Frequently Asked Questions

This page is currently under development – more details coming soon!


What is Ashtanga?

Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga developed by Sri K Pattabhi Jois and his guru, Krishnamacharya. They refined an ancient text to bring us this unique style, which is distinguished by the linking of breath and movement (vinyasa).

This style of yoga is known for developing a strong body and mind. It is gives you a cardiovascular work out as well as strengthening your core muscles. The initial sequence we learn is Yoga Chikista, or Yoga Therapy, which cleanses and balances the body. For more information see our page which explains the benefits of Ashtanga here.

What is yoga?

Yoga translates as “union” or “joining” and can be traced back to the beginning of human civilisation and its attempts to develop spiritual abilities. Yoga was intended to be a complete scientific system for living. Over the years, various styles of physical yoga have been devised.

Yoga poses were developed centuries ago to cleanse and enable the body and mind to sit for long periods of time in meditation. Few people in the West come to yoga for this goal, but whatever the motivation, students immediately feel the benefits of yoga postures. So even if meditation in not your aim, the postures will strengthen and tone your body and bring you a sense of peace.

Why do yoga? 

To feel better physically, mentally and spiritually. Because yoga tones and cleanses the body and calms the mind.

Yoga is extremely beneficial for physical and mental well-being. Josetta will tell you the particular benefits of each pose as you go along. Ashtanga yoga is very dynamic so it is great for increasing fitness and building strength. All styles of yoga increase flexibility and tone. The focus is on correct breathing throughout each class, which provides the meditative and calming elements. Yoga boosts the immune system and is calming for the nervous system so it helps reduce stress and insomnia. It also improves balance, the digestive and circulatory systems. Every week, her students tell her how great they feel from the class and how well they sleep after a lesson. Over time, you will see your physique, stress levels and health improve.

I can’t even touch my knees, so is there any point coming?

Don’t worry, it does not matter how bendy you are and many new students can’t bend very far. Thankfully, the yoga class is supportive and is certainly not a competitive environment. The gentle stretches will increase your flexibility slowly and safely. As you progress, you will reach your knees and beyond. Yoga is humbling, we all have postures we find easy and ones that are more challenging. The point is not what you can or can’t do, the point of yoga is finding peace, harmony, increasing your levels of fitness, health and contentment.

I have a health condition, can I do yoga?

Ashtanga yoga will help most physical and mental health conditions except severe back problems and high blood pressure.

Restorative yoga therapy can work on any issue.

People of any age, size and ability can do Ashtanga or Restorative yoga.

All students complete a confidential health form and anyone with health problems must check with their GP before beginning any new form of exercise

Do I need any specialist equipment?

Please bring your own yoga mat. Yoga mats are cheap (from £6.99) in discount shops/sports shops. However, it is better if you can buy a slightly more expensive but ethical/ecological mat.

Do make sure it is actually a yoga mat with a non-slip surface. Sponge or camping type mats are not safe to practice yoga on as your feet/hands will slip.

Tip: When you get a new yoga mat, you should unroll it and leave it out so it gets walked on, to slightly wear down the shiny surface. This will help you to hold postures as new mats can still be slightly slippery even if they are proper yoga mats.

You need to wear loose/comfortable clothes that you can stretch in, so most sports/jogging type clothes are good. Please dress modestly!

Where do I get a yoga mat?

Mats are cheap (from £6.99) and sold in sports shops, department stores, and specialist yoga shops, as well as some health shops and of course, online from their websites. It is better to buy a slightly more expensive but ethical/ecological mat. These mats often last longer and have less/no nasty chemicals. If you are lucky, you will find a reasonably priced ethical mat from cheaper stores.

Is there anything I need to do, to prepare, before a class?

Food and drink:
Please don’t eat a heavy meal for at least 4 hours or a light meal for at least 2 hours before class. It is not good to drink a lot just before class or to drink during a class. This is because it can be quite uncomfortable to do intense exercise after consuming food or drink (in the same way it does if you eat before going swimming). Exceptions to this are if you have a medical condition.

After class:

Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water. Try to plan a quiet evening after your first class and ideally after any class. It is great to give yourself a bit of time and space to absorb your class physically and emotionally. This a suggestion, you can see what works for you

If you are Menstruating:

People who are on their period should not practice Ashtanga because of the number of twists and inverted postures and the way we engage our abdominal muscles. On lighter days, Josetta will give alternative postures. Restorative yoga can be practised any day of the month. Please always let Josetta know if you are menstruating so she can give you the beneficial postures for this time.

Why should I come to Josetta?
  1. Josetta is trained, accredited and insured through the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY). The BWY is a well recognised and reputable body. Their four-year teacher training courses ensure teachers are comprehensively trained and knowledgable. 
  2. Josetta has 16 dedicated years of personal practice and has taught hundreds of extremely satisfied students over the past 10 years.
  3. Josetta has taught numerous beginners courses, work place classes, one to ones and classes of all sizes. She specialises in both Ashtanga Yoga (dynamic flowing sequence) and Restorative Yoga (where gentle postures are used therapeutically for people with physical/mental health issues).
  4. She has worked in mental health for over 12 years and brings her knowledge and these skills to her teaching.
  5. Josetta has developed a unique understanding and appreciation of beginners starting yoga. She is fully committed to supporting you to take your first yoga steps or to develop your practice. She also works with more advanced students (primary and secondary series Ashtanga students).
  6. Josetta is well versed in tailoring postures to suit each individual’s needs and abilities.

Her post diploma training includes:

  • Primary Adjustment clinic with Manju Jois (son of Sri K Pattabhis Jois, founder of Ashtanga)
  • Primary Adjustment clinics with Nancy Gilgoff (who worked closely with Sri K Pattabhis Jois)
  • Yoga for People with Chronic Fatigue and ME with Fiona Agomba
  • Posture Adjustment with Paul Fox
  • Josetta attends regular residential courses with Nancy Gilgoff to further develop her own Ashtanga practice.

Read more about Josetta here

Where do you teach?

Josetta is based in Brighton, but also teaches across East London.

They currently teach gentle yoga sessions on several NHS mental health wards per week, and teach private one to ones all over London and Brighton.

If someone wants a private one to one, she will happily travel anywhere in London or East Sussex to go to their home.

If you want to set up a small class, either with friends or with colleagues in your workplace, please get in touch.

Do you teach one-to-one?

Yes, Josetta loves teaching one to ones. The benefits are greater than in a general class because you have her undivided attention and they will tailor each class and modify each pose to your individual needs and goals. She has very good rates for one to ones.


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