What is Ashtanga Yoga?
As most of you may know I primarily teach two styles of yoga. The first is Restorative Yoga, the reason my I gravitated towards this practice is due to the obvious reasons the title of this class states. Restore. I think it is vitally important to incorporate softness and subtle awareness into our practices. Regardless if its yoga, learning a language, or anything in the arts, I feel it is vitally important to take a moment now and again to slow down our practice, sit in certain postures or returning to the foundations to bring the subtle awareness back into the forefront.
The second style of yoga that I teach is Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga is an older lineage that derived from Mysore, India. There have been many scholars and Yoga practitioners to write extensive books on this beautiful practice and without venturing into the deeper depths of this practice we can simplify it by describing it as a yoga practice for householders. Ashtanga was designed for those who wanted to practice yoga but were unable to give up their daily lives to live in an ashram or unable to renunciate and devote all their time for the exploration of yoga and spirituality.
What sets this practice aside from westernized yoga is that Ashtanga is a practice with set postures; unlike Vinyasa, Restore, or Power Yoga, Ashtanga will be the exact same sequence of postures every practice. The idea is you show up to an Ashtanga class and over time memorize the practice, working slowly and intelligently. With assistance by the instructor the practitioner will add on postures as they memorize the set sequence. Over time the practitioner will remember the sequence and will have the freedom to practice at there own accord when they want and where they want. If a person can not do a certain posture the student will stop their practice at that pose and jump ahead and do the final three postures. Regardless of how many of the postures the student can achieve they will always work in the order of the sequence, no skipping postures. Once the student can achieve the posture that they were unable to do they will add on the next pose and so on until they can successfully complete the series. Ashtanga is designed with the utmost intelligence, allowing the body to stretch, heal, and strengthen. It is a very structured practice with lots of specific rules, which some people (like myself) love having this type of structure, however for the person who likes to switch up their yoga practices, this may not be the lineage for them.
If you are interested in learning more about Ashtanga you can read the following books or drop into my Ashtanga Foundations class online or in person at The Front in Millcreek. Or you can look over the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series PDF below.
One Simple Thing by Eddie Stern
Ageless by Sharath Jois (Great for beginners!)
Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy by Gregor Maehle
11/11/2022 04:46:34 pm
Which area you nice mention.
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