What is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga?

DSC02744We practice and teach what is called Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga through the lineage of  Larry Schultz, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sri Tirumalay Krishnamasharya.

Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is often defined as an athletic, physical and dynamic form of yoga. This is true but Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is much more than an exercise that stretches and strengthens the body…..

The Key Components

By conscious breathing, asanas and dristhi (eye focus) you can develop body awareness, control of the senses and a higher consciousness. According to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga is a path that leads us to “the spirit that is within us” or our true nature.

Ashtanga means eight limbs, which Patanjali wrote in aphoristic form in his work, the Yoga Sutra for about 2000 years ago. Eight limbs of yoga referring to the eight different methods within the yoga practice where the physical asana practice is just one. His lyrics are based on even older texts, the Vedas, and this knowledge that has been transmitted orally from guru to student.

Vinyasa means movement between poses, when we synchronize the movements in yoga with the breath in a specific way. In Sansktit the noun vinyasa means “to place in a special way” – when there is a specific order of the poses and the breath links them together in a flow of non-stop moving, breathing meditation. All vinyasa stye yoga is dynamic in nature, focusing on the flow in the practice in contrary to Hatha yoga that is a style of yoga more focused on each specific pose.

Ashtanga Yoga is 90 percent physical exercise consisting of asana practice (postures) and breathing exercises (pranyama) as well as living in accordance with specific codes of conduct, moral and ethical discipline  (yama and niyama). The theory of yoga that can be studied from sacred texts is only a fraction of the method. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras show us the path of yoga, but a practical application, with a committed regular yoga practice, is the only way to cleanse the body and mind from the blockages and to align and free the physical, mental and spiritual body.

To achieve inner peace and happiness within is the goal for all yoga.

Yoga Chikitsa

what is ashtanga yogaCombining the three corner stones of the practice; the breathing, the postures with vinyasa and contracting the muscle locks (Mula bandha and Uddiyana Bandha) causes the entire body to heat and making it comfortable and safe to stretch from the inside out.

The heat and sweating triggers an extensive purification process in which the internal organs, muscles, nervous system, brain and senses are involved.

The first series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is called Yoga Chikitsa which literally means yoga therapy.

“Do your practice and all is coming.” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Effects of Ashtanga Yoga

  • Vitalizes the entire body, provides firmer and smoother muscle, removes excess fat and gives a light and energetic feeling.
  • Cleanses the body of toxins that has accumulated though an unhealthy lifestyle and return loss of vitality to the body.
  • Keeps body and mind youthful, healthy and vibrant.
  • Improves the immune system and metabolic function.
  • Improves oxygen uptake, quality of breathing and awareness of breathing.
  • Reduces stress and helps manage the stress of daily life.

Our Foundation

We think that yoga should be accessible for everybody and meet the needs of modern people with their specific struggles. The traditional Ashtanga Yoga holds the strong foundation upon which our teachings stands. We believe that the practice will support each student in growing and we encourage beginners students and more advanced students to practice together. We want to take away the hierarchy and help making the practice less competitive and more allowing and fun.  An advanced student can be advanced in a pose and a beginner in the next and the same can be true with a beginner. In this way we can learn form eachother and be inspired, motivated and reminded of the true goal for yoga, inner peace and union.

Our System

We tech according to a system, taught to us by our teacher Larry Schultz, where we sequence the poses and teach different routines each day of the week, six days a week. In the Rocket routine we use many different modifications for the more advanced poses.

We teach an entire system where we are sequencing the week.

PRIMARY SERIES

The first series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as traditionally taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. This is a fluid class that aims to bring the body in to a very particular sequence of postures. Known as one of the stronger styles of Yoga and the Original Power Yoga Class. The Primary Series is open to beginners and advanced physical levels, while the intention of the class is to learn to link the breath and movement together creating a moving, breathing meditation. At It’s Yoga we practice with modifications to allow more freedom and discovery in this traditional sequence. Class duration 90 minutes (72 postures).

THE MODIFIED PRIMARY SERIES

A modification of the primary series (MPS) includes sun salutations, standing and seated postures.The first part of class will start with a warm-up series of sun salutations to build up heat. The standing series promotes balance and symmetry in the body and aids in the process of detoxification and tonification of the body. The final part of class if a deeper focus on seated postures with the intention of keeping poses modified and accessible to each student’s individual level. A seated meditation will conclude the practice with deep relaxation, or savasana. The MPS class introduces the students to the breathing and movement techniques used specifically in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It is designed for beginners and moves slower with more detail on alignment. Class duration 60 minutes.

ROCKET 1

In Rocket 1 we will focus on strengthening the legs, shoulders and abdominals. Be ready to move a bit faster and get a lot stronger. The Rocket 1 Routine mixes poses from the first and second series of Ashtanga to stack postures. Rocket 1 focuses on strenghtening the legs, shoulders and abdominals. This routine is practiced Mondays and Thursdays. Class duration 75 minutes.

ROCKET 2

An intermediate/advanced series including variations of poses from the second and third series of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system. Rocket 2 focuses on strength poses, backbends and hip openers. Modifications will be offered and encouraged as we build the Practice from the ground up. Rocket 2 is practiced Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Class duration 75 minutes.

ROCKET 3

This class is called the Happy Hour class!. It’s when we come together to celebrate the week. Includes all the poses of the system – 90 poses in 90 minutes. This class is a fusion of Rocket 1 and 2, which brings together the postures of the Primary and Rocket series to create a complete interpretation of the system. It is accessible to all levels and especially those who want a challenge in their practice. We will work with all levels of experience to make the class appropiate. The Rocket 3 is a high-energy class that leaves the body charged with energy. A perfect way to start the weekend. Rocket 3 is practiced on Fridays. Class duration 90 minutes.