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Chandra Yoga © 2021
Design by: Johnny K. Studio
Photos by: Voursoukis Giorgos

— ASHTANGA YOGA KOUKAKI
lights

No previous experience is required in order for anyone to start practicing Ashtanga.

 

All we ask from our new practitioners, is their commitment to practice 2-3,or more, times a week, for at least a month, in order to discover the practice and what it has to offer.

 

Additionally, for our shala to keep functioning smoothly, we ask all practitioners to be:  a. extremely diligent in managing their accounts and b. super punctual regarding class timings.

 

We currently do not accept drop-ins, as a general rule. However, if you have an established practice and wish to practice with us, please write us an email, making sure you mention your teacher’s name(s).

 

For new practitioners, there is a waiting list. We open up some spots and offer introductory classes a few times a year. More info on that in the “News” section. The reason we have decided to operate in this unconventional way has to do with you, the current and future members of the shala. On one hand, we aim to make your introduction to Ashtanga as safe, smooth and pleasant as possible. On the other, we do not wish to disturb the concentration and energy of those who practice consistently with us, by allowing a continuous flux of new people year-round.

 

For more info, please contact us at info@chandrayoga.gr

Our practice is silent, for the most part, so prepare to speak quietly and -during class- only when it is absolutely necessary! Talking on the phone is not allowed in the shala, and make sure it is turned off or silenced before you enter.

 

We practice barefoot, so take off your shoes as soon as you enter the shala.

 

If it’s your first class, you have nothing to worry about! We will welcome you and let you know exactly what to do.

 

Wear clean and comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely.

 

Your last meal should be taken a few hours before class.

 

Please do not drink water during class.

 

Bring your own mat and a towel.

 

Do not come for class if you are experiencing fever or other flu-like symptoms.

 

Let us know about any health issues or injuries you might have.

 

Typically, we practice 6 days a week, save for full and new moon days. For people with periods, an extra 3-day rest during their cycle is advised. If you have any concerns, let us know so that we can help you decide what to do.However, daily practice is usually built gradually, and more importantly, when and if your body asks for it. So, try to listen closely and mindfully, and adjust accordingly without burdening yourselves with expectations.

As teachers, we consider ourselves bound by the same ethical standards as any other professional.  It is our obligation to maintain healthy boundaries with our students, and we consider any romantic or sexual relationship between a teacher and a student highly inappropriate.

 

The extended yoga community is unfortunately not exempt when it comes to incidents of violating behavior that include sexual misconduct/abuse. In our shala, we acknowledge that Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), the founder of Ashtanga, touched female students in an inappropriate manner. Many of them have come forward the recent years. We stand beside them, and beside anyone else that has suffered and survived sexual abuse. As a shala, and as people, we have zero tolerance for similar behaviors, as well as for sexism and misogyny is general.

 

We can’t stress enough that we might be teachers, but we are also flawed human beings. We are not omniscient and definitely not someone to surrender your power to. No one knows what’s best for you and your body better than you. We are here, at best, to lead by example, support, and nurture you through your journey, and the only way to do this is through honest and open communication, which we commit to encourage in every possible way.

Our hope and goal, is for our shala to be first and foremost, a safe space to practice and one free of performance and competition.  To be a space where one feels empowered, supported, and accepted.

 

Teaching Mysore style includes giving physical adjustments that aim to either guide the practitioner to the fullest expression of the pose possible, or support them while doing it. Along with verbal queues, they are an invaluable tool for any teacher – whose goal should NOT be to do the pose instead of the practitioner, but to help them realize their potential.

 

However, if any practitioner feels triggered or uncomfortable by, or during physical adjustments, or for any reason does not want to be touched, at a particular moment or ever, they should feel free to turn them down, without having to explain themselves.

 

That being said, we encourage practitioners dealing with a physical injury, to let us know before or during practice, so that we are able to take it under consideration while giving adjustments or verbal queues.


 

In the Ashtanga method, the next pose is given to practitioners when they are ready, according to the teacher’s judgment. A practitioner is considered ready, not necessarily when the pose is perfect, but rather when it is steady and comfortable, the breathing is stable and not forceful, and the practitioner has been making a sincere and committed effort to take it to the place that is available to them, without attachment to results and to getting the next pose.

 

The teacher on the other hand is required to act, not as a strict enforcer of the rules or a perceived “correct method” but as an outside, objective and empathetic observant that can recognize when more effort can be made, but also adapt the method to each individual’s needs.

 

With much understanding and compassion, for we are also practitioners, we kindly request that you not ask us for the next pose, or when you are moving forward. Progress is slow, especially after a certain point. Yoga is not just asana, but also the inner work that one has to do when faced with themselves and their limitations, on and off the mat. Our goal is not to finish a series, but also to reach that point having learnt something about ourselves along the way, and through the daily struggle to find the space to grow. If you feel stuck, perhaps ask yourselves, first of all, whether you practice often enough. If the sincere answer to that is YES, then, by all means, talk to us about it, for our sole intention is for your practice to make your life better.

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