What to Expect

Welcome to Pacific Ashtanga!

As a new student, we want you to feel comfortable and welcome. This page is intended as an overview of what Ashtanga is, and what you can expect in our teacher-led classes as well as our independent practice, called Mysore.

Ashtanga Yoga - What is it?

  • One of the oldest forms of yoga
  • Breath-focused practice
    • Founded by Sri K Pattabhi Jois as a preparation for meditation and a way to alleviate various ailments
    • Synchronizes movement to the breath
  • A prescribed series of poses
    • Passed from teacher to student
    • Poses are added as your experience and body allow
    • Incorporates active movement "flow" between poses
    • Builds strength and stamina
    • Becomes a meditative practice due to breath/movement synchronization

Led Classes and Mysore Independent Practice

Led Classes


New students are encouraged to attend led classes before progressing to Mysore.

  • All classes are teacher led, with the exception of Mysore, independent practice.
  • A teacher will lead the class through the series of poses, calling out the name of each pose, while providing direction on proper form, as well as modifications which will allow the student to experience the benefit of each pose while preventing injury or over-strain to the body.

Mysore Independent Practice


This is the traditional method in which Pattabhi Jois began teaching Ashtanga in Mysore, India, and is offered over a 2-3 hour window to accommodate student schedules.

  • Once you have become familiar with the poses, your teacher will recommend Mysore
  • A teacher oversees this independent practice class, providing individual adjustments and direction which allow you to fully benefit from each pose
  • The true meditative aspect of the Ashtanga practice is most readily experienced in a Mysore environment

Mentors for New Students

We love new students at Pacific Ashtanga! We all remember being new to the practice, and will do everything possible to make you feel welcome and relaxed while your learning progresses.

Whether attending a led class or Mysore for the first time, you will be paired with a more advanced student that you will "shadow" throughout the class or Mysore session. This will allow you to reference the proper form for each pose, as you learn and stay in sync with the order of the poses. This method of mentoring allows new students to feel welcome and receive needed guidance.

Led Class Schedule too Limited?

The ultimate goal is to establish an independent practice. So, if you can make the commitment to attend 2-3 led classes each week, you will soon find yourself ready to start Mysore and establish an independent practice that works best with your schedule and lifestyle.

No Judgement / No Pressure - Everyone Benefits!

There is absolutely no judgment of ability or knowledge when you attend one of our classes -- all you need is a desire to learn. There are students of all experience levels in our classes. As long as they are respecting the limitations of their individual bodies, they are all experiencing the same benefit from each pose. Just remember to breathe - that is the most important part!

Interested in learning more? Please join us at a beginner's class. Click below for schedule: