Becoming proficient in yoga is far less intimidating once one understands the decorum, such as not encroaching on others' mat space or celebrating newly acquired poses with victorious choruses of "God Bless America." Fit in with today's Groupon to The Yoga Shala in Winter Park. Choose from the following options:
- For $29, you get a four-week beginning yoga course (a $90 value). This deal also includes a 20% discount off membership fees upon completion of the course.
- For $29, you get a one-month membership redeemable for three classes per week (a $120 value).
- For $39, you get a one-month membership redeemable for unlimited classes (a $160 value).
After earning a prestigious yoga certification in India, Krista Shirley unfurled her yoga mat hoping to spread the physical and mental benefits of authentic Ashtanga yoga in her studio, The Yoga Shala. During a four-week beginner's class, students slowly dip into the cool waters of yoga practice, enjoying ample time to acclimate to foreign postures, breathing techniques, and muscle groups that have lain dormant since kindergarten Red Rover tournaments. A slow, comprehensive introduction immerses students in Ashtanga, progressing as the weeks pass, preparing students for regular practice and the tendency to reply with zen-like proverbs when loved ones ask about impending dinner plans. More experienced students can also stop in for sessions taught in the traditional Mysore method, where students practice balance-challenging Ashtanga yoga poses, each progressing at their own pace with instructors drifting about the room and offering one-on-one direction to correct and enhance students' posture. Dedicated instructors grant students individual attention in the 2,100-square-foot studio space with tile floors and richly hued walls in deep purples and greens. Although not included in the value of today's Groupon, yogapprentices in need of mats or apparel can peruse the adjacent retail boutique. Classes are held at multiple times throughout the day, seven days a week, except during the new and full moon.
The Yoga Shala
Krista Shirley has spent years traveling the world with an open mind and open heart, learning to infuse her own Ashtanga yoga practice with the global perspective she gleaned in Thailand, Scotland, and India. Now that she’s home, Shirley continues to expand her practice each year by embarking on annual retreats to Mysore, India, where she was authorized to teach by the prestigious Krishna Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute.
Her dedication to preserving the authenticity of Ashtanga is apparent in the thoughtfully constructed classes and workshops at The Yoga Shala. Shirley eschews the gym-like trappings of trendy yoga studios, preferring to establish a school that incorporates yoga's physical and mental benefits into her students' everyday lives. Krista's commitment to education does not stop with her students, however, as her instructors accompany her every year to India to help deepen their mastery of traditional Ashtanga practices.
Within the 2,100-square-foot studio, instructors teach Ashtanga yoga in the traditional Mysore way. This method allows teachers to work individually with their students while guiding groups through each posture. The studio also holds progressive beginners’ classes and Ashtanga flow classes that apply the Vinyasa principles of breath expansion and drishti, which is a focused gaze that develops concentrated intention.