non-greed)
    2. Niyama – Disciplines (Cleanliness, contentment, austerity, self-study & surrender to the divine)
    3. Asana – Postures
  2. Pranayama – Breath retention/energetic cleansing
  3. Pratyahara – Sense withdrawal
  4. Dharana – Concentration
    7. Dhyana – Meditation
    8. Samadhi – Liberation/absorptionThe physical practice where much of the focus is on the 3rd and 4th limbs was created/discovered by T Krishnamacharya and KP Jois only in the last century. In this system, the body and breath are mastered as a means to achieve the higher limbs of yoga. The style was popularised and then exported around the world from a town in India called Mysore. Hence the name: Mysore-style Ashtanga. Not just because it can make you sore!Ashtanga earns its fame as being a philosophically rich, physically intense practice but still allowing each student to go at their own pace. At first you learn some simple poses which then increase in complexity as your body becomes ready. The teacher’s roll is to facilitate what’s going on for you with individual instruction, assistance with injuries, alignment adjustments and the introduction of new postures. Over the course of weeks, months and years the student and teacher become familiar with the process the body, breath and mind are going through and work together to refine the practice.


You can bring your own yoga mat if you like. Otherwise we have plenty here for you to choose from and some quality cork mats for sale.
Wear your regular active wear. Nothing too restrictive.
Drink plenty of water before and after practice, but not during.
Do not eat for at least an hour before you start. The texts recommend a plant based diet in alignment with the first limb of Ashtanga yoga. This will also support creating a light, energetic and supple body through pranic whole foods that are natural with minimal processes done to them.
Taking drugs and alcohol aren’t recommended either. This is the equivalent of putting water on the fire as you’re trying to build it. Use the practice as a tool to overcome these type of addictions.


Often! Near daily is recommended. For the established practitioner this is 5-6 days per week. It’s much better to do a little bit each day than to do 1 intense session per week. Even if you only do 20 minutes, it still counts.
When you’re starting out you could start with 2 or 3 times per week but soon enough and as time permits, you’ll find yourself itching to do more. For the Ashtangi, there’s no such thing as too much practice!


There’s good, better and best. The best time to practice is early in the morning, the closer to sunrise the better. Any time of day is still fine. So we have a variety of options on the timetable.

Both full and new moon days are observed as a day of rest in the Ashtanga Yoga tradition. What is the reasoning behind this?

Like all things of a watery nature (human beings are about 70% water), we are affected by the phases of the moon. The phases of the moon are determined by the moon’s relative position to the sun. Full moons occur when they are in opposition and new moons when they are in conjunction. Both sun and moon exert a gravitational pull on the earth. Their relative positions create different energetic experiences that can be compared to the breath cycle. The full moon energy corresponds to the end of inhalation when the force of prana is greatest. This is an expansive, upward moving force that makes us feel energetic and emotional, but not well grounded. The Upanishads state that the main prana lives in the head. During the full moon we tend to be more headstrong.

The new moon energy corresponds to the end of exhalation when the force of apana is greatest. Apana is a contracting, downward moving force that makes us feel calm and grounded, but dense and disinclined towards physical exertion.

At No Mind Yoga we take rest from Mysore practice on the fortnightly moondays. The Foundations and Led classes will still be held, but at a far gentler pace and with more emphasis on the breathing and meditation.

There’s a bit of general advice specifically for the ladies. In their first 3 days of menstruation it’s advised not to practice. Also when pregnant, unless you have already been practicing for years, rest from practice for the first trimester.


1. The ambience and the attitude are what set the scene for practice. You want to make sure you’re in a quiet, non-judgemental space where you can prepare yourself internally for that ambience with an attitude of ease and acceptance. Have a ritual that signifies the start of the practice. Om and the opening mantra are what we use in Ashtanga to create that mood of reverence and respect for the hour or 90 minutes ahead as well as the thousands of years of knowledge we’re trying to embody.

2. Breath. Pay as much attention to it as you can! Let breath be your greatest teacher. Listen to it for feedback. Listen and respond. It’s the barometer for your practice. It’s not forceful, but it’s not doing nothing either. It should sound like a wave rolling.

