introduction to ashtanga yoga course/workhsop for beginners
Are you looking to move better, get stronger, breathe a little deeper and take some time to destress from busy life? Ashtanga yoga is a way to feel stronger in body, mind and spirit and anyone can practice this style and everyone is welcome at Live and Breathe Yoga.
We designed this to ensure every student who comes to class has an excellent base understanding of the ashtanga yoga practice, tradition and philosophy. We assume that everyone attending our regular classes has attended this Introduction so that everyone in every class has the same base knowledge. This allows every student to feel supported and safe in every class and allows the teachers to know that everyone in the class has a good understanding and respect for the practice.
Whether you have never tried yoga before or are a seasoned practitioner this is an excellent way to be introduced not only to the practice of ashtanga yoga, but also the Live and Breathe Yoga studio and it’s wonderful teaching team and community.
course or workshop
We are now running this as either a one off 2 hour workshop or a 4 week course. This is to accomodate everyone’s busy schedules as sometime a 4 week course is not possible due to family and shift work. Keep an eye on the Courses and Workshops page to see when our next Introduction is on.
plus extra classes during and after the course
To help you experience all of our teachers and get a good jumpstart with your practice you can also attend unlimited classes for a set time during the course or following the workshop. Check out our timetable here.
what is ashtanga yoga?
We live in a world where we are constantly ‘on.’ We rarely get time to switch off and just be. Stress comes at us from everywhere: work, family, relationships, high-intensity exercise, even breathing incorrectly puts stress on our body. And if we don’t allow ourselves to balance that out with quiet, slow and steady, time to reflect then we get all sorts of issues as the stress sits and dwells within our body.
The ashtanga yoga practice starts with physical postures in a specific sequence combined with breathing techniques to open the body and burn away the negative effects of stress. It is a progressive system with a set sequence of postures whereby each posture builds on the one before each one increasing in difficulty. The internal heat that is created in the body as it moves in time with the breath from posture to posture, allows the impurities, tightness and stress to slowly and surely dissolve. Each movement or vinyasa, to get from one posture to the next, flows in time with the breath and are just as important as the postures themselves so that our minds are completely absorbed in the movement of the body.
who is live and breathe yoga?
Allison (owner and principal teacher) is a North Queensland girl born and bred and is passionate about bringing the best and most professional classes to Townsville. Our teachers are some of the best around and have all been practicing ashtanga yoga for many years. We all have had our own struggles with injury and busy lifestyles and understand that practicing ashtanga yoga is a challenge. But it’s a challenge that we are all completely grateful for and love to share it with our students so they can be rewarded as much as we have. We started from very humble beginnings and are all proud of how we have worked together as a tight knit, dedicated team to build Live and Breathe Yoga into the dedicated and beautiful community it is today.
Our studio is only small and we limit the number of students in each course and class so that everyone is known by name to the teacher and we can give you the individual attention you need.
the introduction course/workshop
This introduction is perfect for total beginners to yoga or for those who would like to deepen their understanding of the Ashtanga yoga system. We cover the first half of the primary (first) series of ashtanga yoga and we give plenty of modifications for everyone. This is your opportunity to be introduced to the fundamentals of the ashtanga yoga system, the studio and connect with the Live and Breathe Yoga teachers.With a set sequence of postures and a unique breathing technique, this style of yoga creates heat in the body, making you sweat, allowing you to move freely and release toxins. A regular yoga practice brings strength and flexibility in the body and focus and clarity in the mind. Ashtanga yoga will complement and enhance any other training or exercise programs you are undertaking; and will help you move and breathe more efficiently, feel relaxed and centred. It’s physically challenging and will increase strength and improve flexibility…be brave and sign up!
Week 1 / Part 1
We start off getting to know you and introduce you to the studio and where everything is. We outline what to expect during the course and discuss some of the history and theory of ashtanga yoga. We give some personal insights as to how the practice has changed our own lives and make sure everyone feels comfortable and at ease with what to expect during the course and at the studio.
We learn Sun Salutation A, some of the basic standing postures and basic seated postures (all with modifications for beginners) and finish with relaxation.
Week 2 / Part 2
We introduce the 3 fundamentals of ashtanga yoga : Breath, Bandha and Drishti. We start to practice the correct breathing and work on coordinating the breath with our movement.
We introduce Sun Salutation B (modified for beginners). We add on a few more standing postures and revisit the basic seated postures (with modifications for beginners), introduce the preparation for backbend and finish with relaxation.
Week 3 / Part 3
We introduce the concept of bandhas and start to practice engaging them first on their own and then with the postures.
We add on a few more basic seated postures (with modifications for beginners) and introduce the preparation for shoulder stand. And of course finish with relaxation.
Week 4 / Part 4
We introduce the concept of drishti and start to practice our gazing points while working on the physical postures. We also introduce the vinyasa and why it’s s important to the practice of ashtanga yoga.
We cover on the last of the seated postures (with modifications for beginners) and introduce the preparation for headstand. And of course finish with relaxation. We also discuss what happens next after the course is completed.
Learn from Allison – our principal teacher
With over 18 years of practice, 12 years of teaching, several long term study trips to KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India (the home of ashtanga yoga), and learning from all of the top ashtanga teachers in the world, Allison is one of the most experienced yoga teachers in Townsville. She has a passion for helping ordinary people do extraordinary things and has a unique way of blending the love of the tradition of the ashtanga yoga practice with a lighthearted playfulness that leaves everyone in her classes feeling completely at ease and with faith that they can do anything. Allison’s experience and compassion is very special and her love of the practice is contagious.
Here’s what our principal teacher Allison Dearling says about how the practice has affected her life..
“When I first started ashtanga yoga, I was doing loads of other physical activity. Running, swimming, gym sessions, paddling outrigger canoes and I thought I would balance all that out with some yoga. I signed up to an Introduction course I was 23 and thought ok, how hard can this really be? Little did I know that after that first class my life would be changed forever. Physically I was challenged in ways I never thought possible. I realised that my injuries (that I had sustained in a car accident a few years earlier) were not completely healed, that I couldn’t breathe very well and my mobility was terrible. BUT! I left feeling very calm, centred, and at ease for the first time in a very long time. I felt like me again and that everything was going to be OK. I wasn’t sure what had happened to me, but I wanted more. That was 17 years ago, and I still love this practice now more than ever. It’s been my physiotherapist and helped in my rehabilitation of all the injuries I sustained in that car accident. It’s been my counsellor when I didn’t know where to turn and what to do. It’s been my doula when I was having my baby and my support when I needed guidance as a new Mum with post-natal anxiety. It’s a dear old friend that has been with me through many of life’s challenges. My practice has challenged me in so many ways but has also been the answer to those same very challenges. It’s helped me uncover and be happy with who I am today.”
We know what it feels like to be a beginner – we want you to feel at home
Or maybe you’ve fallen off your mat and desperately wanna get back on…
Maybe you’ve practised yoga on and off. You absolutely love it and feel amazing when it’s a regular part of your life. But then life got busy, and it’s been a while. Or maybe you’ve tried a few styles and would like to see what ashtanga yoga can offer you. This course is a great way to gently get back into it and allow your body time to remember how good it feels when you practise consistently. Because you commit to a series of classes, it’s a lot harder to make excuses when it’s booked into your calendar.
Experience our beautiful studio in the city
Here’s what else you’ll REALLY love:
- Practice card – made right here in Townsville, you’ll be given a practice card to take home and use to reference of all the postures covered in the 4 week course. This is great to use at home or bring along to the Mysore self practice class.
- Homework videos – you will receive an email with either a video tutorials or guide for practicing some yoga at home during the week in-between classes to keep you motivated and on track.
- A warm, connected community – the ashtanga yoga community locally and globally is a wonderful group of dedicated practitioners who all love the practice and welcome newbies with a big smile.
- BONUS – you can attend unlimited classes for a specific time during the course/after workshop
How do I sign up?
What’s the cost?
The price is $99 (inc gst) for the workshop or $144 (inc gst) for the course. This includes all the bonuses mentioned above.
When is it on?
The course/workshop runs approximately every month with a few changes due to public and staff holidays. Go here to see all the course dates running at the moment. Or just click on the Book course button and it will take you to the booking page.
What if I can’t attend all the classes?
We know that sometimes you have to work late, or the kids get sick, or an unexpected relative turns up and you feel bad for leaving them for a yoga class. We know how life can throw these things at you. If you let us know in advance that you cannot make it then we will organise a catch up session for you. This is a courtesy to you but will only happen if you give us notice. Just like when you can’t make it to any other appointment we ask that you let us know so that we can book you into an alternative.
What if I have an injury?
It’s always best to get the OK from your doctor or your physiotherapist when starting something new. We can always modify the postures for injury. If it’s nothing chronic or serious then please come along and let us know before the course begins. We always get everyone to complete a registration form which asks every student to outline any injuries or illness past and present so that we can help you the best we can. If it’s something serious and/or long term then please give us a call to discuss first just to be sure.
What if I am pregnant?
How people felt afterwards
“I am overawed with the friendliness of everyone and especially the encouragement from Allison even when I know I have not perfected the pose. So happy we found Live and Breathe Yoga Studio”
“My back improved, and I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the sessions – I had a lot on my plate and I appreciated some solitude”
“I love the community feel of the place and can’t wait to keep coming to classes 🙂 “
“Brilliant! The pace was perfect and stepped up nicely to the beginner class. I loved learning about yoga history as well as the physical side of practice. As someone with anxiety (one of the main motivations for beginning yoga), especially in new environments, I found the atmosphere very welcoming, and Allison put me totally at ease – loved her light-hearted but earnest approach. Thank you!”
“I loved the video of the moves each week to use at home and the practice card too. I really enjoyed atmosphere of the studio”
” I have a thirst for more: motivation to become healthier and improve at a new skill. I’m already seeing changes in myself!”
“Allison’s a hoot! Each session was not only informative and well supported, but enjoyable with major laughs along the way!”