On Ashtanga Yoga

On Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga

The Ashtanga Yoga method is a living tradition with the relationship between teacher and student at the epicenter of its transmission going back over 5,000 years. At the root, it is a spiritual practice that purifies the heart, body and mind, illuminating ones own divine nature.

In modern times Ashtanga Yoga is linked to the late yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, otherwise known as Guruji (1915 – 2009), who passionately spread the beauty of the practice to countless people all over the world. Now his teachings are reverently carried forward by his grandson R. Sharath Jois, the director of KPJAYI in Mysore, India; his daughter, Sarawati Jois, his son, Manju Jois in California USA, and granddaughter, Sharmila Mahesh in Bangalore, India.

In turn, it is my intention to transmit the Ashtanga Yoga practice in the lineage of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois with sincere focus and dedication as I am a student and practitioner of this timeless tradition first and foremost.

The Practice

The Ashtanga Yoga system is centered on the breath, as Guruji is noted saying: “Ashtanga practice is a breathing practice … the rest is just bending.” The breath unites our inner experience with our outer reality and is the key to developing deeper states of peace, balance and awareness.

With three segments of breath-movement based sequences: The Primary series, Yoga Chikitsa, cleanses, purifies and strengths the physical body and mind. The Intermediate Series, Nadi Shodahana, tunes and refines the nervous system. The Advanced Series A, B, C, D, Sthira Bhaga, translated as strength and grace, requires greater focus and stamina, cultivating higher levels of awareness, humility and devotion. Each posture (asana) is introduced one at a time to the student in a sequential order built upon the foundation of the proceeding postures developed within each individual. In this way, students feel supported in the practice and are guided conducive to their level of experience. This transformative process allows students to attain greater health, strength, flexibility and endurance where the body attunes, becoming both strong and light. On an internal level, mental clarity awakens opening to a peaceful sense of well-being. On a subtle level, practitioners come in contact with their innermost self which shines a light deep within, offering an experience of lasting fulfillment and connection.

Ashtanga Yoga Mysore

Ashtanga Yoga is traditionally taught in the “Mysore” style and is the most impactful approach in learning and understanding the practice. The name Mysore is derived from the actual city located in Southern India where Sri K. Pattabhi Jois lived, studied, taught and raised his family for most of his life.

Mysore is also deemed as supervised self practice where the āsanas (postures) are introduced and taught, one at a time for the student can easily memorize the sequence with both confidence and comfort, ultimately building the skills to move through the practice establishing a sense of empowerment, steadiness and calm. In class the student will advance at their own rate with the guidance of an experienced teacher. In turn, the Ashtanga yoga practice is offered to each individual student fully dependent on where they are the day they walk into class. Rest assure, there will always be guidance and support when needed and it is consistently the teacher’s goal to meet the needs of each student the very best they can. It is recommended when first starting out students commit to at least one month minimum of 3 times per week to accelerate and deepen the learning process.

All students are welcome in Mysore class. At the heart of this method all levels of experience can impart the teachings of the practice no matter the limitation. In fact, in Mysore the teacher can better suit the needs of those who need special attention or guidance in learning.

No Mysore class on Full and New Moon. Schedule can be found here.

Ashtanga Yoga Introduction

In this class learn the tenants of the Ashtanga Yoga practice specific to those who are new to Yoga or curious in regards to this classical method. Students will be guided thoroughly through the beginning stages of the practice where conscious breathing, sun salutations and simple closing postures are introduced. As always there will be an opportunity to ask questions while acquiring basic knowledge of the physical and spiritual aspects of the practice. All levels are welcome and appropriate for those new to the Ashtanga Yoga practice.

Ashtanga Yoga Foundation

In this class learn to build a solid foundation within the practice of Ashtanga Yoga appropriate for those who have been introduced to the method and continue to require more guidance and instruction. Students will be both lead by the teacher as well as challenged to be self-guided in segments of the practice to inspire the process in learning the sequence. In addition, students will be given specific instructions on conscious breath development, postural alignment, and further understanding of the internal benefits of the practice. Instructions will be given through sun salutations, standing asanas, seated asanas up until Marīcāsana A, and various finishing asanas time permitting.

Led Primary Series

For the complete Ashtanga Yoga experience, the Primary Series will be instructed with the traditional vinyasa method emphasized and counted in Sanskrit from start to end. Here you will come in direct contact with flow of the practice uninterrupted. Prior Ashtanga Yoga experience and proficiency are recommended. Please, no beginner students.

Half Primary Series

Come in contact with the flow of the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series practice half way through up until Nāvāsana. Instruction will move in a steady manner with little interruptions. Prior introduction to the Ashtanga Yoga practice is recommended.