3. Vinyasa. The movements follow the breath. They’re connected. If the breath shifts, you shift too. If you’re struggling to keep up, don’t demand yourself to not take extra breaths.

4. Foundations through the legs. When movement happens through the upper half of the body it can be easy to forget what’s happening through the legs. So establish strong even grounding from the onset. Where have I put the feet? Are my thighs engaged? Am I overusing the buttock? All important things to consider before moving on with the pose.

5. Feel as though you draw IN toward the midline rather than stretch. For example if you’re sitting with your legs crossed, you can separate the buttocks and then squeeze a bit so that you aren’t just splaying out. This is a stabalising action – squeeze in toward the midline in all poses.

6. Be aware of the 6 directional planes:

-Forward and back
– Left and right
– Up and down
As you segment the body see the direction you’re trying to go. This is important to clarify for beginners who don’t know which way things are trying to go. You generally expand in all 6 directions.
ie. As I pull the hip back, I press the big toe down. When there’s a movement there’s a counter-movement. When the crown of the head moves up, the sitting bones descend.
It can sometimes sound like there’s contradictions in yoga. No sooner are you asked to move forward before you’re asked to move back. But that’s the nature of spreading/expanding.

7. Return to a state of ease. A quick way to do this is to bring awareness to the hands, then the feet, then the face. They’re major areas at the extremities of your nervous system that will help you relax if you just send the message there. When hands, feet and face are relaxed, the whole body finds it easier to relax.

8. Do your practice in the same place. It makes it easier to generate that mood of sanctity. Whether at home or at the yoga shala, try to be in the same spot. You often see students getting to class early so they can get to that spot they like, but at the same time don’t get toooo attached to your spot.

9. It’s ok to not understand everything. A good rule of thumb is to master 70% and still leave 30% to master. It keeps an enthusiasm that there’s something more to learn. When you think you know it all there’s a sense of complacency that can make things mechanical. Try to have a beginners mind.

10. Do Savasana (corpse pose) for a long time. 5-15 minutes. The longer your practice, the longer your savasana should be. When you take rest, that’s where the assimilation happens. Through the practice you literally rewire your nervous system, so you need to rest and let the body and mind seep into a relaxation response.
That’s where one of the jewels of the practice is – taking that long rest at the end.


Yoga Chants

Ashtanga Yoga traditionally has both an opening chant and a closing chant. Because of Yoga’s ancient roots, chants (or mantras) are offered in Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), however their meaning is said to be universal as Sanskrit is the language of the heart.

Chanting acts to shift the consciousness of the individual practicing the chant to a higher level of vibration. This in turn brings us closer to our Source or Higher Self – the aspect of ourselves that remains eternal – and leaves the practitioner filled with peace and feeling calm and centred.

Studies have shown that when a person chants it can stabilise their heart rate, lower blood pressure, produce beneficial endorphins in the body and boost metabolic processes, so it perfectly compliments the physical practice of asana.

Ashtanga Yoga Opening Chant

The Opening Prayer is a blessing of gratitude offered to the lineage of teachers and their students who have enabled this ancient practice to survive through thousands of years so that we can experience its benefits today. The recitation of this mantra cleanses the energy of the space we have chosen to practice yoga, as well as preparing the mind, body and emotions for the forthcoming Ashtanga sequence.

Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohashantyai

Abahu Purushakaram
Shankhacakrsi Dharinam
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
Pranamami Patanjalim


I bow at the lotus feet of the Guru
which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being,
which are the refuge, the jungle physician,
which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara (conditioned existence).

I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
who has thousands of radiant, white heads (as the divine serpent, Ananta)
and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man
holding a conch shell (divine sound), a wheel (discus of light or infinite time) and a sword (discrimination).


Ashtanga Yoga Closing Chant

The Closing Prayer brings the practice to a peaceful end; sealing in the work done and offering the efforts of our practice to improve the state of the world.


Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena Mahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebhyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
For protecting the welfare of all generations.
May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed,
May all beings everywhere be happy and free
Om peace, peace, perfect peace


Become A


$170 per month thereafter
3 month minimum contract