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Ashtanga Yoga Absolute Beginners

A gentler introduction to our most popular form of yoga - Ashtanga. Build a solid foundation for an Ashtanga Yoga practice, which is a strong, flowing, energetic class.

You'll get lots of cues and personal assistance to help you to get the most from each posture. Suitable for yoga beginners and those who want to deepen or develop an existing yoga practice.

Following a few weeks in this class you might want to stay in the class or try one of the more advanced Ashtanga yoga classes.

Ashtanga is the most energetic and challenging form of yoga, it's also very traditional. Ashtanga yoga combines the physical benefits of flexibility, strength, balance and cardiovascular fitness as well as the mental benefits of cultivation of focus, curiosity, deep awareness and control of the nervous system.

It suits those who are happy to work at their physical yoga practice and to sweat and progress. Ideal for those of us with busy minds as Ashtanga yoga quietens the chatter of the mind, bringing us peace and clarity.

You'll learn the Ashtanga yoga sequence so that it becomes a joyful moving meditation and you'll notice your progression. Each posture is held for 5 breaths and is linked with a set of movements called a vinyasa to create a sense of rhythmic energy that becomes deeply calming.

If you want to delve deeper there’s plenty to learn in this practice including the Sanskrit names, the Ashtanga count, mantras, philosophy and pranayama (breathing) and meditation practices, which you can pick up along the way, through the video library or through specific workshop sessions at the studio.

Taught by Lorraine with a couple of the classes also taught by our Studio Director and Lead Teacher Emma Lowther-Wright.

Our Ashtanga yoga students are a lovely, welcoming community.

If you have any questions email Emma on emmabebliss@outlook.com

Our Absolute Beginners Ashtanga Yoga class moves more slowly than our other Ashtanga classes to give you time to build a solid foundation for this energetic, challenging yoga practice of strength, balance and flexibility. Taught by Lorraine under the direction of Emma, our Studio Director.

What is Ashtanga Yoga and what are the benefits?

Ashtanga yoga is an energetic traditional form of yoga founded in Mysore, India and now practiced all over the world.

It comprises a set series of postures which flow together forming a moving meditation which is excellent for anxiety and stress-relief, flexibility, balance and strength as well as cardio-vascular fitness.

Because the postures are only held for 5 breaths and we are moving and breathing rhythmically, Ashtanga yoga is also excellent for anxiety, cardio-vascular fitness and improving the tone of vagus nerve which improves resilience and the ability to remain focused and calm.

What are the types of Ashtanga yoga class?

At Mandala we have the following Ashtanga yoga classes:-
Beginners, a 60minute class with the standing postures.
Progression, a 60minute class with around half the postures.
Half Primary, a 75minute class with 3/4 of the poses.
Full Primary, a 90minute class with all of the primary series poses.

There is also a Mysore class which is a silent practice. See the Mysore FAQ for more detail.

Which Ashtanga yoga class is right for more?

I recommend you start with either the Beginners course, or the Beginners or Progression class, so that you can build your understanding of each of the asana (postures). If you are are reasonably fit and an experienced yoga practitioner you may wish to start with the Half Primary class.

Is Ashtanga yoga beginner-friendly?

Yes, we have Ashtanga yoga classes at all levels from beginner to advanced. I recommend you start with Ashtanga Beginners or Progression class if you are a yoga beginner.

What should I wear to the class?

Something you are comfortable stretching in, for example leggings or shorts and a t-shirt or vest top.

What is Ashtanga Yoga Membership?

Ashtanga Yoga membership saves you £5 - £12 per month and guarantees you access to your chosen Ashtanga Yoga class each week. It also offers priority booking for events.

There is the option to add Groove to your membership.

See the Ashtanga Membership page of the website for more details.

about the Teacher

Emma Lowther-Wright: Studio Director

Hi, I'm Emma and I am very fortunate to have been trained to teach Ashtanga Yoga by world-renowned John Scott. John is one of the key teachers who brought Ashtanga yoga from India to Europe. Often referred to as 'Preston's yoga teacher' I am honoured to teach yoga to 150-200 people every week!

I am dedicated to and immersed in the Ashtanga practice and continue to travel to study with senior 500hr international teachers including Eddie Stern, Scott Johnson, Lucy Crawford-Scott and Greg Nardi.

I teach with an emphasis on clear communication, empowerment, joy and compassion. I am especially interested in the neuroscience of yoga, how yoga can release physically held mental and emotional tension and how yoga can help us to live with greater joy, confidence and ease.

As well as studio classes I work within the community teaching in workplaces and education settings and to members of our community with physical and mental health challenges including those with deafness, who use a wheelchair and have cognitive challenges.

My classes are heart-lifting, empowering, flowing dances to the rhythm of the breath. I share movement and meditation practices with kindness, encouragement and joy - I hope to welcome you to a class soon.
RYT 350hrs, BAST PLdip, Groove Facilitator, POUND, Barre Concept, Aerial Yoga

The experience was beautiful, the way Emma held the space for us and kept it judgement free is amazing. As a newbie I always feel quite anxious about not being as experienced but in this class, I never felt so light! Thanks a lot

Beautiful Experience

This was mine and my partners first time and Emma is just so warm, lovely and welcoming. We absolutely loved it, what an all round amazing experience. We will definitely be back.

Thank you to Emma for welcoming us, what a lovely space filled with positive energy.

Amazing Experience

I am only fairly recent to the studio and to Emma as a teacher but wow what a difference it has made to my week each week and my well-being overall. I look forward to my classes and feel amazing after.

Emma is so kind and helpful  coaxing you to push a little further and increase your practice, making it more enjoyable and giving your a stronger basis. The yoga in the park during the pandemic was a life line and such a beautiful idea I almost sad to go back to a studio. We laugh, practice and most of all enjoy the moment. I recommend this school and teacher wholeheartedly ......”  Anna

Wow - what a difference!

 I love Emma’s ashtanga yoga classes, which encompass not only great guidance, but a real sense of fun.  V

Guidance & Fun

Emma is a wonderful teacher, patient, carefully explains and has a natural flow which provides for an excellent practice experience. Inspiring - a definite recommendation for Preston and local participants. Philip

An oasis of calm and presence

I have practiced yoga with many teachers but have learnt so much from Emma. Her explanations are very clear and really help me to get more from each posture and my practice. I always feel wonderful after her yoga classes. Thank you for sharing your knowledge Emma. Pauline

Learnt so much

Emma is a fabulous and very authentic yoga teacher. She has a really thorough knowledge of yoga and the human body and she applies this in a way that is appropriate to every individual in the class to help us to get the most from each posture. She seems to know exactly what will work with each person. My flexibility and breath have really improved since I started studying with Emma. Steven

Fabulous Yoga Teacher

Emma is an excellent teacher with a deep understanding of yoga and ability to teach at all levels. Her style is very welcoming and I enjoy her classes very much. Sarah T

Deep Understanding of Yoga

As a newbie to yoga I have found over 8 weeks my strength and ability has continued to improve. Emma is a wonderful teacher , everyone is made so very welcome.

Strength Improvements

Emma teaches yoga in such a way that she makes us feel like we are always good enough and always beautiful. In person or online. My classes always leave me feeling wonderful

Makes me feel beautiful

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