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Ashtanga For Beginners Starting in February

Katja Kokko | 24.12.2014

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Edit: the course is now full! Only accepting signups for the waitlist.

I have new things planned for the New Year, including a great leap forward in my yoga journey.

I have spent this fall assisting and being mentored by my yoga instructor Magnus Appelberg, and even got to practice instructing on my own a few times. The next logical step is my own Ashtanga beginners class, which will run three nights a week, from February 9th 2015 to April 17th 2015 at Rööperin Hyvinvoimala, at Merimiehenkatu 21.

The dates and times are as follow:

Mondays 7-8.30pm

Tuesdays 7-8.30pm

Fridays 5-6.30pm

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As I’m not yet a qualified teacher, my classes will be at half-price, and the only payment method available for the class is a ten class card, which is available for purchase for €60, making the individual class fee only €6. The cards also give you access to all other yoga classes at Hyvinvoimala for half their usual price. More information about classes can be found at the Facebook page for Rööperin aamujooga.

Signups should be made to katja(at)katjakokko.com. I will be making a private Facebook group for the class, where I will be sharing thoughts and inspiration for yoga, as well as information about the classes. Signing up does not mean that you’re obligated to participate three times a week. The only obligatory class is the first one on February 9th, and preferably the other classes that week, so we can get to know each other. If you’ve done Ashtanga before, but have had a long break, I really do recommend coming to the first class. We’ll be starting with the basics, and the group will practice under my instruction until I feel it is ready for independent, Mysore-style practice. From then on the practice will become more individually paced.

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And now for the most important part:

If you have a tendency to over-achieve, stress, compare yourself to others, or feel like you’re the world’s stiffest, weakest and un-athletic failure with love handles to boot, you are just the kind of person I want in my group. Let me repeat that. If any of the above mentioned characteristics sound familiar to you, you have to sign up to my class. I promise you there will be no need for performance anxiety – you’re perfect just the way you are.

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I’m no pushover, and I won’t allow laziness, but I always try to keep the atmosphere in my classes open, encouraging and inspiring. Stumbling, struggling, aches, pains, panting and puffing are a part of yoga, and completely acceptable. The only way to bliss and understanding is through practice – and Ashtanga provides an interesting, life-long journey to our bodies and minds. Don’t get me wrong, the practice is tough and will challenge any dated thoughts or ideas you might have, and replace them with new ones – but the rewards will be more than worth it.

Since I’m also a student myself, I can’t promise to have the answers to all your questions about yoga or anatomy. I’m constantly learning, and teaching others is one of the best ways to learn. I started this yoga journey with a stiff and feeble body; I’ve experienced my fair share of pain, injury, frustration, boredom, performance and understanding. I believe that my greatest realizations have been the result of injury and rehabilitation. I’ve seen how my old beliefs have held me back, and that is one of the greatest sources of inspiration for me as a teacher.

Come and be enlightened! Rock om!

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Photos Dorit Salutskij

Translation Katja Nikula

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